Without a doubt, your wedding day will be one of the happiest days of your life - so why have just one day when you can dedicate an entire weekend to your nuptials? 

Wedding weekends are becoming more popular than ever, with couples frequently opting to create a single wedding weekend itinerary, including all their pre and post-wedding events in one hit, rather than spreading various occasions out in the months before the big day. 

Multi-day celebrations allow the couple to spend quality time with their loved ones. Still, as with anything, wedding weekends won’t be for everyone, and there are a few key pros and cons to consider before securing the wedding weekend venue of your dreams. 

What is a wedding weekend?

If one day doesn’t feel like enough, hosting a wedding weekend might be the perfect solution! It’s no secret that after all the months of planning and brewing excitement, wedding days often feel over within the blink of an eye for newlywed couples. 

But what exactly is a wedding weekend? Well, it’s an extended celebration that spans multiple days, typically starting on Friday and ending on Monday - allowing couples and guests plenty of time to enjoy various wedding events and spend real time together. 

A wedding weekend could look slightly different depending on the couple and what they want to get out of the weekend, but they often include a welcome dinner, cocktail party or rehearsal dinner to start, hen, stag or sten dos (as you’re all together anyway), the main wedding ceremony and reception and a farewell brunch to close the weekend! Fun, right?

The best wedding weekend venues

Browse our Recommended Venues to find your dream wedding weekend venues!

Wedding weekend venue ideas

Benefits of hosting a wedding weekend


Wedding planning made simple 

Hosting a wedding weekend might sound like a lot of events to plan and organise, but dedicating one chunk of time to your celebrations will likely make it easier to plan! After all, your guests will only need to commit to one weekend to celebrate your union, avoiding the back and forth of trying to find a date the wedding party can do for the hen, stag and any other events that might be on your agenda. 


More time to spend with friends and family

Ensuring you get time to see and spend quality time with all your wedding guests on the big day is no easy feat, especially if you’re hosting a sizeable ceremony. Wedding weekends allow plenty of opportunities for you to spend time with all your nearest and dearest friends and family; with an entire weekend and a jam-packed activity, it’s the best way to guarantee special memories cement! 


A relaxed environment with less stress 

Wedding weekends create the perfect opportunity for everyone to mingle and create lasting memories in a relaxed, unified, and festive environment. With everyone spending quality time together before your big day itself, everyone will be more than acquainted in time for the reception party! Beyond some all-important guest bonding, spreading out events over a few days reduces the pressure of fitting everything into a single day. 


Ideal for destination and picturesque wedding locations

For those considering a destination wedding, wedding weekends are especially popular, as who wouldn’t want to make the most of the beautiful location you’ve picked out? Wedding weekends for destination weddings allow guests to get the most out of their trip abroad, giving them a mini-holiday experience, too. Or, why not continue the fun with a buddymoon after the wedding weekend? Otherwise, we’ve also seen a rise in wedding weekends hosted at country houses and tranquil rural locations for the ultimate escape.  Many wedding weekend venues offer beautiful settings and accommodations, allowing guests to stay on-site and enjoy the scenery and amenities throughout the weekend.

Wedding weekend itinerary example


Afternoon: Arrival and Check-In

  • Guests arrive at the venue or nearby accommodations and check-in.
  • Provide a welcome pack with an itinerary, local attractions, and small gifts and wedding favours.


Evening: Welcome Dinner/Welcome Party

  • Host a casual welcome dinner or BBQ to kick off the weekend.
  • Introduce close family members and the bridal party.
  • Include fun icebreakers or games to help guests get to know each other.


Late Evening: Stag and Hen Dos

  • After the welcome dinner, divide into stag and hen groups for separate celebrations.
  • Plan local activities or themed parties for the couple - options could include a pub crawl, karaoke, or a night out in the town.
  • Or, as you’re all together for the wedding weekend - consider a sten do for a joint celebration. 



Morning: Optional Activities

  • Organise group activities such as golf, a spa morning, hiking, or a boat tour.
  • Provide a list of local attractions for guests to explore on their own.


Afternoon: Rehearsal and Rehearsal Lunch

  • Conduct the wedding rehearsal at the ceremony site.
  • Follow with a light lunch or picnic for the bridal party and immediate family.


Late Afternoon: Free Time

  • Allow guests some free time to relax, freshen up, or explore the area.


Evening: Rehearsal Dinner

  • Host a formal rehearsal dinner for close family and the bridal party.
  • Include speeches and toasts from friends and family.


Night: Welcome Party or Casual Get-Together

  • For those not involved in the rehearsal dinner, organise a casual get-together or welcome party.
  • Consider a bonfire, cocktail hour, or game night.



Morning: Wedding Ceremony

  • The main event! Hold the wedding ceremony, followed by a cocktail hour.
  • Provide a shuttle service for guests if the ceremony and reception are at different locations.


Afternoon: Wedding Reception

  • Host the wedding reception with a meal, lots of dancing, and (non-cheesy) wedding entertainment.
  • Include traditional elements like speeches, cake cutting, and bouquet toss.


Evening: After-Party

For guests who want to keep celebrating, organise an after-party.

Consider a lounge area with drinks, music, and late-night snacks.



Morning: Farewell Brunch

  • Host a farewell brunch to say goodbye and thank your guests.
  • Provide a relaxed atmosphere with a buffet or family-style meal.
  • Think outdoor vibes or a picnic with lots of florals! 


Late Morning/Early Afternoon: Check-Out and Departure

  • Guests check out of their accommodations and head home.
  • Send them off with a small memento or thank-you gift.


