Weekend Wedding Venues – How to Extend Your Celebration

Written by Caitlin Hoare
After the last few years it’s no wonder couples are seeking joyful, soul-enriching experiences for themselves and their guests when it comes to their wedding celebrations, instead of carbon-copies of what they are led to believe a wedding ‘should be’.

I’m a firm believer that your wedding is your day therefore you should plan and execute it any blimmin’ way you like. Truly! Back when I managed a wedding venue this was always the stance I took with my couples, encouraging them to be creative and think outside the staid, fusty wedding box. I appreciate that when it comes to planning your own wedding it can of course be an incredibly overwhelming experience as well as an exciting opportunity to truly reflect yourself and your partner across your celebrations.

The Shropshire wedding venue I worked at had a 48-hour hire period as standard, and it soon became clear that this was what drew many couples to book their wedding with us. They loved the relaxed approach, the flexibility, and the opportunities that came with all that wonderful extra time (we also had accommodation for 100+ guests so that was a big bonus too!).

If you’re considering extending your wedding celebrations, firstly, do it! And secondly, keep reading for some reasons why you should, and how to make it happen…

Weekend Weddings

Quality Time

Probably the biggest and most heartening reason to book a weekend wedding venue is the chance to spend all that extra time with all your favourite people! Especially if you haven’t been able to spend quality time with them over the last few years, your big, beautiful wedding bash is the perfect opportunity to do this.

Wedding days are famous for going by in a flash so by adding extra days / events to your celebrations you get even more opportunities to have a good ol’ catch up with ALL your guests (not just the ones you feel you should talk to). Plus it takes the pressure off the big day itself. When it comes around you can be safe in the knowledge that you have already had a lengthy chinwag with Aunty Sue, leaving more space to hang out with your fave ones!

Destination location

While multi-day celebrations are common for cultural weddings and destination weddings are often, by default, weekend-long events, weddings in the UK have massively grown in popularity to include get-togethers extending beyond the usual ceremony and wedding reception format. Choosing a destination location in the UK such as Scotland, London, Cornwall, or the Cotswolds means you get to enjoy the quality time and experience of a destination wedding, but without the additional logistics (and expense!). When booking a location your guests might not be familiar with why not indulge in some local activities / traditions? This can create an immersive experience for all your guests, resulting in even more memories of your amazing milestone.

Pre-wedding / post-wedding

Depending on your wedding venue and hire period, there may be options available to encompass celebrations and gatherings beyond your actual wedding day. We know of venues that offer an afternoon tea on arrival, a pre-wedding pizza night and even an exclusive cocktail party for guests staying on site. These gatherings are the perfect opportunity to get the meet and greets and intros out of the way, making the mingling part of the wedding day much less awkward.

But let’s not forget, it’s not just about ‘pre’ wedding gatherings y’know. Post wedding get togethers can be just as much fun! The intros are done, everyone is much more relaxed (but also probably hungover), and you can all reminisce over the previous day whilst enjoying a leisurely brunch, a walk around your venue’s grounds or a roast at the local pub. Or all three!

Guest Accommodation

Guests are understandably a big consideration when planning a multi-day celebration. Family and friends may be travelling some distance to join you so extending your wedding is a great way of being able to really make the most of the time together.

Where possible, seek out wedding venues that have additional accommodation on site. This way you can create your own mini village (pretty cool huh?). Bump into each other in the grounds, hop between places for cups of tea and glasses of wine, and bond over who’s got the biggest (and smallest!) accommodation option. Guests always love having the option to extend the celebrations and if travelling far they might also take the opportunity to book a few more extra days in the area and treat it as a mini break to really make the most of their time away. Win-win for everyone right!

things to Consider

I think you can probably tell I’m a pretty big fan of weekend-long wedding celebrations. But whilst there are many positives to extending the festivities over multiple days there are also some things to consider. Firstly, and most obviously, planning more events literally means planning more events! Just make sure you have capacity for all the additional logistics and elements that will need managing and if you need help, work with a planner.

These wonderful extra days and guest experiences will also come at a further expense. If your budget is already stretched, take a reality check. Do you really need a 3-course fully-catered brunch, or will a DIY BBQ brekkie do?

Finally, whilst you will obviously want everyone to join in with everything you’ve got planned, remember to keep these elements optional. Don’t make your guests feel obliged to join in these extra activities / gatherings, especially if they come at a cost. Inclusion and accessibility are the key here – it’s not their day after all, it’s yours.

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