A weekend staycation wedding – what’s not to love?

Mar 15, 2021 | Weddings

A weekend staycation wedding – what’s not to love?

The weekend wedding concept is going from strength to strength and will continue to do so in the coming years.  According to Brides magazine a massive 80% of US couples chose a 2-3 day wedding.

Similar to so many trends from the States,  I predict that, when we all the current restrictions are lifted,  us Brits will follow suit.  And you can understand why.  Well why have a 1 day wedding when you can make it 3?

After these long long months of us all being unable to go anywhere or spend time with friends and family.  What could be a better than the prospect of a weekend away and something really special to look forward to?

A weekend staycation wedding – an invitation no one in their right mind would refuse

Simply put it’s a fabulous excuse to have a short holiday with the added bonus of all the organisation being done by someone else and the icing on the cake there’s an epic celebration thrown in.

Your friends and family will simply love your wonderful invitation for a weekend away.  They might even use the opportunity to tag on a few days either side of the wedding weekend and spend time enjoying everything in the area surrounding your chosen venue.   It is the ultimate staycation.

For me it’s the very best of both worlds.  A wedding and a holiday all wrapped into one.  Ask yourself – why would you not accept such a wonderful invitation?

So let’s get down to the nitty gritty of weekend weddings.  From your guests point of view we’ve already established that’s it’s a wonderful invitation and opportunity but what about you, bride/groom.  The organiser.

weekend weddingPhoto credit : Kathryn Clarke-Mcleod Photography

The basics of weekend wedding planning

Extending it across an entire weekend means that you get to spend quality time with your guests and can savour every single minute.

Don’t let the planning become an overwhelming prospect.  As my clients know I’m a massive believer that all wedding planning should be fun and arranging your weekend wedding is no different.

Some exclusive use venues offer you the choice of a ‘dry hire’ whereby you can recruit all your own suppliers, wedding planner, caterer etc giving you the freedom to build your stay exactly how you want it.  Others provide everything ‘in house’.

Alternatively you may want to bring in a wedding planner who specialises in destination weddings.

Just be sure to stick to your guns and have your wedding the way you want it, sticking carefully to your budget, at a venue that you both love,  that’s available when you want it and offers what you want and that can accommodate all the people you love most in the world.

Staycation wedding

Possibly you had originally dreamed of a destination wedding abroad.  One of the positives we can draw from the last year or so is that by being unable to travel abroad we are appreciating more than ever the beauty of what we have under our noses here in the UK.

Weekend weddings incorporating a staycation have been the only option this past year but soon I believe that for many they will be the norm.  No more the destination wedding abroad more the stay wedding!

This will undoubtedly put more pressure on established venues that cater for weekend weddings.  So don’t delay if you have a favourite in mind get in and stake your claim.

Photo credit : Kathryn Clarke-Mcleod Photography

Weekend weddings – choosing the location

Which brings me neatly on to choosing the location for your weekend wedding.   This is straightforward if there is an area of the UK that you particularly love.  Somewhere you have spent holidays, possibly childhood links or a family connection or perhaps where you have you already spotted your dream venue.

But if this is not the case and the UK is a blank canvas be guided by your individual styles and hobbies.  Are you the outdoorsy energetic types or are you more the laid back go with the flow attitude types?

Remember too that by enlisting the services of a wedding celebrant you can have your wedding ceremony anywhere you want.  A wood, beach, garden of a holiday home you name it if it’s practically possible it can happen.

What is no doubt is that there will be somewhere perfect for you out there. Enjoy the searching and remember wherever it is, it definitely will become uniquely special and nostaligic to you as a couple and somewhere you are likely to want to return.

Finally from a practical perspective bear in mind where it is in relation to where you and the majority of your guests will be travelling from.  The closer and more conveniently located the easier it is for everyone to get to you and in this eco friendly world the smaller the carbon cost from travel.

weekend wedding

Choosing the venue for your weekend wedding

There are licensed and unlicensed venues specialising in weekend weddings aplenty appealing to many differing styles.  Country house, barn, festival or a city break.  Anything goes.

Highlight your key criteria, choose your style, prioritising what matters most to you both and then make a short list of those that match.   Work as a team, be organised, read all the views, listen to recommendations and enjoy it.

Once you have made your short list take off, on what will become, one of the most wonderful and important road trips together, visiting all the beautiful places you have picked.

Hosting your weekend wedding

Although you are the VIP guests of honour, even celebrities of this fabulous weekend you are also the hosts and responsible for how the weekend pans out.  Any event such as this needs a plan and some structure.

Your wedding ceremony and reception is the main event of course but it’s fun to have a low key ‘welcome’ party of sorts on the Friday evening with the emphasis on low key.

Trust me I have had a few brides and grooms looking a little worse for wear on their wedding days having over indulged with the excitement of it all the night before!

The timelines of the actual wedding day follow a similar pattern to other civil wedding ceremonies conducted by a wedding celebrant and are only dependent upon your chosen time frame.   In other words incredibly relaxed as there are no officialities or time restraints at all.

If however you have elected to use a Registrar there will be some official hoops you will need to jump through before they officiate your ceremony and you will need to stick to their rather rigid schedule.

On the final day after the sheer exhilaration and emotion of your wedding, the Sunday morning provides a moment of reflection for everyone.   What could be better than a debrief over a relaxed breakfast or possibly even a BBQ brunch before saying goodbye to old friends and doubtless some new.

weekend wedding

Photo credit : Kathryn Clarke-Mcleod Photography

I recall my own wedding – the whole day went past in a flash.  By having a weekend wedding you are creating an experience and memory not only for yourselves but for all those who attend.

I am not going to pretend that it takes a lot of planning and is likely to require a bigger budget depending on what level you want to take it but you won’t regret it.

By having that extra time together life long friendships will be forged, shared memories will be formed and your wedding will be an experience that none of you will ever forget.

Featured image credit: Heather Photography


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