Post # 1
We would love to have a wedding that lasts all weekend for anyone who wants to stay and celebrate with us. There would of course be no obligation for anyone to spend a whole weekend with us. There would be a regular ceremony and reception lasting the normal amount of time, but everyone would be invited to stay longer if they want to and hang out with us, play games, eat/drink/etc.
Our friends had a wedding like this and rented out a summer camp for their wedding. We love this idea and may end up doing something similar, but I wanted to brainstorm and see if there were other ideas we should consider. I’m a little nervous about replicating their wedding. Not that I would care, but I wouldn’t want them to feel like we copied their wedding. That might be a totally silly concern but it is what it is. Either way I still want to explore all options.
We live in Philadelphia and most of our family/friends are nearby, so we’d like to keep it local, within an hour or two of Philadelphia.
Post # 2
I haven’t been to one but I absolutey LOVE the idea of a summer camp wedding! Just make sure that you are very clear that the wedding itself is only one day, but that guests are welcome to hang out for the weekend if they’re so inclined.
I did attend a wedding once as a guest with my old roommate that was held at the rooms parents’ property in the Okanogan. The wedding was only one day but everyone was invited to camp out all weekend on the property. It was super fun and I imagine it would have been a total blast had I known anyone lol
Post # 3
- Wedding: September 2020 - Summer Camp!
Hey, I’m near the same area, so I’d love to hear any camps you’ve found/the one your friend used since we’re going the same route! I haven’t had tons of luck looking in southeast PA.
I’ve heard of people using VRBO and renting a cabin, so that could be an option…there are some options in the Poconos. Or a lodge. Maybe a bed and breakfast could also work if people are willing to rent it out.
You could also consider a beach house and do it in southern Jersey, but I’ve had some trouble finding places that seem large enough. The state parks in DE have a few places that have cabins on site (including Cape Henlopen or one of the ones in Rehoboth if you want a beach wedding). I also looked into the Virden Center in Lewes, which is a retreat on the water.
I found a a nature center in DE that has a lodge with 2 dorms, but I’m not sure how comfortable others would feel sharing a giant room with people.
Post # 4
I feel like this is one where you’d really have to know your guests. I wouldn’t attend the whole weekend. I would just attend the ceremony/reception. I would venture to guess all my friends and family for the most part would feel the same way.
If you’re going to rent out a summer camp or pay for a bunch of activities, etc. I would definitely make sure you’d have enough interest before booking.
Also, would you pay for all of it? Would you expect them to pay for their accomodations, food, etc for the rest of the weekend besides your wedding? I feel like that might get awkward or weird if you have to collect money from family and friends.
Just things to think about.
Post # 5
moissamight : Oh cool! We should get in touch and share info. I haven’t even really started yet, just got engaged this weekend and today is the first day I’m even looking at venues. Our friends got married at Camp Thompson in Carlisle PA but they now don’t allow any alcohol and are very strict about that, so I don’t think it’s an option for weddings anymore unless you’re planning a dry wedding. The other one I’m interested in is called Camp Starlight, about 3 hours north of Philly. It looks gorgeous but it’s almost more of a traditional wedding venue, rates start at $150/person but it includes overnight accomodations for one night, lunch on Saturday, ceremony/cocktail hour/reception Saturday night, and breakfast on Sunday. So for all of that, $150/person is actually not bad. The price doesn’t include alcohol but they will provide bartenders and mixers, no photographer, florist, band/dj etc so those are all extra expenses to consider.
beevincent18 : We will definitely have to make sure we know the interest level. At the very least, we know a lot of our friends would be into it, so even if it’s not all 200+ guests, probably 30-50 would stay overnight with us and keep the party going. I would like to make it so that we pay for everything all weekend. I think if we can’t make that happen, we probably won’t do it or it will be more of an informal word-of-mouth just letting people know that we’re staying for the weekend if they want to join us. I agree it would be awkward inviting people to a weekend wedding with an expectation that they stay but pay their own way.
Post # 6
- Wedding: September 2020 - Summer Camp!
