How To Plan The Perfect Wedding Weekend Itinerary

Your wedding weekend itinerary is the blueprint for one of the most memorable and special celebrations of your life. Lots of couples are opting to create an entire experience for their guests with pampering, icebreakers, cultural excursions, adventure activities, and more! A wedding weekend also gives you the opportunity to spend more time with your loved ones and make memories that will last a lifetime. On the other hand, with so much excitement and anticipation, planning the perfect schedule can seem overwhelming. But don’t worry, with a little bit of organization and some useful tips, you can create a magical and unforgettable wedding weekend for you and your guests.

Create a unique experience for your family and friends with our top tips on how to plan the perfect wedding weekend itinerary.

Welcome Party, Rehearsal Dinner & Guest Activities

A wedding welcome party is typically held the day before the wedding ceremony to welcome the out-of-town guests and provide an opportunity for everyone to meet and socialize. If you’re hosting a wedding weekend and your wedding is on a Saturday, then you might choose to host the welcome party on a Thursday evening after guests arrive. This way you leave the Friday for local activities and the rehearsal dinner. This party will usually be more relaxed and informal compared to the main event. The aim is to introduce your guests to each other and give everyone a chance to have some downtime together after a day of traveling. Also, don’t forget to leave welcome bags for your guests before they arrive. They’re a great way to show appreciation for your guests choosing to be with you on one of the most important days of your life.

A rehearsal dinner, on the other hand, is a more intimate event that takes place the evening before the wedding, where the wedding party and close family members come together to practice the ceremony, go over details, and enjoy a meal together. Both the welcome party and rehearsal dinner are opportunities for you and your partner to connect with your guests and get excited about the special event. Some couples choose to organize guest activities to keep them entertained during the day before the wedding. This gives the happy couple some time alone together or to finish off any last-minute details. Your bridal party can be in charge of hosting guests for these activities which may include spa treatments, guided tours, winery visits, local food tastings, or more adventurous activities such as hiking and ziplining.

Wedding Ceremony & Reception

The big day is finally here! During the morning you’ll be focusing on getting ready with your bridesmaids and bridal party. Make sure you leave plenty of time for this and include time to eat and take photos. The more time you have, the calmer you’ll feel. After all, your ceremony will be the heart of the wedding celebration and symbolizes the start of your married journey together! During the ceremony, the bride and groom exchange rings, exchange vows, and are pronounced husband and wife by the officiant. If it’s a religious ceremony this will usually be a little longer.

Next up is the fun part! The reception is when you’ll be able to celebrate and enjoy food, drinks, and dancing with your guests. It’s typically a lively event that brings everyone together to mark the occasion and wish the newlyweds well. The reception can include speeches from friends and family members, a meal, cake cutting, and dancing. The bride and groom usually share a dance together, as well as with their parents. The dinner and party will usually end by midnight. But a lot of couples choose to keep the festivities going with an after-party that goes well into the early hours to make the most of celebrating their love with their nearest and dearest.

Post-Wedding Brunch

After an emotional day full of fun with your family and friends, it’s time to close off the wedding weekend with a post-wedding brunch. This is your chance to unwind together before heading home. It’s usually a casual and laid-back event to reminisce about the day before. The brunch can be held at the reception venue, a restaurant, in a park, or at your hotel. The bride and groom will usually give an appreciation toast, while guests enjoy a delicious buffet set up with pancakes, waffles, french toast, omelets, breakfast burritos, mimosas, smoothies, and more. It’s a fitting conclusion to a special weekend that you’ll cherish forever!

wedding weekend itinerary
Photography: Steph Newton | Venue: Nancarrow Farm | Dress: Made with Love

Wedding Weekend Scheduling Tips

1. Plan Ahead

One of the most important tips for your wedding weekend and wedding day timeline is to plan ahead. If you can, start planning your wedding weekend schedule as soon as you have your dates and venue decided. This can be as early as six to nine months before the big day. This way you’ll have plenty of time to make any necessary adjustments and ensure that everything runs smoothly.

