A WEEKEND FILLED WITH SURPRISES AND UNIQUE EXPERIENCES
More and more of our couples are choosing to have weekend-long celebrations rather than just a oneday ceremony and reception. The extras typically include a Friday night dinner or cocktail party, and then a Sunday brunch after the wedding where guests can reminisce about the night before.
Often, our couples are leaving their hometown to have these weekends in places like France, Italy, Bali, the Philippines, Mexico and elsewhere. The welcome party and brunch are replaced by local and regional activities like a boat ride through Mexico City, a pizza party in Italy or a medieval celebration with jugglers, archery and stilt walkers in the French countryside.
In addition, our couples often surprise their guests throughout the weekend with things like treats on the shuttle rides and pillow gifts in the hotel room— who doesn’t like late night milk and cookies?
Beth Helmstetter, owner and creative director, Beth Helmstetter Events (Los Angeles)
Our clients like to do a full buyout of a hotel so all guests can stay in one place, creating a space for guests to really get to know each other and spend time together throughout a wedding weekend.
We plan fun activities and adventures throughout the weekend, like boat trips, golf outings, wine tasting and horseback riding classes, so guests can do fun things and create memories they will never forget. It’s not just about the wedding day any more; it’s about the whole wedding weekend experience.
Jesse Tombs, managing partner, Alison Events Planning & Design (San Francisco)
We have noticed a move away from the 100-plus guest numbers to more intimate ceremonies and receptions with just the closest family and friends in attendance, say only 20 or 30 guests. This is an instant way to ensure a great atmosphere, as everyone will know one another around the table.
Entertainment means more than just a band and DJ. Hire a fortune teller for the ladies loos or a characterful actor managing the coat check for a memorable guest experience that moves beyond the dancefloor.
Mark Niemierko, founder, Niemierko Events & Weddings (London)
We predict 2018 will be the year of the “Whimsical Wedding,” a breathtaking fusion of fairy-tale romance with the unimaginable—subtle madness in an elegant display of the whacky and wonderful.
Think charming trinkets hanging from trees, eye-catching food stations and creative balloon displays. This year we look forward to letting our creativity unfold, working with couples to bring to life their unique and quirky visions.
Festival weddings are on the rise and we recently designed one at a private residence in Scotland that featured indoor roller-skating at the reception, along with tipi glamping to host guests at the site.
Jessica Seal, director of events, Quintessentially Weddings (London)