Additional Tips:

  • Welcome Bags: Include a welcome note, snacks, water, a map of the area, and any necessary details about the weekend events.
  • Communication: Use a wedding website or group chat to keep guests informed and updated.
  • Local Experiences: Offer suggestions for local attractions and activities to fill any free time guests might have.
  • Transportation: Arrange transportation for guests between venues if necessary to ensure everyone can participate easily.
  • Weather Plans: Have a contingency plan for outdoor activities in case of bad weather. Don’t say no to wedding umbrellas

Best wedding weekend venues

Wilde Lodge

Recommended Venue: Wilde Lodge is perfectly equipped to cater for wedding weekends! With a beautiful 15 acres of stunning landscape for you and your guests to enjoy - this venue is perfect for couples looking for something different. Between the cosy lodge accommodation and bell tents, Wilde Lodge can sleep up to a huge 116 guests - ideal for having all your loved ones onsite and close by for your wedding weekend. Enjoy magical, rustic and intimate spaces to celebrate in style.

Elmore Court

Recommended Venue: Elmore Court is the wedding weekend venue for you if you’re looking for a truly stunning escape. With its impressive House, Gardens and Gillyflower (a rustic dinner and dancing venue), you won’t be at a loss for venues throughout the weekend. Beyond the 2/3 bedroom Bridal Suite and 15 additional bedrooms in the main house, the real selling point of Elmore Court is the Treehouses! Enjoy six magical cabins in the middle of the woods for the ultimate wedding weekend escape.

Manoir Beaulieu

Recommended venue: Manoir Beaulieu is the destination wedding venue of dreams. Nestled in the French countryside, this intimate wedding venue and holiday home is the perfect place to host your wedding weekend abroad. You can invite up to 70 guests for your wedding day itself, while 12 of your nearest and dearest can sleep on-site - the rest of your guests won’t be far away with additional accommodation options for the rest of your guests within 5km. You can opt for a 4-night stay - perfect for a wedding weekend - but if that’s not enough, why not consider an entire week? And did we mention the private pool and very own team of wedding planners?! What’s not to love?

10 top tips on planning a wedding weekend & things not to forget


1. Start early with a detailed plan

Begin planning well in advance to secure your preferred venues and accommodations, especially if you’d rather find a weekend wedding venue with enough rooms to accommodate all your guests. We recommend creating a comprehensive timeline outlining all the weekend’s events, from the welcome dinner to the farewell brunch, so you and your guests know exactly what to expect.


2. Choose the right venue

For a wedding weekend done right, you’ll want to select a venue that can accommodate multiple events and has nearby lodging for guests. Consider venues that offer on-site accommodations to make life easier. Beyond that, pay attention to the ambience with thoughtful décor and lighting to create the mood you’re going for.


3. Communicate clearly

Use a wedding website or dedicated communication platform (you usually can’t go wrong with a simple group chat) to keep guests informed about the itinerary, directions and transportation options to and from each event, dress codes, and any special instructions. Send out save-the-dates and invitations early, providing all necessary details to allow guests to plan accordingly.


4. Provide a welcome pack

Prepare welcome packs for guests upon arrival, including the wedding weekend itinerary, local maps, and any necessary contact information. Personalise the packs with thoughtful touches, such as local treats or custom and personalised wedding favours. Welcome packs are a great way to start the weekend with an extra-special touch. 


5. Plan diverse activities & entertainment

Organise a mix of group activities and free time to cater to different interests. Include options for relaxation, adventure, and socialising to ensure all guests enjoy themselves. But, it’s important to schedule some free time and ensure guests have enough downtime to relax and recharge. Beyond activities, don’t forget to hire entertainment that suits the vibe of each event throughout the weekend, whether it’s a live band, DJ, or acoustic performer.


6. Budget wisely 

While practical, a wedding weekend will mean that all of your main costs will be across one weekend, so it’s essential to factor in funds. Plan a budget accounting for all weekend events, including meals, activities, and transportation. Consider cost-saving measures such as DIY décor or group discounts for activities - you’ll be surprised by how much you can save!


7. Catering and meals 

If you’re hosting people for an entire weekend, you’re gonna have to feed them! Beyond the formal sit-down meals required for rehearsal dinners etc., you’ll need to think about plans for breakfast, lunch and dinners each day. Plan meals that cater to various dietary needs and preferences, so be sure to find this out during the RSPV stage to be prepared. Don’t forget to consider local cuisine to add a unique touch to the weekend experience.


8. Weather contingency plans

While no one likes to think of the worst-case scenario, it’s best to be prepared for everything the climate throws at you. Have backup plans for outdoor events in case of bad weather. Consider renting tents and marquees, or choosing venues with indoor alternatives. Or, if you’re looking for an easy way to incorporate some personalisation, opt for wedding umbrellas


9. Personal touches

Incorporate personal touches and meaningful details that reflect your relationship. Include elements like custom signage, photo displays, or themed activities. After all - the weekend is about both of you and the celebration of your union! Another idea is to gift your guests with personalised wedding favours and small trinkets as a token of your appreciation.


10. Supplier coordination

Work closely with suppliers involved in making your wedding weekend perfect to ensure they understand the weekend’s schedule and logistics. It’s always best to have a point person or wedding planner to coordinate and troubleshoot any issues on the day. Having someone else in charge of the itinerary and the day means you’ll enjoy it much more! Remember, you’re not a host! Your guests are there to celebrate your union, so relax and enjoy the weekend!

So, are you obsessed with the idea of a wedding weekend? So are we! If you were already considering a sten do or buddymoon, while not do it all in one big weekend of fun for quality time with your favourite people. You won’t regret it!

Shona Ezimogho-Moran

Written by Shona Ezimogho-Moran

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