Your wedding day will go so fast. You’ve probably heard it before, but well, here it is again.
Mine? No different. My partner and I were hitched in a hayshed about four hours from home, surrounded by loved ones. A very DIY-affair, we’d spent days in the lead-up rigging up foliage, bleaching and scrubbing decorative cattle skulls (was about as rough a job as it sounds), hand-writing signs and lugging around second-hand furniture we’d collected over the previous six months (yes, we’re suckers for punishment). So when it came time to finally sit down to dinner on the night of the wedding, we were ready to kick back, enjoy our closest friend’s company and EAT. Me especially, having been uncharacteristically careful with the ol’ diet in the weeks prior.
The thing is, so often at weddings we’ve attended, the meal is typically the time when the married couple get up and do the rounds. Rather than spending quality time with their very nearest and dearest, they quickly scoff their food so they can make their way around the tables and strategically chat to everyone. It’s a lovely gesture, but in reality, it’s exhausting and if we’re honest, it does feel a wee bit forced.
But, as we said, weddings go so fast. You’ve got a finite number of hours to try and catch up with a whole bunch of people. So it makes sense that people use mealtime to get those niceties in.
The alternative? There’s a few.
- Just allow people to come to you. Honestly, your guests understand that you’re in hot demand and will gravitate to you over the course of the day and night – even if it’s just a moment on the dancefloor. Just have a mental list of the very, VIPs (e.g. family, long-distance travellers) that you prob should make a beeline for at some point and let everyone else happen organically.
- Organise a recovery session the day after the wedding. This takes the pressure off needing to have proper catch-ups with everyone on the wedding day, as you’ll have a second chance to spend some quality time.
- Make a long weekend out of your wedding. Or, get married on a legit long weekend. It means you’ll have the opportunity to create a full experience for your guests (that they can opt into if they wish), with the potential for a pre and post wedding day get-together.
With a long weekend wedding comes a few considerations. The key theme is just to be a bit organised.
1) Check what’s happening in the region
If you’re getting married somewhere out of town where you and your guests will need to travel, make sure you check the local tourism board website to see if there are going to be any major events on your wedding weekend. Reason being, accommodation might be booked well in advance and resources like taxis, babysitters, hire companies etc. might be limited.
2) Get those invites out as early as you can
Accommodation is hot-property on long weekends so you want to give everyone ample time to book something. We’d suggest sending out a ‘Save the Date’ (digitally is fine) 9-12 months out if you can to encourage guests to secure accommodation. The full wedding details don’t need to be shared at this point – save that for the official invitation.
3) Make a full weekend out of the wedding
Make the most of the time with your loved ones by organising a pre or post (or both) wedding get-together. We love a recovery brunch BBQ the day after the wedding to hear the stories from the night before (funny moments, new romances forged, etc). And if your venue was BYO alcohol, it’s the perfect opportunity to share any leftovers with your guests. Here are our tips on how to nail a wedding recovery party.
Photography by WedShed photographer, Alex Marks Photography.