Let’s take a look at one of the hot trends in the wedding world; the extended wedding weekend. We’re talking welcome party, rehearsal dinner, wedding day activities, the wedding itself and the day after brunch. These wedding weekends are for the bride and groom who want to keep the party going. Wedding weekends can be costly so having family and friends host these parties will help you out financially.

A welcome party is great for a destination wedding or a wedding where the majority of guests are out of towners. Now, this doesn’t need to be an extravagant or elegant affair. Something fun and light will suffice. Think cocktails at the hotel bar or a baseball game at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. You can also include a welcome package for guests staying at your designated hotel with maps and local treats. This is generally hosted by the families or the bride and groom.

The rehearsal dinner is fast becoming a more inclusive affair in recent years. This should at least include the bridal party, close family, and the officiant. It is typically hosted by the groom’s parents. If you are financially inclined it’s another great opportunity for guests to mingle and get to know each other so think about inviting friends, out of town guests, and your photographer to capture those special moments and speeches. Also, let this be a time to show your guests some of your favorite foods. Take an idea from one of our recent brides and show them your favorite Southern BBQ!

Wedding day activities should be fun and probably not include drinking. You want your guests to make it to the wedding!
Do not feel obligated to be apart of the wedding day activities; speaking here to the bride: it takes time to be stunning, right?! These activities should be light and fun as well and could be organized by either family or the bride and groom themselves.

The farewell brunch is the end to the extended wedding weekend and a great way to spend another  hour or two with loved ones before you depart on your honeymoon. Be mindful of the time you choose. Too late in the day may be interfering with the flight times of your guests. This also can be hosted by either family or a group of friends and is generally a casual affair.