With couples now having the freedom and opportunity to host their weddings further afield, the increase in the number of multi-day/weekend hire wedding venues, and the desire to spend longer celebrating such a momentous occasion surrounded by family and friends, it’s easy to see why weekend weddings are as popular as they are.
From a personal perspective, I adore having the opportunity to organise (and be a part of) additional and extended celebratory events – from luxuriously intimate welcome dinners to post-wedding brunches, pool parties to after-after parties! It’s a chance to break away from the wedding day norm, to spend as much time as possible with those you love most, and to truly make the most of a venue or setting.
That being said, extended weekend-long weddings entail additional considerations, especially from an organisational, logistical and budgeting perspective, so with this in mind, here are my top tips/things to consider when planning a weekend wedding.
This is, quite rightly, the first and most crucial step when it comes to planning a multi-day wedding – finding the perfect location that can host and accommodate you and your guests for more than one day.
As a starting point, you’re already in the best place possible, as Coco Wedding Venues has an expertly curated list of venues that ticks this very box! And when it comes to choosing the setting or venue that’s right for you and an extended weekend of celebrations, you’ll also need to consider:
And if you’re planning a marquee wedding at home, the same rules apply. You’ll also need to think about any additional logistical marquee considerations such as power/fuel, a toilet refresh/pump-out, layout, turnaround, cleaning, etc.
Multi-day/weekend weddings ARE, for obvious reasons, more expensive. However, additional days don’t have to break the bank, i.e. welcome drinks at a local pub, an informal pool party or a casual picnic.
Before committing to multiple days and additional events, think about your ideal itinerary and then create a guideline budget. Start with the wedding day itself (to ensure that you have this fully covered), and then work your way backwards to see what options and extras you can realistically afford/manage.
When budgeting for your wedding, remember to factor in a contingency pot for unexpected rising costs (I’d suggest 15% of your overall budget if you’re planning multiple events) and be meticulous with your record-keeping. That way, if you’re juggling various suppliers/event plans, you should be able to adjust your budget accordingly if needed.
PLANNING & SUPPORT
Following a similar thread to the above, multi-day/weekend weddings DO (once again for obvious reasons) require more thought and time to plan: multiple spaces, locations, logistics, activities, suppliers, guest lists, dietaries, guest movements, set-ups… you get the drift.
It’s a challenge, BUT it’s all achievable, and if you’ve decided to embrace a weekend of celebrations, let me reassure you that once you’ve embarked on planning the wedding day itself, the additional admin will all blend into one.
That being said, IF your budget allows, I’d wholeheartedly recommend that you consider hiring some additional support (from a sanity and stress preservation perspective!), ESPECIALLY on the day/weekend itself. The last thing you’ll want to do is oversee your suppliers, set up, tidy up, turn rooms/spaces/marquees around, check that suppliers and guests are where they should be, deal with any issues that arise… and so the list goes on.
It goes without saying that my TOP TIP here is to hire a wedding planner/on-the-day coordinator – it’s worth every single penny!
GUEST COMMUNICATION & LOGISTICS
Set expectations with your guests early on, especially if you’re asking them to travel and attend multiple days – this will take a lot more planning and organising on their behalf as well as yours. With this in mind, send your save the dates as soon as possible so guests can plan accordingly and make arrangements with work, childcare, etc., if required.
Wedding websites are also an invaluable tool to help you communicate timings, locations, activities, itineraries, dress codes, accommodation (including options on-site and nearby inc. rates) and travel (taxis, organised transportation, public transport, etc.) with your guests. A wedding website will also ensure that anyone attending knows what to expect in advance, so ensure you include as much information as possible.
If your budget allows, you may also want to consider a welcome bag and wedding itinerary (and map) to ensure that timings and locations are clearly communicated.
If your guests are travelling or staying away from home, then you’ll need to think about their experience. Remember to consider all budgets and be inclusive with your recommendations.
Some key considerations include:
And whilst we’re on the subject of guests, don’t expect all of your guests to attend every single day, event or activity; likewise, you don’t have to invite all of your guests to every event either! If you want to host a smaller, more intimate welcome dinner or brunch the next day, for example, go ahead – it’s your wedding weekend!
On the other hand, if you’re inviting everyone to the whole weekend, then it’s a big ask and a big commitment, especially if guests are travelling, have families or need to take time off work. You’ll need to remain flexible and ensure your guests know this as well. Should any of your guests have an issue, be sympathetic and make sure they know it’s not a big deal – the fact that they can celebrate your special day (or, indeed, days!) in any way is what truly matters.
With thanks to couple Olivia & Matthew
Wedding Planner Katrina Otter Weddings
Photographer Holly Clark Photography
Venue Hedsor House
Film Tynegate Films
Caterer Caper & Berry
Florist JenniBloom Floral Design
Entertainment Eight Ray Music
DJs DJ Spoony
Production Class Act
Stretch Tent Ten by Fifteen Structures
Décor + Furniture The W Collection
Tableware Duchess & Butler
Stationery Emily & Jo
Wedding Cake Cake Days A Week
Hair + Makeup Hair and Makeup Atelier
Refine your wedding venue search by location, capacity, type, and style.Visit Venue Finder
Planning advice, real wedding edits, and venue showcases to inspire you.View Blog
From photographers to bridal fashion and styling, find the best wedding suppliers right here.View Suppliers