When you’ve been planning your wedding for the last year to 18 months, you certainly don’t want it to be over in the blink of an eye. Whether you’re getting married at home or abroad, turning your wedding into a 3 Day Weekend Event is a great way to prolong your celebrations and extend the fun with your friend and family.
The majority of my destination wedding couples choose to host at least one extra event in addition to their special day; not all guests will know one another already, so a pre-wedding shindig is a fab icebreaker before the main event.
Here’s some inspiration for pre or post wedding celebrations that you may not have considered yet.
1. Local Wine Tasting
A wine tasting can be a nice link to your wedding day. More and more venues are choosing to source their wines locally, both in the UK and abroad so the chances are the wine you enjoy over dinner will have been produced nearby.
I tend to recommend this for the day after the wedding as an opt-in activity. Those who want to nurse their hangovers can do just that, and laze around the pool in the sunshine. Meanwhile while anyone who wants to take part in the tasting can have an enjoyable afternoon.
Wine tastings usually take place in small groups and tend to include a tour of the winery with an explanation of the process, before finishing up with the best part; wine tasting of 3-4 wines which are usually accompanied with some delicious nibbles like cheese and meats! What’s not to like?
2. Cooking Class
A cooking class works particularly well with destination weddings; explore the culture with your friends and family by learning to cook a local speciality. From pastas or pizza in Italy to tapas or Paella in Spain there’s a whole range of options to choose from.
Again, usually in small groups cooking classes are good fun and you always get to eat whatever you cook at the end of the session!
3. Cocktail Evening
A cocktail evening is the perfect, relaxed event either before or after your wedding day. Depending on when you choose to host it, an informal get together allows guests to mingle before the wedding day, or chat about the previous nights antics!
To personalise your evening, ask the venue to mix a special ‘his and hers’ cocktail based on your likes as a couple – one named after the bride and one named after the groom.
Combine this with some atmospheric background music, perhaps a live sax or piano player, and you’ve got yourself a lovely evening!
4. Take A Day Trip!
You would have chosen your wedding venue for many reasons, and perhaps one of those is the beautiful surroundings? If so, make the most of that! Arrange a day trip to the nearest town or point of interest, for your guests.
This can be as simple as putting on a shuttle bus to drop people in town in the morning, and pick them up again later in the afternoon, with a few recommendations of things to see or places to visit.
Don’t feel like you have to host a whole day’s worth of events, your guests will simply enjoy the opportunity to explore at their leisure!
5. Poolside BBQ
The ultimate relaxation and post-wedding hangover cure is a poolside BBQ (for summer time weddings of course!)
A casual set up with food and drink that guests can help themselves to works nicely and is easy for you to organise.
If you’re a lively bunch then prepare a good playlist and purchase some Instagramable inflatables and you’re good to go!
6. Truffle Hunting
Depending on where you’re getting married, this may or may not be possible, but for weddings in Tuscany this is a fun afternoon activity that everyone can get involved in.
Most truffle hunting groups will end with a scrummy meal involving truffles and wine. Say no more!
If you’re getting married in a country or region where this isn’t possible, then check out the other local delicacies instead – can you incorporate these into your plans at all?
Emily Charlotte is a Sussex based Wedding Planner and Coordinator, specializing in weddings in the South of England and Italy, and of course the primary planner and face behind Weddings by Emily Charlotte!