Making The Best Of A Weekend Wedding
You’re in, you’re out, and you’re exhausted when Monday rolls around. No time to linger for a long weekend, the spreadsheets are calling, being away from your cubicle for too long makes you antsy. You are the weekend wedding guest, and we’re here with some advice to help take the pressure off. Relax, you’re going to have a blast.
The Aim. You have to attend a wedding. Heck, you want to go, but sadly your job or other commitments don’t afford you the luxury of turning your trip into a short vacation. But two days, even with long distance travel involved, can be relaxing and fun. Make it your aim to create such a weekend. It’s a matter of mind set. If you say to yourself, “I’m going to have fun,” rather than “How am I going to do this?” you’ll be off to a great start.
Planning. Making detailed plans before you leave for the wedding can help you make the most of your time off. These plans should include ordering and sending a wedding gift so you won’t be lugging packages onto the plane with you. Another point to consider is car rental. If you plan a lot of activities during the trip, or if the hotel and the wedding locations are distant from one another, a car may be in order. But if you plan to stick close to your hotel, save the cash, don’t book the wheels.
The Place. A couple of weeks before you head for the wedding, contact the place you’ll be staying. Ask them to send you brochures about the hotel or inn as well as information on activities in the area. Also ask for a local events calendar. Pore over the information when it arrives. Cross-reference it with the wedding obligations and figure out the free time you’ll have once you arrive. Make any reservations required for particular activities. If you’re traveling solo, you may want to reserve tickets for two or more if you think you’ll be hooking up with old friends. The more you know about your destination beforehand, the more time you’ll be able to spend enjoying yourself rather than figuring things out.
The Friends. If you’re sure some old friends will be attending the wedding, call them beforehand and make definite plans to hook up. Again, make sure there are no wedding event conflicts before scheduling a time to meet. The best time to meet might be on the morning after the wedding. You’ll have reconnected at the reception and will want some quality talking time — not to mention the fact that you’ll want to recap the wedding.
Night Flight. If the wedding begins in the morning, it may not be practical to take the red-eye flight the night before. See if you can take the Friday off, it’ll make life so much easier. Should this be impossible, then the night flight it is. If you have friends in the area who are planning to attend the wedding, consider making arrangements to travel together. Time will zip by if you have traveling companions. Think of your weekend as beginning the moment you set foot outside the office door. If you do have traveling companions, arrange to meet them for a drink or coffee before the flight, either at the airport or a mutually convenient place. If you’re flying by yourself, stop for a treat on the way to the airport: your favorite coffee drink, a frozen yogurt.
At the airport, try to carry your luggage on, especially the outfit you plan to wear to the wedding. And try not to check any of the essentials. You’d hate to show up at the reception in your Ungaro gown and your Reeboks! Request an exit row on the plane for the extra legroom. These seats are released only at the gate upon check in, and can’t be booked in advance. Don’t bring your laptop and files. Watch the in-flight movie instead. If you must bring a portable electronic device, make it your CD player. Remember, you’re on a mini-vacation.
Your Weekend Home. Once you arrive at your destination hotel, unpack your bags and hang up your wedding outfit right away. Put the rest of your clothes into the dresser drawers; it’ll make you feel more at home if you’re not constantly yanking things out of your suitcase. Make sure you didn’t forget to pack anything you really needed. If your clothes were wrinkled during the trip, call housekeeping to request an iron and an ironing board. If we’re talking about a suit or dress shirt here, call the valet or front desk to see how long it would take to get the items pressed.
At The Spa. If the local activities don’t really appeal to you, make your weekend into a spa-like retreat. Of course, just when you have your spa experience depends on the time of the wedding. When you “begin to spa,” be sure to use all the hotel facilities, starting with room service. Many larger hotels offer a massage service so call them up and book an hour. If the hotel offers gym and sauna facilities, take advantage of them, and make sure to take at least an hour by the pool (using sunscreen of course). For women, a pedicure and manicure are definitely in order. Back in your room, don’t feel guilty about taking a nap, but ring the front desk for a wake-up call before you drift off. If it’s an evening wedding, a cat nap will pick you up for later. During some of this spa time, think about things you might say if you plan to give a toast. Mutter your toast out loud for practice — don’t worry, people will just think you’re meditating (or insane).
Living It Up. After a relaxing spa day, you should be ready to live it up a little. This is another decision turning point. Make up your mind that you’re going to dance and indulge. You have a comfortable place to sleep and no work the next day (in fact, the spa will be there tomorrow too!), so have fun. Make yourself ask at least one person to dance, and try to meet at least three new people. People are there to have fun too, so they’ll be happy when someone takes the initiative.
The Next Day. Sleep in late on the morning after the wedding. When you wake up, order room service. You may have the option of ordering breakfast the night before. If so, take advantage of the offer. If you haven’t had enough of your spa or pool, take another run at it. Later, meet up with those friends we mentioned earlier and recap the wedding and old times. Plan your trip home so that you arrive in plenty of time to have a good night’s sleep. If you head home too late, chances are the last afternoon of your little holiday will be spent worrying, and as we both know, you decided to leave worry behind once you stepped out of the office on Friday.