I was so glad when my wedding ended, said NO PERSON EVER. Even if you were hella stressed leading up to the wedding, post-wedding depression is a very real thing. Just google it and you’ll find oodles of articles on the topic and how people dealt with it. Me, personally, I cried. As I laid in bed with my new husband and as soon as I opened my eyes the next morning. The only saving grace that delayed the full blown depression was that we had an entire week in Cancun, Mexico ahead of us. However, what if you don’t have a fabulous excursion or trip planned? How can you make your wedding magic last even longer? Our solution: Turn your wedding DAY into a wedding weekend festival.
You’re already planning a massive party that’s going to dominate an entire week of your life! Between the prep, errands, and other obligations – that week is spoken for. So why not pepper in a few other festivities?! Stretching out your wedding weekend can be as luxe or casual as you’d like. So many venues have lodging on site, or hell, pitch some tents and go full blown festival!
Here is a list of ideas for your wedding weekend festival. In addition, find the local vendors who can help you pull off your multi-day wedding!
Pre-Wedding Party Ideas
Whether it’s a poolside cookout, or a rooftop soiree, invite your guests to join you for cocktails and mingling a few days before the wedding! This idea can also take the form of a really informal rehearsal dinner as opposed to limiting that dinner. This is a really fun way to have some hands-on activities or games planned so that people can break the ice and kick the weekend off right!
Rehearsal Dinner + Cocktail Reception
Why not tack on another few hours after the dinner at the bar, or get a couple more kegs so everyone can keep hanging out the night before the wedding!? Yea, you want to be well rested and feel your best for the next day – but let’s be real. You won’t be sleeping much that night anyway! Think about the people who are traveling from out of town. The more opportunities your people have to spend time together the more they will appreciate it!
Health + Wellness Retreat
It’s easier than ever to arrange for a fitness instructor, mobile salon and even IV therapist to come to your home or hotel rooms to help you get ready for your wedding day! You can also book out salons or spas with your party for those guests who want to join you! Hell, you might want to hire some health and wellness pros to come the day AFTER the wedding to pump some vitamins and hydration into your system!
DIY Activities Brunch
If you’re DIY’ing anything for your wedding, this is a great way to get some extra hands on deck while spending time with your people! Make your table arrangements, favor cards or whatever decor needs for your wedding, or, hire a DIY party service! You can have fun crafting with your gang. Make it pot-luck or catered.
See the Local Sights
There is so much to do right in your own communities! Pedal tours, boat rides, walking tours, museums, bar hopping, rock climbing, ice-skating… I could go on and on! Just check out what’s happening in your town and add it to your itinerary!
Post Wedding Party Ideas
This is more like a wedding weekend festival for just the couple, but it’s an amazing way to keep those wedding vibes alive! Check out some of the photographers in our directory that offer adventure sessions after your wedding. It’s usually within a couple of weeks after your wedding. You select the adventure, the photographer accompanies you both for the day. They will document the entire day that you two spend together – just the two of you. It’s intimate. It’s romantic. It’s an experience unlike anything you’ll have on your actual wedding day. Hike a mountain. Journey through the jungle. Scale ruins and relics in far away places. Take a mini-moon with your photographer and get ready to feel the love!
Whether it’s in the woods, by the beach or glamping – the whole idea of pulling up RV’s, tents or crashing cottages is a yes in my book. This is the easiest way to keep the wedding magic alive all weekend. It’s already planned and guests know that they are there for the entire weekend to party hardy. Check with your venue, too, as you may be able to make this overnight, weekend idea happen right on site!
Living in Upstate NY we are privy to all of the seasons. Lucky us! This means we can soak up all of what the seasons have to offer for your wedding! Dive into the seasonal activities in your area with groups of guests in your wedding! A group tubing or skiing trip in the winter time! Or a boat ride and beach cookout in the summer time.
So this is the easiest way to have a wedding weekend festival. Travel! You can go to a tropical destination (like I did) or keep it closer to home but just far enough that you’ve got to stay a couple of nights. You can pack so many of the ideas in this blog into your destination wedding weekend. Personally, we took a group excursion the morning of the wedding, then all piled onto a bus for another 7 days on the beach at an all-inclusive resort! We were able to share so many more experiences with our inner circle than we ever would have if we tied the knot here at home. Check out the travel agents in our directory to help you plan this big trip!
At this point you may think I’ll come up with any reason to have a party surrounding my wedding – and you’re right. 😂 Hear me out, though. The day after the wedding why not host a small brunch or make a pot-luck or BYO style picnic to send off the happy couple!? If you’ve DIY’ed a lot and have a lot of post-wedding cleaning to do, you’re going to be together, anyway! If you’re too hungover to hang in the earlier part of the day, consider gathering with your inner circle for a more intimate pizza party or cookout!
Find all of the vendors you need to pull off your wedding weekend festival right in our directory! Don’t forget to sign up for our Indie Edit Monthly Email club to get advice on planning your wedding, finding your wedding pros, as well as discounts to our upcoming events and merch! Don’t miss out on your daily dose of wedding inspo! Follow us on the socials and interact with every post so you are always seeing more!
@upstateindieweddings Instagram and Facebook ! Photos by cambriecreationsphoto featuring A.P. Bridal wedding gowns.