2. Consider Your Guests

Think about your guests and their schedules. If you have a large number of out-of-town guests, plan events that allow them to take advantage of the time they have to spend in your destination.

3. Assign a Point Person

Designate a trusted family member or friend as the point person for your wedding weekend events. This person can help keep everyone in the right place at the right time and answer any questions.

4. Schedule Downtime

Wedding weekends can be hectic, so it’s important to schedule some downtime for both you and your guests. Allow time for relaxation and recreation, such as a spa day, light walks, or just lounging by the pool.

5. Consider The Timing of Events

When scheduling events, consider the timing of each event and how it will affect the overall schedule. For example, if you’re having a morning ceremony, you may want to schedule a late-afternoon cocktail hour to give guests time to rest and freshen up. It’s also important not to over-schedule. Allow enough time for each event and factor in travel time between events.

6. Communication Is Key

Make sure to communicate your wedding weekend itinerary to your guests and wedding party in advance. This will help them plan their own schedules and ensure that they are able to attend all of the events that are important to them. It’s also useful for them to know what clothing and essential items to pack for certain activities.

7. Send Save-The-Dates Early

Make sure to send your save-the-dates out and invitations early, especially if you have a lot of out-of-town guests. This will give your guests ample time to plan their schedules and make travel arrangements.

8. Consider A Wedding Planner

A wedding planner can be a huge help in coordinating all the events of your wedding weekend. They’re experience in wedding planning will be especially useful for a longer celebration with more details to consider. A planner will also help ensure that everything is as perfect and stress-free as possible.

9. Provide Local Guides

Your guests will appreciate a local guide with information about local attractions, restaurants, and transport. It’ll help them make the most of their time in your wedding destination and allow them to experience all that it has to offer.

10. Be Flexible

Although it’s important to have a schedule, it’s also important to allow for some flexibility. Things may not always go according to plan, so it’s important to be prepared to make adjustments if necessary and go with the flow.

Sample Wedding Weekend Itinerary:


  • 12 pm – 4 pm: Guest arrival
  • 5 pm – 7 pm: Guests settle in and welcome cocktails
  • 7 pm – 10 pm: Welcome dinner


  • 8 am – 9:30 am: Breakfast
  • 10 am – 1 pm: Guest activities
  • 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm: Lunch
  • 2:30 pm – 6 pm: Free time
  • 6 pm – 7 pm: Wedding rehearsal
  • 7 pm – 10 pm: Rehearsal dinner


  • 8 am – 9:30 am: Breakfast
  • 10 am – 1 pm: Hair & Makeup
  • 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm: Wedding party & family photos
  • 3:30 pm: Guests arrive at the ceremony location
  • 4 pm: Groom and groomsmen arrive
  • 4:15 pm: Bride and bridesmaid arrive
  • 4:30 pm – 5 pm: Ceremony
  • 5 pm – 6: 30 pm: Cocktail hour & Newlywed photos
  • 6:30 pm: Welcome toast
  • 7 pm – 8 pm: Reception dinner
  • 8 pm – 8:30 pm: Bridal party speeches
  • 8:30 pm – 9:30 pm: Dances
  • 9:30 pm – 10:30 pm: Cake cutting & Dessert
  • 10:30 pm – 12 am: Party


  • 10 am – 1 pm: Post-wedding brunch
  • 2 pm: Guest departure and farewell
wedding weekend itinerary
Photo: Amy Woodham | Planning & Styling: Abstract Events UK | Dress: Love and Loved Bridal

With thoughtful touches and a focus on what matters most to you, you can create the perfect wedding weekend itinerary. Head to WedBoard for tips and advice to help you plan your special day. You’ll find more inspiration for different aspects of the wedding planning process including, 28 Creative Bachelorette Party Ideas, How To Plan A Micro Wedding, and How To Plan An Engagement Party.

Featured image: Poppy Carter Portraits

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