While some might not associate a typical wedding with exhilarating activities, many adventure-loving couples in the Southwest embrace the opportunity to include some exciting escapades in their celebration. After all, getting married is embarking on one of the most thrilling adventures in life!
Due to the pandemic, many folks are ready to get out, dust off the cobwebs, and have some good, old-fashioned fun. If you’re thinking about planning an adrenaline-charged wedding experience, here are a few ideas to consider when celebrating with your partner and guests.
Take a hike.
There’s nothing quite like sunshine and fresh air to get people in the mood to party. Matt Campbell, founder of My Wedding Songs, suggests a brisk hike: “A great way to add excitement and adventure to your wedding day is to have a morning hike. Many local parks offer less strenuous hikes for all ages. If you are avid hikers, couples could also plan scenic hikes for guests with the same abilities. Both easy and difficult hikes could be offered with the couple splitting in two so that guests get a chance to choose.”
Embrace fun and games.
Group activities serve as an excellent way to break the ice, especially when you add in some fun challenges and a bit of light-hearted competition. “Construct a game like a scavenger hunt where they have to interact and figure out the clue,” proposes Jamie Chang, destination wedding planner and owner of Mango Muse Events. “Or surprise them upon arrival with a costume or accessory to wear, amping up the fun. You could have an activity during the reception where they participate, be silly or explore something or somewhere different.”
Get a birds’ eye view.
Few things are as thrilling as taking flight in a chopper, especially in an area with scenic surroundings. Lizzy Liz Chan, wedding planner and designer at Lizzy Liz Events, recommends: “Get married at a hangar where they specialize in helicopter tours. Not only do you get to enjoy a helicopter ride for romantics, but you can also come in a helicopter for your grand entrance. Add an unlimited flight option for the reception for your guests to enjoy the views!”
Keep it low-key.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with a casual day of adventuring (and partying) planned with a small group of your nearest and dearest. “If you are an adventure seeker, consider an evening of climbing, a gorgeous sunset on fire, and a low-key grill out with music and games with their family and friends,” urges JoAnn Gregoli, owner of Elegant Occasions by JoAnn Gregoli. “That’s the beauty of a small wedding – you and your partner keep the “traditions” you love, and ditch the ones you don’t!”
Go for a joyride.
In many cases, you don’t even need to leave the venue grounds to add in an element of adventure. As Juls Sharpley, founder of Bubbles & Bowties, suggests, pedicab joy rides can add a fun activity for guests: “We threw a garden party at a church and hired all of the local pedicab drivers to give guests joy rides on the many scenic bike paths that weave all around the chapel. Guests loved getting away with their honey for a quick spin with champagne and some kettle corn in hand! The bride and groom took the pedicab as their getaway car at the end to get to the reception.”
Jet off somewhere special.
The ultimate wedding adventure is, in fact, a destination wedding. By hitting the road, you get to turn your entire nuptial experience into one exciting journey. “Maybe you’ve always wanted a different type of wedding from those larger, cookie-cutter weddings you’ve attended, but with large families and huge social circles, you could not really see yourselves doing anything that different,” says Loren Petrowski, owner of Marry You in Hawaii. “Now, the pandemic has given you the permission to do the smaller wedding, the elopement in the style that you’d like. This is the time to marry in those truly epic locations you love, not just the ballrooms of them, but actually in the mountains, beaches, and deserts.”
It’s all in the plan.
If you do plan to get adventurous with your wedding plans, be sure to allot enough time to arrange the logistics in advance. “If couples decide they want to incorporate adventure into their wedding day, it’s definitely something they should start planning sooner than later,” states Bri Marbais, bridal stylist at The Bridal Finery. “Majority of the out-of-the-box ideas for weddings take more time and intensified planning. Consulting with your wedding planner is also an important step to take because of their connection to endless resources and logistics knowledge.”
Beyond logistics, you’ll also need to ensure your guests are aware of the plans so they can plan accordingly — whether that means packing their hiking shoes or politely opting out. Nora Sheils, founder of Bridal Bliss and co-founder of Rock Paper Coin, elaborates: “First things first, really consider your guests and make sure your plans will be fun for not only you, but them as well. Communicate, communicate, communicate. I can’t stress this enough—-with an out-of-the-ordinary event and the possibility of needing certain items, guests need to have enough time to plan ahead.”
Sheils also recommends providing guests with provisions as needed: “Supply guests with anything they may need day-of. They may not have considered everything! Also, adventure weddings are a great opportunity to really personalize them. Tie in the type of adventure to all details from invitations, to welcome bags to decor on the day-of. While an adventure wedding isn’t for everyone, when it does work out, it’s magic.”
Heading into 2021, we could all use a little more fun and excitement in our lives. If you’re planning a wedding this year or next, why not infuse it with some adrenaline-pumping adventure?
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.
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