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Inspiration Detail | Plenty To Celebrate

Plenty To Celebrate

Whether you are planning a quaint destination wedding or a grand event in your local town, you and your fiancé might like to consider extending your big day to an entire weekend of celebration with your closest friends and family. We have all heard newlyweds say, “Our wedding was over before we knew it!” So if you want to extend the joyous celebration a bit, consider planning a three-day wedding weekend! 

Many couples have friends and family traveling far and wide to attend the wedding. Since those loved ones invest a great deal of time and money to help celebrate your special day, why not make it more than just a single whirlwind event. You can show your appreciation for their efforts and also revel in the warmth of family and friends a bit longer by planning a few additional activities for your wedding weekend. This will allow you all to spend more time enjoying the company of your guests, while assuring they are entertained for the length of their stay. 

While every situation varies, we thought it would be helpful to outline a sample itinerary for a wedding weekend. We have included a few simple guidelines to ensure you are able to coordinate a fun and flawless weekend. The key is for guests to understand that attendance at any additional activities is optional, as their travel schedule and energy level permit. 

4:00 pm – Ceremony rehearsal with wedding party and officiant
5:30 pm – Rehearsal dinner with close family members and wedding party
8:00 pm – Meet and greet for all guests who have arrived for the weekend

8:00 am to 9:30 am – Breakfast
10:30 am to 12:30 pm – Relaxing activity including light lunch with guests
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm – Wedding couple, bridal party and guests prepare for the wedding
4:30 pm – Ceremony
5:30 pm – Cocktail Hour
6:30 pm to 11:30 pm – Reception

10:00 am to Noon – Brunch and farewell to guests and wedding couple

A top priority when planning your wedding weekend is to consider what will make your loved ones feel welcome. Whether your guests are traveling by car or plane, from the coast or another country, give them a few moments to rest and relax upon their arrival. Have your local wedding-party members help prepare and deliver welcome baskets that include a handwritten note to each of your out-of-town guests. This is a very thoughtful way to express your heartfelt appreciation for their time and expense in traveling to your wedding. Include locally-produced goodies – like a sweet treat from your favorite bakery, a map of the area with favorite sites highlighted and a list of your favorite local attractions and restaurants.

Consider scheduling group activities for your loved ones as early as the first evening. A casual ice-breaker activity after the rehearsal dinner is an ideal time to interact with your guests, introduce guests to one another and encourage them to mingle before your wedding. Easy and fun interactive activities could include an ice cream social complete with sundae bar, toasting marshmallows and making s’mores around a campfire or renting a trolley or bus to tour the city. 

While planning an outing for your friends and family on the day of the ceremony, make the most of your location. Do not set up an outing that requires much travel. Use this time as an opportunity to show your guests all the reasons you chose this locale for your wedding weekend. To ensure your guests fully experience your love for the location, you could consider scheduling a wine tasting at a local vineyard, a walk at an area park or a visit to the local farmer’s market. 

The vows have been said, the bouquet tossed and the final dance has concluded. Now it is time to wind down the festivities with a Sunday morning brunch with family and friends. Take this time as newlyweds to enjoy the company of your loved ones and thank them for helping you celebrate your union. To allow your guests adequate time to pack and prepare for their departure before heading home, keep brunch informal, encouraging guests to stop by as time allows for a final farewell. |NWD|