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The Wedding Weekend

There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing your wedding venue. Will you stick close to the place you call home now, or head back to where one or both of you grew up? Will you travel abroad, or choose a destination that is central for most of your wedding guests? And just how many of your guests are going to have to travel, based on the venue you choose?

Some couples are lucky. They choose a location close to home, and the vast majority of their guests live near enough that getting there is easy. But in San Diego, many current residents are here from somewhere else. Which means that when two people pair up, they are often both from out of town—sometimes with families living on opposite sides of the country.

That can make things a little more difficult when the planning begins, because no matter where you choose to say your “I do’s,” it stands to reason that a bulk of your guests will be traveling to get there.

Whether you meant to plan a destination wedding, or that travel simply winds up being a factor of where you now live, weddings that involve so many guests trekking to wherever you’ll be can often present a bit of an opportunity; the chance to turn your wedding day into a wedding weekend.

Picture this: An entire boutique hotel or small resort at your disposal. Every room rented out by your guests, and events planned out the whole weekend long to bring the people you love most together.

A welcome dinner on Friday night, a day-of brunch Saturday morning, the wedding in the afternoon, a party all night, and some sort of local sightseeing excursion on Sunday.

Sure, all-inclusive resorts in Mexico have been facilitating these wedding weekends for decades now. And hotels like Tower 23 here in San Diego (with less than 30 guestrooms in total) have also zoned in on this market. But if you’re planning early enough, the option really exists with just about any small resort or hotel. If they host weddings, they probably already have a plan for booking out—and asking about your options could lead to a weekend you and your guests will be talking about for years to come.

Of course, you don’t have to completely book you destination of choice out. The bonus of doing so is that your wedding guests can truly enjoy themselves without fear of disrupting other hotel or resort guests in the process. But if you’ve fallen in love with a venue that is bigger than you could ever completely fill, talk to the events coordinator about what it would take to book your wedding guests all on the same floor. Or simply in the same area. And then consider booking the hotel restaurant or bar out for a few events meant to allow your guests to mingle and have a good time.

One of the big bonuses of a wedding weekend, as opposed to just a wedding day, is that it allows for you to have more time with your guests as well. Any bride will tell you that the wedding day goes by in a flash, and it never feels as though there is enough time to catch up with all your guests. But if you have an entire weekend, and several events, planned… there’s a much better chance you’ll walk away from that weekend feeling as though you got some true quality time with the people you love.

And of course, there are even more opportunities for pictures!