Q: Any ideas for stretching out the fun of our wedding weekend?
A: Absolutely! Consider a destination wedding with a twist. As part of an “experiential” wedding, couples might invite guests for a weekend of hiking and “glamping” (glamorous camping), according to Jennifer Williamson of Jenny’s Cakes in Amesbury, MA. “It’s a great way to enjoy more time with your guests,” she says.
Chris Weber of The Black Tie Co. based in Portland, ME, says a big trend these days is a weekend summer camp wedding, held off-season (post Labor day), usually from mid-September through November. “You rent the entire campground and get all the overnight lodgings for your guests,” she explains, “plus the main lodge building for your reception, often with a commercial kitchen, and all the fun stuff like canoes, kayaks, and volleyball courts. Some large camps even have a chapel for the ceremony, or you can set up a wedding tent outside. And it’s yours for the entire weekend.
“This is not an expensive option,” Weber notes. “You still have to rent china, glassware, linens, etc., and you may want to rent chairs and other pieces. But the camp can be decorated as part of your theme.”
Q: How can I build an element of surprise into my wedding day?
A: There are small surprises, and then there are truly stunning surprises- like a completely surprise wedding! Renee Bouchard of Madeleine’s Daughter in Portsmouth, NH says she wanted to give her guests a more unique wedding experience, so she and her fiancée sent out invitations for an engagement party that turned out to be the actual big event. “Of course, family and out-of-town friends were told it was the wedding, and if we got a ‘No’ RSVP, we made sure those friends knew so they wouldn’t miss out,” says Bouchard. The wedding party hid upstairs in the historic Nesmith House in Lowell, MA, as guests arrived for the “party,” then astonished their friends as they descended the staircase in full wedding attire.
Photography: Longbrook Photography