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How to plan a destination small wedding that is a immersive wedding weekend

1/09/2023

The best part of a destination small wedding is that you get to dream up anything you want. The biggest trend for the past couple of years has been wedding weekends, not just planning a day, but an experience for your guests. A lot of people choose to plan small wedding so that they can spend more time with their close friends & family. Which is why so many couples choose to make it a destination immersive wedding experience. If you are already set on doing this for your wedding, but need some pointers we are here to help. Here is how to plan a destination small wedding that is an immersive wedding weekend.

  1. Select a location. Here are some top ones our past couples have chosen to do: Mexico, Palm Springs, Joshua Tree, Sonoma County, Mendocino, Mt. Rainer etc.
    • Select a location that has everything you are looking for. If you want to relax, go wine tasting and kayak down the Russian River Sonoma County is for you. If you want to relax by the pool, eat tacos and go sailing then Mexico sounds like a great option for you. If you love to rock climb or hike in the desert and stargaze Joshua Tree would be perfect for your destination small wedding.
  2. Select recommendations for guests to stay at. If you only have 15 guests think about renting a airbnb with enough space for everyone. If you have over 15 guests think about recommending airbnbs as well as hotels in a nearby radius to where the wedding is happening.
  3. Plan out the line up of events for the weekend and book them. Here are a list of ideas in case you need any to make it unique! Think about what you love and your guests then take these ideas and put your own twist on it!
    • Movie night- Hire a LED screen like Stellar XP and make a movie day or night for the welcome night for guests. Make a lot of homemade popcorn and enjoy a fun first night with your guests.
    • Hiking- Plan a sunset or sunrise hike for any place with a view! I recommend places by the ocean or any national park for one amazing hike!
    • Kayaking- Kayaking is great really in a lot of areas. I recommend places like Tahoe, Mendocino, Russian River and more! Book a lot of double kayaks and everyone can have a partner to chat with on the water.
    • Spa Day- Palm Springs and so many other places have amazing spas. Have everyone book their own spa apt around the same time and head out for lunch after in town.
    • Book a yacht or sailboat- I recommend this in SF and Mexico as well as anywhere with big cities and the ocean near it. Book a yacht at sunset sail with your guests and bring snacks or dinner aboard.
    • Cooking class- If you are going some place like Mexico or Italy etc. I would hands down hire a chef to come teach your guests to make a yummy meal and then all eat together.
    • Zip Lining- A lot of tropical locations have zip lining options for your guests as well as wine country! Eli and I have done this ourselves and loved zip lining in the redwoods at Sonoma Zip line Adventures.
    • Surfing & Paddle boarding- This one seems perfect for warmer climates to have your guests go out and either chill on the beach or go out in the water (San Diego & Hawaii come to mind)
  4. Make an itinerary for the weekend for your guests. I love when coupes have a wedding weekend mapped out for their guests and print it out for their guests to have in their invitation. Make sure to try to keep it to one or two things a day so guests have time to rest and enjoy the sights on their own too. I recommend hiring an artist to make your custom itinerary or finding one on Etsy you love.
    • Sarah Davis– Artist I recommend highly!
    • Etsy Example Link
    • Example itinerary:
      • Thursday night: Hike and star gaze in Joshua Tree at Cap Rock
      • Friday: Tram up to top of Palm Springs mountain for a hike in the woods and picnic lunch
      • Sat: Wedding Day in Joshua Tree park!
      • Sunday: Brunch and Spa day!
  5. Have a way to document it all. Of course we recommend hiring an amazing video/photo team to document it all for you, but we also recommend buying Kodak cameras or Polarids for your guests to document the experience from their point of view too.

Examples of wedding weekends we have documented: Claire and Alex Cancun Wedding

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