With loved ones often scattered all over the country and world and people working longer hours than ever, getting everyone you love together in one place feels like a real achievement. The best excuse for getting all your favourites together is definitely an amazing wedding celebration so why restrict it to one day? The rise of weekend long weddings has been notable recently, and whilst this trend has been a part of destination weddings for a long time, it is great to see wedding weekends becoming more prominent in UK celebrations.
Our Recommended Venues section has heaps of wedding venues that will happily accommodate you and your favourite people for the entire weekend and make even your wildest dreams come true so definitely do check that out if you’re still looking for your Venue.
Weekend long wedding venues give you so much more opportunity to spend with your guests and so the pressure to mingle and catch up with everyone during the condensed time of your wedding reception is off. Venues such as The Copse in Oxfordshire offer 4 day celebrations which are perfect for welcoming everyone to your weekend, the big day itself and saying farewell, too. Time is absolutely on your side. Saying that, don’t feel obligated to spend every single second with your guests. People love having some time to kick back, relax, and do some exploring so if you’ve got things to do, or a last minute pedi to have, don’t fret! If you want the ultimate relaxing experience hire a planner and a stylist to ensure the venue is dressed to perfection and your wedding runs super smoothly.
Let’s be clear, guests won’t expect you to cater for their every meal. Keeping people fed and watered over a longer period of time does cost more money so unless you’re happy and have the budget to provide a meal on each day of the weekend don’t feel obligated. Our main advice in this area is make it clear for people, your invites will include a breakdown of the weekend so keep it simple, for example “We would love to raise a toast to our guests arriving to celebrate the weekend with us so please join us at the gin bar on the lawn at 8pm on Friday evening and share a drink with us”. That way no one is expecting a sit down meal. We advise keeping the evening pre-wedding fairly low key and concentrating the food budget on the day after the wedding day and bring in the Caterers for a farewell brunch or afternoon tea. Not only will everyone be feeling fresh for the wedding day because they’ve not been on the fizz the night before but it give your guests who are maybe coming in from further afield or don’t know the area a chance to explore and relax.
Space is Key
With Venues such as The Copse where some of your guests will be staying with you for the entire weekend and others nearby, make the most of the space. With sumptuous lounges and great outdoor space there’s plenty of places for your Aunt Edith to catch up with all the family in peace whilst your uni friends reminisce in the garden. You can create activities for your guests too, if you’re that way inclined. The world really is your oyster with The Copse, you can treat it as your home (We can dream, right?!) so if you fancy setting up an outdoor cinema for your guests complete with projector, popcorn and you and your husband to be’s favourite film, then there’s no reason you can’t.
You’re going to be in a pre-wedding haze, shortly followed by a newlywed bubble so it goes without saying this weekend is going to be perfect for you. If you want some practical inspiration we’ve popped some ideas below which will provide both of your and your guests with lots of grown up treats but never fret about people having fun. Gathering everyone you love in one place is a recipe for overwhelmingly good times. If you're still not entirely sure on an what should or could happen when, venues such as The Copse have a wealth of experience in what works, what is fun, where to go and who to talk. If you need them, Penny and her team at The Copse will even run things on the the day for you. We told you they were pretty special!!
- Invite your best girls to join you for a relaxing yoga session to unwind and relieve yourself of any last minute wedding stress. If the weather is playing ball set up your mats in the garden before the rest of your guests arrive and take in the beautiful surroundings.
- Who says men don’t love a pampering? Whilst you and the girls are getting reacquainted with downward dog book a mobile barber to primp the menfolk. We’re talking last minute haircuts, bear trims and hot towel treatments. HELLO!
- Kick the weekend off with an early evening, low key drinks reception. Earlybirds can grab a bite to eat beforehand, whilst others can join you for a tipple before heading off to explore and find their new favourite restaurant. If gin is your thing then you can’t go wrong with a gin bar complete with multitude of garnishes and mixers, though we’re also partial to a prosecco bar.
- The day after the big day let your guests enjoy a lay in whilst you open your cards and enjoy your first cuppa as newlyweds. Brunch in the marquee in the garden catered by your private chef is the perfect send off and will give you a little more time with your favourite folks. Everyone will be chatting about their favourite bits of the day before and it really is the most wonderful way to soak up every minute.