Getting to a place of finally planning your wedding weekend can either be extremely fun or completely disastrous. Between saving, managing the arrival of families and friends, and the nerves and excitement surrounding your big day tackling a full three-day weekend of love, joy, a dash of chaos can be tough if you don’t have this outline for planning your wedding weekend!
Day One: Welcome Party and Rehearsal Dinner
There ain’t no party like a welcome party! It’s the perfect time for your out-of- town family and friends to reconnect with familiar faces in a relaxing, no pressure setting! Try to plan your welcome party a day or two before the wedding, likely the evening of the first day of the weekend. For example, if everyone comes in on Friday morning then plan the welcome party for that evening. Keep the party fresh and fun to allow yourself time to personally speak to and spend time with all of your guests. Having a cocktail hour before dinner is a great place to start! You can even consider options such as a house party, cocktails and mingling in the bar of the hotel where you have blocked out rooms or come up with something fun an interesting such as a tour bus through the city. Since most couples will do a welcome party and then a rehearsal dinner it may be beneficial to have a more exclusive rehearsal dinner followed by a cocktail only party after for everyone.
Day Two: Ceremony and Reception
This is most likely going to be the big shebang! Most couples will have their wedding and reception on day two since it sort of guarantees the greatest number of people will be there as guests will likely arrive either early on day one and leave early on day three or arrive late on day one and leave late on day three. Regardless, most of your guests will have arrived and gotten somewhat settled by the time of your ceremony. The ceremony and reception are the events that every bride dreams of so we won’t go too far into detail as to what you should be planning here. For the most part, most of the ideas and concepts you had for your big day only need to be tweaked for a three-day weekend and not completely changed, so go crazy!
Day Three: Farewell Brunch and Sendoff
Last but not least, wrap up your wedding weekend with a catered brunch to feed your sleepy and well partied guests before they send you and your partner on your way. It also gives you the time to say thank you to all of your guests without being bombarded for photos and hugs when you’re trying to shake a tail feather. You can keep the guest list super exclusive and just invite your family, closest friends, and the wedding party, or you can open it up to anyone who will still be in town!
- Longer than three days? If you’re planning a weekend wedding that is longer than three days plan to set up certain accommodations for your guests to have things to do alone as a group. For example, if you are planning a wedding weekend at the beach make sure that your guests know that the front desk has a set number of paddle boards reserved for your wedding guests, etc.
- Give it a theme! If your wedding is a bohemian wonderland theme try to plan events, food, decorations, etcall match to give the weekend a cohesive feel.
- Be flexible with your guest! Don’t worry if every single person can’t make it on the first day at 9a to one event and then 12p at the next event, so on and so forth. If you are asking guests to travel somewhere and be a part of your wedding weekend, give them some time to enjoy the trip for themselves as well. Also be sure to be gracious with guests who can’t afford to stay a full wedding weekend, be sure to be kind and remind anyone who is unable to attend that you appreciate their desire to even celebrate such a special day and make plans to show off your new partner with them later.
Regardless of all of the planning you do, make sure to give potential guests plenty of advanced notice with times, offerings, and costs to make sure all that are supposed to make it to the big day, do!