Besides bonding with your partner, the goal of wedding planning is to iron out all the details so you can enjoy your big day as it unfolds. While planning your ceremony and reception is often the first thing that comes to mind, the social atmosphere you create can define the wedding experience.
By incorporating social activities and events prior to the big day, you can offer your guests a chance to meet and forge new relationships. We’ve outlined a list of fun wedding week activities to ensure everyone walks away with new memories, new friends, and a renewed sense of community. These activities are designed to help everyone in your wedding enjoy the celebration, from the day they arrive to the final hours of the reception.
Brewery, winery, or bar crawl
There’s no better way to encourage everyone to let loose and have fun than a self-led brewery, winery, or bar tour. Doubling as a way to show off your wedding location, you can get your guests talking by gathering them at your favorite spot for an evening drink. You can even spice up the evening by ending the night at a dance-friendly bar or club.
Local business scavenger hunt
Consider organizing a scavenger hunt focused on local businesses. By bringing your guests together at the best bookstores, restaurants, cafés, exhibits, museums, and shops where you’re getting married, you can create a relaxed environment where everyone can explore, chat, and purchase souvenirs. Most importantly, you’ll be supporting small businesses in the area.
Life update slideshow party (best for smaller groups)
Bringing together a group of people who haven’t seen each other in years, or ever? Break through awkward introductions by asking each person to present their lives to the audience. The activity is simple: Each person creates a slideshow that summarizes their past few years (or entire life) and presents it to the group in a set amount of time. While the idea may sound daunting, a simple slideshow only takes a few minutes to create, and the outcomes are often hilarious, touching, and the perfect icebreaker for reacquainting old friends and new friends alike.
Tip: For an added bonus, have each guest prepare a “walk-up song” that they’ll play while walking to the stage for their slideshow presentation.
Multicultural potluck party
Bring together everyone involved in your wedding with a cross-cultural potluck. This is where each person brings an item or snack that represents a part of their culture they love most, such as a family favorite, an ethnic snack staple, an item from somewhere they’ve traveled to, or a food cherished by one of their favorite communities. People from different parts of your lives will be able to mix, mingle, and befriend one another.
Group river rafting, hiking, boating, or biking
Take your celebration into nature by organizing a time and place to meet at an outdoor adventure spot nearby. For starters, you can plan a rafting trip (if there’s a river nearby), a hiking trip (if there’s a mountain nearby), a boating trip (if there’s a lake or ocean), or a biking trip (for cities and towns without natural lakes, oceans, or mountains nearby).
The simplest things are timeless. Whether there’s a free day in your wedding week or you only have an afternoon to plan something before the ceremony, the easiest way to bring your guests together before the celebration is to set a date and time for a shared meal.
Tip: Brunch caters the most toward easy-going conversation, the merging and lingering of social groups afterward, and the option to add in a little party with mimosas.
Hired tour or activity
If you feel there’s already enough planning to do between the ceremony and the reception, you can opt for a tour or activity led by a local organization. Consider winery tours, brewery tours, food and restaurant tours, walking tours (if your wedding takes place in a city or tourist destination), adventure tours (such as hot air-ballooning, snorkeling, hiking, ziplining, skydiving), chocolate-making tours, coffee-roasting tours, or nature walk tours. Depending on your budget, you can select a date and time for the tour and share the booking information with anyone who wants to attend.