How to Make Your Wedding the Most Memorable (Three) Day(s) of Your Life
Why spend a few hours celebrating your love when you could spend a few days? The newest trend in weddings trades the traditional one-day ceremony/reception setup for a weekend chock full of fun (we’re looking at you Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas!). While a weekend filled with dance-offs, elaborate musical numbers and multiple ceremonies might not be in your cards, there are plenty of ways to plan a special soiree that spans a few days.
Want to know how to show your guests the best time? We sought the advice of Brandi Eaton, planner extraordinaire and Director of Social Event Sales at the ultimate local wedding weekend venue, Normandy Farm, to learn how to craft a weekend everyone will remember.
Here’s how to turn your wedding into the most memorable weekend of your life:
Choose a versatile venue.
Picking a one-stop-shop venue can eliminate confusion and lower costs. “Having everything onsite—hotels, restaurants, indoor/outdoor venues, a bar—eliminates the need for costly shuttles and timing/logistical challenges,” says Eaton. Larger venues, like Normandy Farm, even have essential vendors like photographers, florists and bakers onsite too.
Offer an array of events.
By offering guests options like a pre-wedding BBQ and a post-wedding brunch you’ll build in ample time to catch-up with everyone you love. “The most popular event I’ve seen recently is the after party,” says Eaton. “Having an after-party gives you a little more time to catch-up with friends and family who’ve traveled a distance for your big day, in a relaxed setting.” For the full wedding-weekend treatment Eaton suggests including a rehearsal dinner or welcome reception (cocktail parties are a fun and low-key alternative), after party, and post-wedding brunch before bidding your guests farewell.
Plan for downtime.
A wedding consisting of nonstop fun with your nearest and dearest might sound like a dream scenario for you, but you should respect that not all guests will want to be hands-on all day, every day. Don’t expect guests to come to each and every event and always leave room for leisure time. Eaton even suggests, scheduling your own quiet, private time too. “We have historic cottages onsite that I always suggest for the bridal parties that provide a serene and intimate setting to escape to throughout the weekend,” she explains.
Distribute a detailed itinerary.
To keep things organized and avoid the onslaught of questions from guests, Eaton suggests setting up a detailed wedding website and distributing a printed itinerary, so your guests have everything they need to know in one spot. “You’ll want to include information about the hotel and rates, transportation, any events offered (include whether the costs are covered or at their expense), optional excursions, and dress code, so they can plan accordingly,” she says.
Surprise guests with special touches.
Give your guests coming from near and far a warm welcome by leaving them a goody bag filled with local treats. “A welcome bag filled with personalized items from the location are always a big hit,” says Eaton. “For a Philly area wedding you could include soft pretzels, Tastykakes, maybe even a Philadelphia magazine!”
With three ballrooms, three ceremony spaces, a hotel, on-site planner, photographer, floral shop and bakery, Normandy Farm is the perfect place to plan your wedding weekend. Schedule a tour here.This is a paid partnership between Normandy Farm and Philadelphia Magazine's City/Studio