I found this great article in an old Martha Stewart Weddings that I thought I would share with you…

Since most weddings these days are more about the entire weekend, than the day itself, it seems like the organizers have to come up with different ways of keeping guests entertained. Here are some of Martha’s tips for keeping the wedding weekend stress free for the planners, while still fun and relaxed for your guests…

Welcome

-Set the tone for a weekend wedding and let guests know what events lie ahead by hanging welcome packages on the doors to their hotel rooms. The gift box above, hung from a ribbon includes an itinerary of events and a map of how to get from one to the next. It also contains information about the area, such as a list of restaurants, interesting sites, places to shop and twenty-four-hour drugstores. A package like this is easy to assemble. You can download maps and type other information on the computer in advance. Toss in a disposable camera, a bottle of water, plus any other little extras you like.

-A typical wedding weekend might go something like this: guests arrive Friday afternoon or evening and are welcomed at a cocktail reception or rehearsal dinner by the couple and their parents; the ceremony and reception take place on Saturday; then everyone departs on Sunday following a farewells brunch for the newlyweds. In addition, the couple might have additional, more casual activities such as a volleyball game or guided tour of local landmarks planned. Couples should allow some free time for guests to relax and do as they please.

-It’s important that pre-wedding parties or dinners not detract from the main event. If the reception will be a formal dinner, you might plan a casual barbecue for a rehearsal dinner that includes all guests.

-A day-after breakfast hosted by a relative or a friend, ends the weekend on a sweet note and allows the bride and groom to spend more time with their guests. Food should be uncomplicated; pair homemade items that can be made ahead of time with store-bought extras. Cookies and candies are easy for guests to take for the trip home.

Bottom line…keep your guests happy by giving them some direction. But, don’t go so overboard that all of the other extras take away from the main event. When in doubt, go for activities that are casual and relaxed.

All from Martha Stewart Weddings, Winter 2005