Weekend weddings are so much fun! They are a brilliant way of making the most of your time with your guests and extending your celebrations beyond just your wedding day. However, being organised is absolutely key as coordinating a large group of guests who are basically there just to enjoy themselves with you is not easy!
1.Be clear with your plans.
You may want to include extra information about your weekend plans along with your invitations, alternatively you may want to keep it separate if only some of your invited wedding guests are going to be involved in the rest of the weekend activities.
Arranging a large group of people to be at a certain place at a specific time (especially if they are travelling from a distance is not an easy feat). This is where technology will be your friend! Make your life as simple as you can by using whatever tech tools you are familiar with to gather RSVP’s, monetary contributions, share plans and information. Excel spreadsheets are a simple way of collating information, you can also pop them into Google Drive or on Dropbox to share with your guests. Make communication as straightforward as possible, try not to ask people to give opinions and offer limited choices (if any!). You should present a finalised plan so your guests know exactly what they are committing to up front. This will limit indecisiveness, lack of commitment and vagueness amongst your guests. Other great tools are having a Facebook group specifically for the weekend, having a wedding website or online polls like Doodle.
3. Don’t Take on Too Much!
Being the key people for the weekend means your priorities are going to be on focussing on getting married so think about that you can physically take on in terms of planning and organising. You may want to delegate the weekend activity plans to parents or friends to allow you to concentrate on your wedding plans. Alternatively, you may like to employ the services of a professional event planner to work on your weekend plans and coordination to free up your time and limit the stress!
Be clear with your weekend guests what the additional costs may be. You may not have an exact figure when you send out the invites to begin with but it only fair to give as close to a ball park as you can. You will need to think about not only any cost associated with the activities themselves but accommodation and catering as well. You may be in a position to invite your guests for the whole weekend to celebrate with you at your expense in which case make it clear to them what you are covering and what costs (if any) may be up to them.
5. Get creative.
Make the most of the location you have picked for your wedding for the rest of your weekend. If you have an exclusive hire venue you may wish to make the most of the space you have hired or if you have selected a specific geographical location then you may wish to centre your activities around the area. Don’t think about having the days around the wedding as ‘bolt-ons’. Instead, think about creating an entire ‘wedding experience’ for your guests. Think about ways to personalise every aspect of your weekend so your guests get a taster of what the main event is going to be like. Get inspired by what is important to you both, is it food, music, the great outdoors? There are limitless options to fit all budgets.
Above all my key piece of advice would be to have a relaxed pace to your weekend so your guests can truly take time out from their busy schedules and rejuvenate themselves, they will have more amazing memories if they have had time to relax as well as enjoy themselves. Also, make sure that as the hosts, you and your other half are able to spend time with your guests too. Inevitably with weddings the day before becomes a set-up and rehearsal type of day then the day after the wedding if often for clearing up but if your weekend with your guests is an important part of your celebrations then consider outsourcing whatever you can to free up your time and enjoy kicking back with your special guests.