"The wedding weekend" is an interesting concept. On the one hand, it's a time when the bride and groom are free to be themselves and enjoy their guests with their closest friends and relatives. Yet, on the other hand, it's a period of intense activity where everyone has to jump through hoops to make sure everything goes off perfectly.
A big part of what makes this process so difficult is a lack of guidance or clear guidelines. It can seem rather arbitrary which events are considered wedding "must-haves" and which aren't, especially in mixed-age weddings where some members have been more active in life than others. Some couples even opt to forgo formal celebrations altogether.
Wedding weekends are becoming more popular as wedding culture is shifting from large, impersonal affairs to smaller, intimate celebrations. A full wedding weekend allows you to get to know the people closest to your spouse-to-be and vice versa—and it also means they'll feel much more invested in you. Plus, with a full weekend of activities planned leading up to your wedding day, guests will have a lot more fun at your celebration!
More time to spend with your guests.
Hosting a wedding weekend means more time to spend with your guests. A traditional wedding reception can take months of planning and be over in the course of a few hours. Hosting a weekend event means you'll have time to relax and mingle with your guests, rather than worry about whether everyone's having fun or if they need anything else. You'll also have time to catch up with friends who might not see each other very often, or make new friends with people who might not know each other otherwise.
Everyone has more fun.
Yes, a wedding weekend means more planning and possibly more money (depending on what you do), but you get to celebrate with your best friends and family over multiple days and everyone will have more fun. Guests can relax and really enjoy themselves, knowing that they don't have to get up the next day for work or worry about a long drive home. It also makes it so much easier for guests who are coming from far away (especially those in other countries). And if you're having an out-of-town wedding, why not turn it into a mini-vacation? Plus, creating memories with your loved ones is priceless!
It’s a lot more wedding planning than a single-day celebration.
Ultimately, hosting a wedding weekend is a large undertaking. It involves many moving pieces that you’ll need to keep track of and manage as a couple. If you’re going to pull this off, make sure you have the time and resources to plan the entire event. That not only means planning your own wedding but also coordinating with your wedding party and vendors to ensure everything goes smoothly for them too.
It will cost more than a traditional wedding.
You’re probably already aware of the many pros that come with hosting a wedding weekend, but there are cons too. First off, wedding weekends are typically going to cost more than a single-day event. You’ll need to weigh the pros and cons to determine whether it’s worth the extra cost for you and your partner.
As you do this, remember that there are some scenarios where a wedding weekend might be less expensive than you think. For example, if you’re having a destination wedding and opt for a resort or hotel like Sandals Resorts or Secrets Resorts & Spas, where weddings are essentially free when meeting certain criteria such as reserving enough guest rooms, then it might not cost much more at all to host your guests for an additional day or two.
It is not as intimate as a simple celebration.
In the wedding world, a “weekend” event is defined as two or three days of activities for your guests. Typically, there are at least two events: one that involves a rehearsal dinner or other pre-wedding festivities and another that is the actual wedding day.
Whether you decide to host a weekend-long celebration is entirely up to you and your partner. But it’s important to consider both aspects of this choice before making a final decision. Here are some pros and cons to think about when deciding if hosting a weekend full of activities is right for you!
In the end, only you can decide if it is the right celebration for your wedding.
That said, planning a whole wedding weekend takes time and money. You'll spend months or even years researching venues and vendors for each event in addition to figuring out the logistics of everything from travel (for both yourselves and guests) to food (are you going out? having caterers come in?). If you're not ready for that kind of commitment yet, start with something simpler like an engagement party before taking on the BIGGER task of wedding planning!