At Extraordinary Days, we plan many weddings with couples who are from different parts of the world (see our international brides and grooms service). Because of this, many couples we work with want to extend their celebrations into multi-day weddings so their guests have a chance to get to know each other and also so that they can visit with friends and family they may not get to see very often. After planning many of these, I’m convinced that everyone should extend their wedding beyond one day because, it’s true, a wedding day does fly by. So, why not stretch and savour it?
Here are a few ways you can extend your wedding beyond the traditional 24 hours!
1. Have a rehearsal or welcome dinner
There are no rules for “rehearsal dinners” anymore. On the evening before your wedding, host a dinner for your bridal party, close family, or all guests. Have a ceremony rehearsal or don’t. Choose a pub or a formal setting. Just use the evening before your wedding to build excitement for the big day to come!
2. Have an “activities day”
Host a day for only traveling or all guests to choose activities to partake in. From shooting in the English countryside, cooking classes, English wine and cheese pairing, or interactive afternoon tea talks, there is so much that England can offer your friends and family. This is my personal favourite when you have guests traveling to your wedding location because it gives everyone a chance to recover from jet lag, experience the UK, and get to know each other before your wedding day!
3. Choose a wedding venue with a hire period that is longer than 24 hours
Extend your wedding by exploring venues that can be hired for more than 24 hours. Move in and make a wedding venue yours for a whole weekend to really make your wedding experience last. Try Bruisyard hall for a rustic affair, Whickham House for an elegant marquee setting, and Annhoe House for butler service in a unique atmosphere.
4. Host a post-wedding hog roast or BBQ
Having a post-wedding hog roast or BBQ is a great way to keep the party going and can be cost effective! Just make sure it starts late enough for guests to “recover” from the evening before or you may have quite a lot of no-shows! Allow a minimum of £25-25/person (food only) in your budget for something like this.
5. Find the perfect hotel
Being on a budget doesn’t always mean you can’t extend your wedding day. If you have, for example, 100 guests coming, find a hotel with 40-50 rooms where breakfast is included. Hold a small family dinner the night before the wedding and breakfast the day after the wedding (included in the room rate!) the day after the wedding and you have a wedding stretched across three days! The Olde Bell in Berkshire and Orchardleigh in Somerset are both excellent options for this.