A destination wedding can be the experience of a lifetime, for both you and your guests. Who wouldn’t want to make the most of it and turn a single wedding day into a festive wedding weekend? We love designing destination weddings in Colorado and beyond for our clients, but it requires meticulous planning and a solid schedule to work from. Here’s a classic example of a destination wedding weekend timeline to get you started.

Thursday: Arrival & welcome party

1pm onwards: Guests check in

A thoughtful idea for a destination wedding is to have welcome bags ready for your guests in their rooms. Include transport and weather information, a map, local treats and activity options. For an Aspen destination wedding, for example, we might include snacks like Two Haute Cowgirls Popcorn or Olomomo Almonds, plus bottled water and Acli-Mate or mini oxygen canisters to help guests adapt to the altitude. Although you should have your itinerary on your website, include a copy in the bag as well.

6pm: Welcome party

More casual than a rehearsal dinner, a welcome party could be a simple cocktail reception or a drop-in celebration at a local bar. It’s all about guests hanging out and getting to know each other.

Friday: Rehearsal dinner

5pm-6pm: Rehearsal

This is when you actually rehearse the ceremony. All wedding party members and key family members or those participating in the ceremony in any way should attend. Like with a wedding at home, this should be done at the ceremony site to make everyone aware of their duties and feel ready for the big day.

7pm-10pm: Rehearsal dinner

The rehearsal dinner is a lovely opportunity to bring the wedding party and close family and friends together. As well as the meal, the evening usually includes toasts and votes of thanks (which also cuts down on speech time at the actual wedding reception!). If most of your guests are out-of-towners (or in the case of a destination wedding where everyone is), you may prefer a more casual gathering to accommodate all who traveled. Otherwise, you could arrange to meet everyone for after-dinner drinks.

Saturday: The wedding day

Make sure you have a separate, detailed wedding day timeline to keep things running smoothly!

Sunday: Post-wedding brunch

11am-1pm: Brunch

The wedding day tends to rush past and be over before you know it. That’s why the post-wedding brunch is such a good idea. It gives you a proper chance to thank your guests and spend time with those you don’t see very often, as well as exchange goodbyes before your honeymoon. Try not to start too late, as travelers may be anxious to get on the road.

Optional activities

If you really want to share your love for the wedding destination you’ve chosen, consider organizing some optional activities over the course of the weekend. For example: hikes, fishing trips, golf, a sunset cruise or a visit to a local micro brewery. Let guests know their options well ahead of time and include times and costs so they come prepared. Budget permitting, host an organized activity too! This could even double as welcome event.

Of course, you don’t have to plan everything on this list. This timeline should give you some ideas of what you can incorporate beyond the big day to make it a destination wedding to remember!

Photo by Lacie Hansen

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