How to Map Out Your Holiday Weekend Wedding Itinerary

A holiday weekend is a smart way to get more fun out of your wedding itinerary. There are many great reasons to have a holiday weekend wedding: three-day weekends, such as Memorial Day or even Columbus Day weekend allow extra opportunities for you to socialize with your guests, you'll always have your anniversary close to a holiday, and when you have a Sunday wedding, out-of-town guests have more time to travel.

Holiday Weekend Considerations

However, before you decide on a holiday weekend for your wedding date, there are some things you should keep in mind. First, guests may already have their own longstanding plans for the holiday that they do every year, such as family reunions or planned vacations. Discuss your date options with the important people you can't have your wedding without to avoid scheduling conflicts.

There may also be higher costs for wedding venues and vendors on holiday weekends, since it's a popular time of year. And you'll need to book your favorites early for the best selection. Because holiday travel and hotel costs may be higher for out-of-town guests, you should let them know once you've selected wedding date so they can make travel plans as soon as possible.

You could use this opportunity to extend your wedding weekend or even have it double as a family or friends reunion. Because you'll be providing your guests with more entertainment over a longer period, it will mean more work for you. Whether your itinerary includes a family reunion or you just want to enjoy time with your wedding guests, a wedding on a holiday weekend will take extra planning.

How to Make Your Wedding Double as a Reunion

To have your wedding weekend double as a family or friend reunion, plan a few more activities than a normal wedding itinerary might include. This will bring your guests together more and create a fun, inclusive event.

Encourage guests to stay at the same location, and see whether you can get a block of rooms reserved at a hotel or resort to make it easier for guests to make reservations. Provide a wedding itinerary of the weekend's events so guests know when gatherings are planned and can choose which ones they'll attend. Don't feel obligated to fill every moment of the weekend—guests will appreciate some downtime on their own to recover from all the fun.

The following are some events you could include in your long-weekend wedding itinerary:

  • Welcome Party: Find out when most guests will arrive and kick off the weekend with a party.
  • Post-Rehearsal Cocktails or Dessert: This would be a nice way to unwind before the wedding.
  • Local Things to Do: Provide brochures to area sights and things to do, such as restaurants and museums.
  • Ceremony and Reception: Remind guests when and where the main events are happening. You don't want anyone to miss you exchange rings with your groom!
  • After Party: If the fun will keep going after the reception, let guests know where to find it.
  • Post-Wedding Brunch: This will be a relaxing time to mingle with guests and say goodbye before they leave.
  • Barbecue Picnic: If you want to extend the holiday and have it double as a reunion, include a barbecue picnic to close out your fabulous wedding weekend.

A fun wedding itinerary is worth the extra planning when it turns a long, holiday weekend into an unforgettable event.