Wedding Weekend Events: What’s Necessary and What’s Extra?

Your guests are going the extra mile (sometimes literally!) to be a part of your special day, so why not make their entire weekend a memorable experience? We all know that the wedding day is the star, but what about the other festivities leading up to it?  How many events should you really plan to keep your guests entertained all weekend? From the traditional rehearsal dinner to the epic send-off brunch, there are plenty of opportunities to celebrate and make memories. Let's break it down and find the sweet spot.

If you’ve ever been invited to a wedding, depending on how well you know the couple, you’ve likely attended the most traditional and common events during a wedding weekend - the rehearsal dinner, the wedding day itself, and perhaps even a farewell gathering the day after. More than likely, a couple will have a rehearsal dinner and of course the main event - the wedding day. Any event outside of those two is a bonus to be able to spend more time with the family and friends you brought together to share this special time in your life. 

Let’s briefly cover each of these core wedding weekend events:

The Rehearsal Dinner: VIPs and Out-of-Town Guests, Let's Feast!

Traditionally, the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding is a must for the VIPs, including immediate family, the wedding party + their dates, and perhaps out-of-town guests (depending on budget and space). If you are hosting a complete destination wedding or have a lot of out-of-town guests, you may opt to have a smaller, more intimate, rehearsal dinner with just immediate family and your wedding party. 

The Wedding Day: It’s Showtime, Folks!

Now, let's talk about the main event – your wedding day! From the heartwarming ceremony to the late night dance party, be sure to prioritize the key elements that reflect your story and personality. Consider the experience from your guest’s perspective as well, especially when it comes to timing. Do you plan on having a large gap between your ceremony and reception? Will your reception be on the shorter side? If so, scroll down below to check out some possible ways to continue the celebration and give something entertaining for your guests to do. 

The Send-Off Brunch: Rise and Shine, It's Time to Bid Farewell!

As the wedding festivities wind down, why not send off your guests with a delightful brunch? It's a chance to gather one last time, share stories from the night before, and bid farewell with full bellies and happy hearts. Whether it's a cozy brunch at a nearby café or a lavish spread at your reception venue, a send-off brunch is the perfect ending to an unforgettable weekend.

Extra Fun: Let's Add Some Flair to Your Wedding Weekend!

Now, let's sprinkle some extra fun into your wedding weekend! These additional events are not necessary, but they can take your celebration to the next level:

  • Bridal Party Luncheon: Show some love to your squad with a special pre-wedding luncheon. It's a chance to pamper your bridal party, express your gratitude, and bond over laughter and delicious treats. If you are all getting ready together through breakfast and lunch time, be sure to provide food!
  • Activities for Guests: Maybe you’re hosting your wedding in your hometown known for special attractions. You can plan to set up interactive tours of the Botanical Gardens, Sports Arenas, the University Campus, Sunset Cruise, Pool Party, etc., and add an extra level of ease to your guests' experience by already having this setup instead of only providing them with suggestions. 
  • Welcome Party: Roll out the red carpet for your out-of-town guests with a fabulous welcome party. It's a fantastic way to break the ice, get everyone mingling, and set the tone for an epic wedding weekend. This is a great option if you have a lot of out-of-town guests or are in a complete destination location where you’d prefer to not include them in the rehearsal dinner. We’ve also seen couples open up the rehearsal dinner to all guests after the meal, providing some welcome drinks.
  • After Party: Keep the party going long after the formalities end! An after-party is perfect for those night owls who want to dance the night away, share unforgettable moments, and keep the celebration alive.

Here's the thing: these extra events are not necessary, but they sure do add that extra pizzazz. When it comes to planning your wedding weekend events, it's all about finding the right balance. Feel free to mix and match based on your preferences, budget, and the time you have available. It's all about creating a celebration that truly reflects your personalities and makes everyone feel the love and joy that surrounds you.

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