Hosting a pre-wedding activity can be both fun and help earn a little extra cash to put towards your wedding expenses. It is a unique way to provide some additional entertainment for your guests and is very similar to what professional events and do to help balance their budget. My husband has been involved with planning some of these activities and it can be quite fun. You can usually try out the activity at little to no cost if you let them know you are planning a larger event. So let’s take a look if this is something that makes sense for you and what is involved.
Does a Pre-Wedding Activity Make Sense?
A pre-wedding activity may only make sense if you have enough people that are interested. Here are some things to take into consideration when deciding if you are going to have one or not.
- Location: Will the wedding be in proximity to potential activities. You do not want to send you guests across town and if you are having your wedding in a rural location there may not be anything to do. If you are in a large city you should have plenty of options.
- Number of Guests: How large is your wedding and do you think your guests will be interested in participating. I would not recommend having a pre-wedding activity unless you think you can get at least 20 people to participate.
- Timing: You want to make sure that guests are able to go to the activity and still have time to freshen up before the wedding starts. If the wedding is early in the day this may not be possible.
- Arrival Times: If guests are arriving the day of the wedding they may not be able to make the event. If enough of the guests are coming in the night before or locals, it may make more sense.
- Date: Depending on the day of the week and time of the year, some activities might be more difficult to plan. You may have to get creative here to make it work.
The best place to start is to poll your guests and see if they would be interested. You may want to have a couple of ideas already in mind so that you can find out what is the most popular.
Pre-Wedding Activity Ideas
Depending on the time of the year and the location there are usually a number of options you can consider. Here are just a few ideas that you can take a look at.
- Golf: Golf is great because it usually starts early in the morning and a lot of people play it. If you have any golf courses in the area you can usually work something out. You can also consider something like Topgolf if you have one in your area.
- Fishing: Fishing is something that a wide range of guests can participate in and it also starts out early in the morning. If there is water nearby chances are that someone provides fishing trips. It makes more sense for ocean fishing because fresh water fishing has less people per boat and can be quite expensive.
- Guided Tours: Guided tours is probably the safest activity you can go with and it will attract guests of all ages. Everything from Segway’s to mopeds to trolleys could be an option.
- Wine Tasting: I love wine tastings but you do take the risk of losing a couple guests along the way and having a few guests show up feeling a little too good. It is still an option and I am sure you can negotiate a shorter tour.
- Local Attractions: The ones above are pretty common to most areas but you can also look for activities unique to your area. Everything from zip lining and skydiving to ice cream factories and petting zoos. Ask around and I am sure you can come up with something.
What does it take to Host the Activity?
- Partner with a company that can manage the activity and determine the cost. You should be able to negotiate a volume discount. To make money hosting the event you need to charge more than the event costs. If you get a volume discount you can charge regular price and keep the discount.
- Decide how much you are going to charge for the event and setup an event page. You can do this on your wedding website or through other services.
- Setup and send out an RSVP link. If you are collecting fees online you can have them pay directly through that link.
- When the event gets close send out all of the details so that the attendees know all the important details such as location, parking, costs, attire and the schedule.
- Make sure someone is available to accept any last minute payments and coordinate the event. This could be an extra task for your wedding planner or someone who is attending the event. You will most likely be paying for the entire event and then reimbursing yourself with the money you made from the attendees. So make sure that the coordinator is prepared to make the payment unless you have paid in advance.
Here are some tools that can help you manage your pre-wedding activity. You can go low tech when it comes to collecting money but you will want to have people RSVP and be able to access the details online. If you have a wedding website you may be able to accomplish some of this there but if not, these are all standalone tools to help.
- EasyPolls (www.easypolls.net): Allows you to create simple one question polls that you can easily distribute for free.
- Facebook Events: If most of your guests are on Facebook you can publish the even there and take RSVPs.
- Eventbrite (www.eventbrite.com): Eventbrite is a comprehensive event management tool. It is free unless you take payments for tickets using their services.
- Whoozin (www.whoozin.com): Looking for something simpler than Eventbrite? Check out Whoozin. It does not have all of the features of Eventbrite but is a simple way to setup an event and take RSVPs for free.
Hosting a pre-wedding activity is not for everyone but if it makes sense it can be a fun experience. I can speak from experience because I have showed up for a wedding and had to figure out something to do until it started. It mostly consisted of getting lost and stuck in traffic. That is why I think a pre-wedding activity is a great idea. You do not even have to make money on it. You can just do it to thank your guests for coming. It is definitely worth considering and I wish you the best.