Whether couples are renting out an entire wedding venue for the weekend (like the weekend wedding venue Sky Acres, a former Girl Scout Camp in Washington, Vermont), or having guests rendezvous in a more popular tourist spot like Newport, Rhode Island, they are often opting for weekend-long wedding celebrations, and for good reasons, too.
Longer celebrations mean more quality time with guests — particularly those who are traveling from afar to visit for the weekend — and of course, more awesomely unique wedding activities. At DIY Wedding Mentor, we're seeing clients come up with fun activities for their wedding guests starting as early as Wednesday or Thursday before the wedding, and heading right through Sunday.
Wedding groups are doing everything from going apple picking to soaking up the sun on the beach to canoeing down rivers to having clam bakes to enjoying a simple pot luck picnic in the park. Each idea seems to be better than the next, and I'm sharing my personal favorites from this year.
1. Go river tubing with your wedding guests
Yes, this is as awesome as it sounds. For the more adventurous groups, river tubing is a great all-day activity that many people enjoy, and it can be an exciting way to kick off your weekend wedding festivities. Encourage guests to pack their bathing suits and spend the afternoon letting their cares drift away as they float on down a lazy river. You can top the excursion off with a casual picnic afterward where everyone can spend some great quality time together catching up before the big day.
To get some more ideas for a group tubing trip for your wedding, take a look at Madison River Tubing, which does tubing for wedding parties in Bozeman, Montana.
2. Welcome wedding guests with a beer, wine, or food tasting
Organizing a beer, wine, or food tasting can be a great way to connect guests to the local foodie culture while providing you with a casual and relaxed environment to meet and greet everyone. Since people often enjoy seeing what food and drinks originate from the area when traveling, this is an easy way to help them maximize their trip while sharing the local gastronomic culture with them.
To get some more ideas about sharing the local brews with your wedding guests, take a look at the Bolt Party Bus for brewery tours in San Diego, California.
3. Play team games with your wedding guests
There’s something about a good old-fashion game of wiffle ball or tag football that brings strangers together immediately. Instantaneously, people who have never met are giving one another high fives and cheering each other on — talk about some wedding team spirit! Organizing a game at a local park or at your wedding venue can be a great way to set the tone for a fun weekend ahead.
To get some more ideas for team games to play at your wedding, take a look at wedding games on Pinterest, and check out Rock One Prints to customize t-shirts for the games that can also double as wedding favors.
4. Have a group yoga session for your wedding guests
If your group leans more toward zen activities, yoga can be an amazing way to start your wedding day. Before diving into getting ready, hair, makeup, and all that good stuff, take a few minutes to relax in the morning, get your meditation on, and set the stage for you to soak in all the goodness that’s ahead. And a group yoga session can help make sure your guests are relaxed, too, ensuring your day stays drama free.
To get some more ideas for group yoga classes before your wedding, take a look at Unique Yoga Events in New Jersey.
5. Organize a group boat ride
If your wedding is near a lake or ocean, a group boat ride is a fun way to get everyone mixing and mingling — confined spaces with beautiful scenery do that well. You may consider renting a large party boat or organizing a ride on a boat that does one or two hour cruises in the area. This can be a fun way to kick off the party when guests arrive early in the weekend, or a festive way to end the party on Sunday. Just make sure to bring some Dramamine for any guests who don’t quite have their sea legs.
To get some more ideas for organizing a boat ride for your wedding weekend, take a look at Lake Tahoe Cruises in Nevada.
This post originally appeared on Bustle.com.