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Planning A Full Wedding Weekend
If you’re just getting started in this wedding planning thing you’ve probably started to hear the phrase “Wedding Weekend”. Or people asking how they find the best wedding weekend venues. It can feel like a daunting task, especially if you don’t have any idea what they’re talking about to begin with. This is a trend that isn’t really all that trendy. Celebrities have been doing it for years. It’s just sort of filtered it’s way down to the rest of us in a much more mainstream way over the past few years. And that’s why it has probably come up in conversation a lot more as you’re looking for your wedding venue, even if you’re not looking for full wedding weekend venues.
So, let’s talk about the magic of stretching your wedding celebration into a whole weekend. Trust me, it’s not just about extending the party (although that’s definitely a bonus!). A weekend wedding opens up a world of joy and creates moments that weave into the fabric of your love story.
For you, the couple-to-be, it’s like unlocking a treasure trove of time. Instead of cramming everything into a few hours, you get a canvas of days to savor each moment. Imagine waking up in a place that feels like a dream, surrounded by your closest crew, and knowing that the festivities have just begun. One of the most challenging aspects to a wedding day is how fast things move. We’re constantly fighting against that by creating pockets of time for you to sneak away, have a moment, savor a small sip together tucked away. But think about it: More time means more moments to cherish. From intimate rehearsal dinners to lazy brunches the next day, every bit of the weekend becomes a chapter in your love story.
It’s not just about you; it’s about your guests too! A weekend celebration isn’t just an event. It’s an experience. It gives your guests a chance to immerse themselves in your love story, to connect, to unwind, and to truly be a part of your journey. It’s a little beyond a “wedding favor” in that it gives people what they most want, time away together. For them, it’s a getaway—a break from the routine. It’s an opportunity to create memories that extend beyond the wedding ceremony itself. They get to bond, laugh, and share stories over more than just a hurried meal and a dance. It’s a chance for them to explore new places, make new friends, and be a part of something truly special.
And let’s not forget the magic of anticipation. A weekend-long celebration builds up excitement, creating a crescendo that culminates in the most epic “I do” moment. It’s like a beautiful symphony, each note leading to that perfect harmony of love and commitment. Picture this: The sun painting the sky with hues of gold as you exchange vows in a place that feels like it was made just for you. That’s the kind of experience these wedding weekend venues offer—a fusion of romance and pure bliss that makes your heart skip a beat.
Wedding Weekend Venues Benefits
One thing you might be surprised by is the significant number of benefits to finding a wedding weekend venue and planning a contained getaway versus a one-day event. Although at first glance you might think that this would be by far the more significant investment there is so much more to consider for a wedding day vs a wedding weekend.
1. Venue Costs:
A smaller guest list means you can choose from a wider range of luxurious and exclusive venues that might have higher per-person costs. However, with fewer guests, the overall wedding weekend venue cost can be significantly reduced while still affording a more opulent location.
2. Catering and Bar Expenses:
Food and beverage expenses typically constitute a large portion of a wedding budget, and usually far more than people realize. With fewer guests, couples can opt for higher-end menu options, specialty drinks, or even tasting menus without breaking the bank. Additionally, certain venues may have minimum guest requirements, and keeping the count low can help meet those requirements more affordably.
Destination weddings often involve accommodation costs for guests. A smaller guest list means the couple might be able to cover or negotiate better rates for accommodations at a luxurious destination, potentially providing a more exclusive experience for attendees.
4. Décor and Details:
With a smaller guest count, couples can allocate more of their budget towards extravagant décor, luxurious details, and personalized elements, elevating the overall aesthetic and ambiance of the celebration.
5. Experiences for Guests:
Fewer guests allow for more extravagant experiences for each attendee. This could involve curated activities, exclusive tours, or special entertainment that might not be feasible with a larger crowd, creating a more memorable event for everyone involved.
6. Logistical and Planning Costs:
Smaller weddings can simplify logistics and planning efforts, potentially reducing costs associated with coordination, transportation, and staffing. Again, so much about wedding costs comes down to the overall guest count. Generally, when you’re planning a full weekend wedding you can guarantee you’re not going to invite 300 people. A wedding of 40 people is an entirely different beast than one of a much larger guest count.
