Image by Matt Willis Photography.
We know our couples are always looking for more when it comes to their wedding venue – more flexibility, more details, more intimacy, more personal touches and more of an experience for their guests. With the latter point in mind, we’re focusing on wedding weekends; where to host and how to plan a weekend-long celebration.
Helen Hopkins owner of Pudding Bridge specialises in design-led country house weddings filled with creative details. She’s passionate about organising epic extended celebrations and she says “why limit yourselves to one day when the party could last an entire weekend?!”
We wholeheartedly agree, so Helen has some top tips for picking the perfect wedding weekend venue!
Notes from Pudding Bridge
I love a good wedding and in the industry, we are seeing more and more couples who want not one day but an entire weekend celebration. Extending your wedding means that you get to spend so much more time with your guests and really enjoy every minute.
The most common comment from couples after their big day is that it that the day went way too fast! By hiring a venue from Friday until Sunday you can fully maximize your time celebrating.
I love a country house wedding but there are so many options of venues that allow you to be there for the entire weekend. Perhaps a farm with glamping on site..? Or even a city celebration..? So if you’re planning a wedding weekend, here are a few areas to consider when picking your venue.
When you are planning a wedding which takes place on just one day, often couples want to find a venue in a certain area. Perhaps where they live or where they grew up.
The beauty of picking a space which is used over an entire weekend is that it can be anywhere. In fact, I recommend that it is somewhere that’s new to many or most of your guests. You don’t want people checking emails or dashing off to pick up the kids, you want your guests to totally relax and see it as a weekend getaway.
Think about picking somewhere you have spent a holiday or just somewhere you love!
Accommodation on site and locally
If you are planning an extended celebration try to pick somewhere which has rooms for all or most of your guests. You want to make it as easy as possible for them. It’s likely that you’ll have activities throughout the weekend and you want guests to find it as easy as possible to get involved in the celebrations. Ideally a space where guests can park up, and stay put for the entire time is perfect!
If you can’t accommodate everyone, think about block booking rooms in a local hotel. That way if you do have to organize a bus to get them to and from the wedding venue its only from one location!
Type of venues
Personally, I’m in favor of a Country House venue as you can be Lord and Lady for the weekend, but why not consider a London wedding weekend or even a glamping style affair..?
There are some great options here on Coco Wedding Venues of venues you can hire for the weekend.
One of my personal favourites is Boconnoc. This house has well and truly stolen my heart! It’s a grand country home with accommodation for 40, stunning grounds and the longest most amazing drive!
Perhaps you’d like something that is more outdoorsy..? Take a look at The Water Meadow and The Woodland Orchard where you can hire the space for the entire weekend.
If you are a city slicker through and through I love Ace Hotel a fantastic urban space in the heart of London. Perfect for showing your guests the sites of the big smoke!
Lots of space
If everything is happening in one venue try and pick somewhere with a few different spaces that can be used. So perhaps an outside garden for the welcome BBQ or a stunning library for pre-dinner cocktails. You want it to feel fresh and exciting so rather than bringing everyone back to the same room time after time try to use as many spaces as possible over the weekend.
The right team
You may be thinking that planning one day is tough, so why would you add an extra two days! And I can see your point, but remember that it is all about having extra time with your loved ones.
If you can, bring someone in to help you, perhaps it’s a wedding planner, family friend or supplier to help host the weekend. Pick someone who can help you pull everything together, and make sure that guests are where they should be and when. This allows you and your fiancée to totally relax.
Finally, try to bring in one caterer to do all the food and drink for the weekend. It makes it so much easier!
Hopefully that’s sparked some inspiration for an extended celebration! But if you’d like to have a little more help organising your quintessentially British wedding weekend, you can find Helen at www.puddingbridge.co.uk.
On a personal note… Helen is one of the nicest ladies you’ll meet in this industry and she works closely with several of the venues in our collection. Honestly ladies & gents, your wedding will be utterly beautiful with Helen by your side.
Lots of love…