If you want a more low-key camp wedding, look into Camp Dark Waters, which is about 40 min from Philly. It’s 1k to rent, and $15pp for those who stay the day, $22 for those who stay 1 night, and $40 for the weekend. It’s great how flexible they are in willing to meet your needs (so you only have to pay extra for people who are actually staying). This doesn’t include any meals, but at least chairs/tables are included, and the director sort of serves as the day-of coordinator. Definitely add it to your list if you end up going with a summer camp!
Post # 7
We did something like this! We had a farm that let us DIY most of it. We didn’t have people stay on site, but we served dinner and drinks the day before for all, plus lunch and dinner the day of the wedding, and a brunch the day after and then had a few friends stay there with us for several days. It meant we got to spend WAY more time with people than otherwise, which was lovely. I think everybody enjoyed it! Plus team baseball!
Not everybody came to the whole weekend or all the events (which was fine!) but enough came to several of them that we got to spend a more meaningful period with everybody which was important to us (becaues the idea of three hours with everybody we love made me very sad, especially since I have moved often and so my friends and family are all spread out.)
Post # 8
- Wedding: January 2020 - Germany
My sister did something similar this past summer. She had a pretty DIY wedding and hired out a glamping site from Friday midday til Sunday. On Friday a group of us were there decorating the place, had a meal together in the evening and stayed the night.
Day of the wedding bridal party got ready together, church for the ceremony and back to the site for the meal/reception (they had a bar, disco and hired out fairground games/stalls and a bouncy castle – it was a hot July day) and approx 12 people stayed over a second night. On Sunday everyone helped to clear up (after a full English breakfast at the local pub). Best weekend ever 😀
If you want to do a full weekend go for it 😀
Post # 9
I’ve been to lots of weddings like this! We had a domestic destination wedding in a lodge and most of our guests stayed in the same lodge Thursday-Sunday which was really fun. We hosted a welcome event Thursday night, but all other hanging out happened organically since everyone was under the same roof.
This weekend I went to another domestic destination wedding where again, most guests were coming from out of town. We were all staying in different places this time but the bride and groom rented out a beach house which they basically had open for all guests all weekend. They hosted a pizza night on Thursday, wedding Friday, and then everyone kind of just showed up and hung out at the house/beach all day Saturday before leaving town Sunday. It was really fun!
For both this wedding and my wedding there was either a whatsapp of facebook messenger group where the bride/groom/really anyone were all in touch about who was hanging out where, which probably encouraged things along as well.
Post # 10
I went to a wedding like this and loved it!!
Post # 11
DoeEyes : I am going to be honest and say weddings like this always make me feel obligated to stay the weekend whether I want to or not.
Post # 12
j_jaye : Hmm, thanks for that feedback. Maybe we will just make sure the weekend is more of an after party invite. Normal invite for ceremony and reception, with a separate invite for the weekend. I never feel obligated to go to the after party at a wedding so that should help separate the two and help people understand that staying for the weekend is totally optional and not “part” of the wedding necessarily.
Post # 13
We did a full weekend. We had our wedding at a seaside inn in Maine. We hosted a lobster bake Friday night and then had the ceremony/reception on Saturday (with an afterparty on site). The inn included breakfast both Saturday and Sunday to anyone that stayed there. We ended up with around 135 attend the wedding, 90 attend the Welcome Dinner and over 80 stay on site both nights. We were blown away by the amount of people that wanted to make a weekend out of it. The inn actually filled to capacity so we had at least 10 people stay the full weekend in different accomodations.
Post # 14
- Wedding: August 2018 - Location
j_jaye : Same, no desire to participate but I feel like I have to come up with an excuse/reason why I wouldn’t attend all of these extra events.
Post # 15
I think it sounds so fun! Especially like someone else said, friends tend to be spread out all over the region/country so a wedding can be like a reunion for everyone.
mainebride092018 : would you mind sharing or messaging me the name of the hotel? I’m starting to put together ideas in New England and it sounds amazing!