In Western culture, weddings are traditionally one-day events. Most people start with the ceremony, followed by photos, food and some kind of party. Your wedding guests arrive at the start and generally stay all day. But in many cultures, weddings can be multi-day affairs. Multi-day weddings often incorporate different customs and traditions, things that simply couldn’t be fit into one day.

When it comes to adventurous weddings and elopements, having a multi-day celebration is an option that more and more of my couples are considering.

A multi-day wedding is exactly what it sounds like: it’s a wedding that takes place over two or more days. Having that extra time gives you the flexibility to plan your wedding around the things you want to do, rather than around a tight schedule.

Think a multi-day wedding might be right for you? Here are some reasons to bite the bullet and go for it.

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You Don’t Have To Compromise What You Want

If you’re dreaming of an adventure wedding, the chances are you want to do it somewhere epic. There’s nothing more romantic than saying your vows at the top of a mountain or by a beautiful remote lake. However, while you and your partner may be able to reach these locations easily, your 80-year-old granny or 2-year-old nephew might have a harder time. While part of you really just wants to elope, you know you really want your family to be there with you. How can you combine the locations you love with the people you love?

Step in the multi-day wedding. On the first day, you can celebrate in a location everyone can reach, like a hotel or restaurant, and make your friends and family part of your wedding. The second day is then exclusively just for you and your partner. You can then climb that mountain or kayak down the river, and spend the day in a location that you both love.

This format also works if you want to visit two awesome locations that are too far apart to cover in one day. Maybe you want a mountain ceremony, followed by a party at your family’s holiday house a few hours away. Spreading your wedding out over a couple of days gives you a lot more time to visit several locations without feeling rushed.

Plan A Ceremony That’s More “You”

If you’re having a legal ceremony as part of your wedding, you may find yourself restricted by both the location and the format of the ceremony. A 70s courthouse may not be quite what you had in mind for your adventure wedding, and it’s a lot harder to add unique personal touches to a standardized legal ceremony.

That’s why many couples choose to do the legal ceremony on one day, and then have a full-blown adventure wedding the next. You can then have a second, more romantic ceremony when and where you want, and personalize the ceremony to really make it feel like “you”.

If you don’t fancy saying your vows in front of an audience, having a second ceremony the next day with just the two of you is also a good way of telling your partner everything you love about them in a much more private and intimate setting.

Adam & Michelle chose to sign the paperwork at home in Colorado and have a full-blown multi-day elopement adventure in the Italian Dolomites.

A couple hiking in a wedding dress and suit in the Dolomites. Photo by Wild Connections Photography

Get Those Epic Sunrise or Sunset Shots

You don’t have to be a photographer to know that sunrise (and sunset) are great times to take photos on the mountain. There is just something magical about the light at dawn and dusk, and it’s a sure way to have a wedding ceremony and photoshoot like no other.

Logistically though, planning a wedding ceremony at sunrise or sunset is difficult. You’ll either have to climb up a mountain very early in the morning, or climb down it very late at night—not a very enjoyable thing to do on your wedding day, let alone in a wedding dress.

If you’re wanting a sunrise or sunset ceremony, a multi-day wedding with an overnight stay in a mountain hut is the best way of getting those amazing sunrise shots without the effort. You can hike up, enjoy a wonderful hearty meal and a drink or two, before getting up early the next morning and sharing your vows as the sun rises. Then the day is yours to go on a wild adventure and celebrate your love for each other however it feels best for you.

Want a sunrise wedding on the mountain? Read Emma & Martin’s story and find out how they achieved the wedding of their dreams.

Have The Adventure You’ve Always Dreamed Of

You and your partner might be mad skiers, but there’s a good chance that not all your wedding guests are. And not everyone likes hiking up a mountain either. But with a multi-day wedding, you don’t have to compromise on adventure. You can simply have a wedding ceremony with all your friends and family, then take off the next day and have a wild adventure with just the two of you.

Some couples even choose to have a “day-after shoot”. This is a wedding photo shoot that takes place the day after your main wedding, allowing you to get photos of your wild adventure without worrying about leaving your guests alone for too long, keeping to a tight schedule or getting your outfits dirty. You can let loose and just have fun!

Emily & Johan couldn’t image getting married anywhere else than on the slopes, but there simply wasn’t time to ski on their wedding day. So the morning after we headed back up on the lifts for some fun on the slopes (and in the apres ski bars!).

My wedding packages always include options for multi-day weddings or “day-after shoots”. If you think a multi-day wedding is right for you, contact me today and start planning your wedding adventure.

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