Planning a Wedding Weekend with Leigha Vinson of EXL Events Co.
The wedding day is special for so many reasons, some of which include the time spent with family and friends from near or far, so what if it wasn’t a single day celebration, but a multi-day affair? That’s where wedding weekends come into play! We consulted with Leigha Vinson, wedding planner behind EXL Events Co. to get some advice for you on wedding weekends, which have become increasingly popular, because as Vinson puts it, “weddings with your favorite people are just fun! It’s a beautiful thing to be a part of, and who doesn’t enjoy dancing the night (or three) away!?”
The Standard Wedding Weekend Itinerary
A standard itinerary for a 3-day wedding weekend includes the rehearsal dinner (or welcome dinner) on Friday, the wedding on Saturday, and a farewell brunch on Sunday before escaping on your honeymoon. Although, Vinson reminds us that this is the standard and you can do plenty of other things.
Peaks and Pitfalls of Wedding Weekends
According to Vinson, “I think one of the more obvious pros are getting to spend more than one day with your favorite people. In a lot of other cultures, a multi-day wedding is the standard and I think it’s just a wonderful way to cherish this time of your life with the people you love most.
“The biggest con that comes to mind instantly is cost. There are so many ways to make a 3-day wedding happen without breaking the bank, but typically, these weddings cost the most for obvious reasons. There’s a lot more back planning that needs to happen, there’s three days of staff for the majority of vendors, three days worth of decor and florals, etc. It’s beautiful, but it’s a lot!”
So it can get expensive, but you may be wondering just how much we’re talking here. She notes, it all depends on the details, especially your guest count. However, it all can be adjusted. Vinson suggests asking yourself some of these hard questions: “Do you want to cater all three days, or just your wedding day? Do you want to rent a space for all three days, or have the welcome dinner and farewell brunch at a families estate? What about decor for each day?”
Planning Your Wedding Weekend
If you’re sold, knowing all of this, then now is the time to have some fun with the planning. You could make it a themed weekend or play it cool and casual with an anything-goes vibe. You could plan a jam-packed schedule or offer more leisure time for guests. Vinson weighs in on each, because, after all, it’s all about what you want and what reflects you as a couple.
Some fun theme ideas include the ‘20s, disco, casino, masquerade, carnival, and anything in between, she reminds us. “It’s totally up to the couple. [But] I do think something that would be fun for a 3-day wedding specifically, is having each days’ decor have its own look, but still very cohesive with the overall vision. This can include themes (or not), guests’ dress code, colors, florals — the opportunities are endless!”
Scheduling & Itinerary
When it comes to schedules for the wedding weekend, Vinson explains, “Usually, the guests are pretty free to do as they please for the welcome dinner and farewell brunch. The wedding day itself, though, is a bit more punctual. Personally, I like keeping the physical invitation minimal, and having more details on the wedding website. On the bottom of the invitation, I’d say: ‘Please explore our wedding website for our event details!’ (And include a link.) Then on the website itself, you could say something like: ‘We understand that taking time off work and other commitments may not be achievable for the entirety of our event. Please join us if you can, but we will gladly accept warm wishes from afar!’
“Or you could add a details card to your invitation set and say the same thing there.”
Communicating Hotel Room Accommodations
There are a few ways to tell your guests, especially those traveling, about hotel room accommodations. She tells us it’s all about “putting it in [the] details section of your website; [perhaps] say ‘We have a number of room accommodations for our guests. Please click this link (with the hotel block linked) for our group reservation information!’
“Or [you] could add a details card to [your] invitation set and share the information that way.
“Or [you] could do both! There are always a few grandparents and guests that aren’t as tech savvy!”
Photo courtesy of Vanessa Joy Photography
** Reprinted from Celebrate Weddings Magazine **