Wedding Weekend Itinerary

Wedding weekends have grown to be full-blown events from start to finish, and when all is said and done, it’s sure to be something you never forget. With all the thought and hard work that goes into pulling off such a weekend, you’ll want everything to go as smoothly as possible and the key to this is good planning. To help make things a bit easier, here are a few tips for planning and hosting a wedding weekend full of activities for your guests to enjoy.

Provide Hotel Accommodation Suggestions

Guests coming in from out of town are sure to wonder what hotels are the best option for them to stay. From a variety of price points to the proximity to the venue, no one can give them better advice about your area than you can. Beat them to the punch by sending out hotel accommodation suggestions with your Save the Dates, and contact those hotels for a discounted block of rooms in your name.  Having everyone in one place will allow the party to continue because of sheer convenience, and can help with transportation to and from all events throughout the weekend.

Share your favorite things to do

In addition to providing hotel information, help your guests enjoy the whole weekend exploring your city by creating a list of your favorite restaurants, bars, and local attractions. It is especially important for your guests traveling from out of town, as many could make a trip out of their little getaway. On both a printed itinerary in their welcome bags and an online wedding page, include surrounding cities and popular places to visit. Consider including a list of things to do in New York for those attendees that are coming from out of state and might use this opportunity to visit the Big Apple.

Rehearsal Dinner Planning

Rehearsal dinners are the perfect start to an exciting wedding weekend. Planning the rehearsal should be a simpler than planning the wedding itself, but certain decisions need to be made early on to ensure everything is a success. First, discuss who plans to throw the rehearsal.  Once that decision is made, consider keeping it casual to keep costs as low as possible.  Especially if you have large wedding parties and a lot of family coming in from out of town, the expenses for a rehearsal dinner can add up quickly. A more casual option could be a cocktail hour only, outdoors, or by featuring a buffet style meal. We love the idea of hosting a BBQ, or a Mexican fiesta. Keep seating open to encourage guests to mingle and converse with one another.

The After Party

Most couples do not want to end the night once the wedding band has played the last song.  Consider hosting an after party by bringing in late night snacks such as an ice cream or food truck or pizza for those hungry guests who have danced their heart out. Something to keep in mind is that a wedding day is long, especially for you and your wedding party, so provide transportation back to the hotels for those with weary feet who would prefer to climb in bed.

Post-wedding day brunch

The end of the wedding night doesn’t have to be the absolute end! Hold your tears, plan a brunch the morning after and enjoy everyone’s company one last time. Pressure will be a little lighter for the groom, bride, their parents and wedding party as well, with all speeches, photos and ceremonies behind them so do yourself a favor and keep the brunch casual. There are many options for hosting such an event. Choose between organizing the event at someone’s house, renting a space, or gathering right in the lobby of the hotel.

I hope these tips help ease some of the stress of planning a weekend, and always know you are not alone! No matter what route your wedding planning takes, the most important thing is that you are surrounded by the people that mean the most to you.

Vendor Credits:

Photography: Love & Light Photographs

Stationery & Calligraphy: Mary Kate Moon

Florist: Wallflowers

Venue: Mantoloking Yacht Club

Beauty: Beauty on Location

Ice Cream Truck: Hoffman’s

Rentals: Dovetail Vintage Rentals

For more from this wedding, visit our feature on Martha Stewart Weddings here.