While hosting a lavish celebration with a smaller guest count at a fabulous destination can seem counterintuitive in terms of cost-saving, wedding weekend venues allow couples to allocate their budget more strategically, focusing on quality over quantity and creating a more immersive and luxurious experience for their guests. This approach can often result in a more memorable and impactful celebration without necessarily escalating the overall wedding budget.
Why the Full Weekend Wedding Trend?
Where did this idea come from and is this new? Short answer, no, not at all. The long answer is that the trend of celebrities opting for weekend weddings and micro weddings basically started this trend years ago and for very good reason. This became a lot more mainstream in recent years. Why? I see several reasons contributing to this to this not so trendy trend.
1. Privacy and Intimacy:
Celebrities often prioritize privacy and intimacy. Weekend weddings and micro weddings allow them to celebrate with close friends and family in a more secluded and controlled environment, away from media scrutiny. I think more and more all of us are realizing that time celebrating with the people we love is one of the things we value the most in life. A massive ballroom wedding isn’t for everyone.
2. Personalization and Customization:
Couples want unique and personalized experiences. Smaller gatherings or weekend-long celebrations offer more opportunities for customization, allowing you to create a wedding that reflects your personality and preferences in a more intimate setting. Is horseback riding your favorite thing in the world? Live your dream and get married on a ranch. It’s a moment to make your wildest dreams become a reality and include your favorite people.
3. Exclusivity and Luxury:
Weekend weddings often take place in exclusive venues and offer luxury experiences. Couples are tending to opt for unique and opulent locations. They are creating an exclusive and lavish affair that sets the tone for a memorable celebration. More and more people are choosing experiences over things and you can see that reflected when a couple chooses a wedding weekend venue for their celebration.
4. Extended Celebrations:
Weekend weddings allow for an extended celebration beyond just a single day. This aligns with the desire of many couples, to maximize their time with loved ones and make the most of the wedding experience.
5. COVID-19 Influence:
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted wedding trends. Micro weddings gained popularity due to restrictions on large gatherings, prompting couples, including celebrities, to opt for smaller, more intimate ceremonies that comply with safety guidelines. More than anything I think the pandemic reminded people that it truly is their celebration and it can look any way they’d like it to. The “rules” are made up and it’s ok to create the day or weekend of your dreams.
While celebrities have long embraced weekend weddings and micro weddings for reasons related to privacy, personalization, and luxury, for the rest of us it’s been about the desire for more intimate and meaningful celebrations, the impact of the pandemic, and the realization that smaller gatherings can create incredibly memorable and heartfelt experiences.
Napa Valley, California:
Renowned for its picturesque vineyards and wineries, Napa Valley offers a romantic backdrop for a weekend celebration. The region’s lush landscapes, fine wines, and upscale accommodations make it a top choice for couples seeking a luxurious and elegant wedding experience.
With its breathtaking red rock formations and serene desert landscapes, Sedona has become a sought-after destination for couples looking for a spiritual or nature-inspired wedding. The majestic vistas and spiritual energy of Sedona create a magical setting for a weekend of love and connection.
Asheville, North Carolina:
Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville exudes a blend of natural beauty, vibrant arts scene, and southern charm. Couples are drawn to its eclectic mix of venues, from mountain resorts to historic estates, providing a diverse range of options for a weekend full of festivities.
Lake Tahoe, Nevada/California:
The stunning alpine beauty of Lake Tahoe, with its crystal-clear waters and majestic mountain backdrop, attracts couples seeking a picturesque outdoor wedding. Whether it’s a lakeside ceremony or a mountaintop affair, Lake Tahoe offers a breathtaking setting for a memorable weekend celebration.
Charleston, South Carolina:
Known for its historic charm, cobblestone streets, and antebellum architecture, Charleston offers a romantic ambiance perfect for a weekend wedding. Its rich history, beautiful gardens, and southern hospitality create an enchanting atmosphere for couples and their guests.
Nestled along the stunning coastline, Kennebunkport exudes coastal charm and New England elegance. Its picturesque seaside views, quaint streets lined with historic homes, and bustling harbor create a scenic backdrop for couples seeking a romantic celebration. With its lobster shacks, charming inns, and the rugged beauty of the Maine coast, Kennebunkport offers a delightful blend of coastal allure and small-town charm for an unforgettable wedding experience.