Weekend Wedding Planning Part 1

10:27 AM, by Unknown

Here's how to put together an unforgettable, multi-day celebration!

Whether held in your hometown or a far-flung locale, wedding weekends give you and your guests more quality time to bond and celebrate than the standard one day affair. You might not have seen some of your guests for years and other family and friends, often but not often enough. From the welcome party to the farewell brunch, a wedding weekend gives you ample opportunities to entertain all of your loved ones with fun, memory-making, personalized events and details 

Typical Weekend Timeline♥ 

♥ Friday: Daytime events for early-arriving guests might include a ladies' lunch and a guys' outing to a driving range. Rehearsal dinner/welcome buffet: Depending on your budget and number of guests, the rehearsal dinner can include just you and your bridal party, officiant and immediate family members or you can open it up to your out of town guests as well. If you hold a more exclusive dinner, be sure to provide your out of town guests with a welcome cocktail party/buffet, generally held at the hotel. 

♥ Saturday: Before the wedding: a buffet breakfast for your bridal party. After the wedding: a fun after party. You might all gather at the hotel lounge, or take your friends out on the town while parents host their own friends elsewhere. (Added bonus: Your hotel might allow you free use of their shuttle to take your group to the destination. 

♥ Sunday: The morning after brunch or breakfast. And if some guests don't need to depart right away you might plan an early afternoon outing like a local souvenir shop.

What we ♥ about wedding weekends

♥ A multiday wedding is more affordable than you might think: Not every meal has to be a formal sit down, and some events (the rehearsal dinner, for example) might be hosted by parents, which makes them free to you.

♥ Guests get more value out of their travel and lodging expenses when there's more for them to enjoy.

♥ There are plenty of photo opportunities with your guests.

♥ You get hours of opportunities to infuse family and cultural traditions into your celebration

Weekend Planning Essentials
SAVE THE DATES should be sent out 6-8 months before the big day, and can be sent up to a year in advance for destination weddings. This will give guests plenty of time to plan for any necessary travel and assist in securing competitive rates. Details can be confirmed and shared with guests closer to the event or updated through your wedding website.

MAKE IT CLEAR when guests will be expected to pay for their own expenses. The best way to do this is through invitation or wedding website wording. For instance: "On Friday evening, we'll head out to a country bar for drinks and dancing. See the menu, drinks list and pricing at (website)." When guests see the word "pricing" they will know to bring their wallets. When guests see that the event is hosted by you or someone in the wedding party, the message conveys that the hosts are paying. 

SHARE DRESS CODE for each event on your wedding website, so that guests will know what to pack. 

SEND GUESTS A WEEKEND ITINERARY in advance of the big day, whether print or a link to your wedding website. If a new event is planned just a few weeks before the wedding, send guests your itinerary page link with a message of "New party added!" or "Even more to look forward to!".

PRINT OUT COPIES OF YOUR ITINERARY and add one to each welcome basket so guests have the schedule and events easily on hand.

Timing is everything

SPACE OUT ACTIVITIES so guests don't feel drained by racing from one event to the next and will have time to get back to the hotel, shower and change into the next event's appropriate attire.

ALLOW FOR ENOUGH DOWNTIME so that guests can make plans amongst themselves, relax by the pool, explore the area, or enjoy some alone time. 

PLAN SHORTER EVENTS, not an all day hike or endless touring excursion. 

STAY TUNED FOR PART 2 WHERE WE SHARE LOCATIONS, THEMES AND IDEAS FOR YOUR WEDDING WEEKEND! 



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