Extending your wedding day to an entire weekend where you spend time with loved ones makes getting married even more magical. Brides hosting out-of-town guests usually plan relaxing get-togethers and catch-up dinners for up to three days (if not more). But before you schedule that agenda, steer clear of the following hostess pitfalls.
As guests arrive in town after long car rides or flights, they’ll be hungry, thirsty and looking for you. If you skip this essential get-together in an effort to save money, you're setting guests up for potential disappointment.
Your Solution: Brides on a budget can still find ways to plan a casual welcome party without breaking the bank; even light fare will do the trick. If you've booked a fair amount of hotel rooms in your block, talk to the special events manager at the hotel about arranging a modest buffet at a discount. Or, try hosting a pizza party at your home or parents' house instead (send driving directions well in advance). If either of those options are still out of your price range, arrange to have welcome baskets with treats and beverages delivered to guests' hotel rooms shortly after they arrive.
Photo Credit: Jayd Gardina Photography
Guests' jaws will drop (and not in a good way) if you book every morning, noon and night of their weekend itinerary, barely alloting enough time for them to change outfits in between events. Although you might have the best intentions and want to treat guests to lots of enjoyable activities, they will only see an exhausting schedule ahead of them.
Your Solution: Limit yourself to a few, well-chosen events (perhaps one per day). Give guests what they truly want: Time to spend as they wish catching up with friends they haven't seen in a long time, relaxing by the pool, or enjoying some R&R with their spouse. Downtime is essential—both for them and for you.
Photo Credit: Hoffer Photography
On the flip side, you'll regret it later if you plan absolutely nothing during your wedding weekend. Guests will assume you're ultra-busy with wedding tasks and plan day trips of their own. With no scheduled events, you might have a hard time tracking down loved ones when you do want to spend time with them.
Your Solution: Again, plan one optional get-together for each day. Also feel free to encourage your parents to host their own events for relatives and their friends. There’s no rule saying everyone has to always be together as one big group—parents can plan their own soirée while you take your entourage out on the town.
Photo Credit: Hoffer Photography
DIY projects might save you money, but some (e.g. baking and making your own floral arrangements) must be done the night before—or worse, the day of the actual wedding. Trust us: You won't want to waste an entire weekend slaving over homemade cupcakes while everyone else is out having fun! Some brides may even resort to asking wedding guests to help them pull off these DIY projects.
Your Solution: Don't take on any do-it-yourself tasks that are too time-sensitive or beyond your experience. It's worth it to hire a professional in order to give yourself that priceless time with friends and family. And don't let relatives take on any DIY tasks that close to the event, either—let them enjoy the celebrations as well.
Photo Credit: Evin Photography
Rock climbing might sound like fun for your group, but you could scrape up your arms. Paintball outings may lead to big, ugly welts and bruises on your face, neck, and other body parts (even if you wear protective padding). Playing in a softball or flag football game could cause someone to twist or break an ankle, sending you—or your groom—down the aisle on crutches.
Your Solution: Sit out during any adrenaline-inducing activities, even seemingly-harmless ones like Ultimate Frisbee. You never know if a freak collision will blacken your eye or break your tooth! Be ultra-cautious at all of your wedding weekend events (no matter what they may be), to keep yourself in perfect condition for your wedding day and, later, your honeymoon.
Photo Credit: Meg Baisden Photography