How to Plan a Wedding Weekend

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There are some things in life that are worth celebrating, with weddings being right at the top of that list. Your wedding is one of the most important and special days in your life, a chance to celebrate the union with your life partner and to share in this joy with family and friends.

With that said, it’s no wonder that more and more couples are opting to extend their celebrations into wedding weekends.

If you think about it, it makes sense—with a more and more interconnected world, most people have a network that extends internationally. While it might not make sense to invite your global network for a one-day celebration, hosting a weekend of activities and events in celebration of your wedding provides the perfect opportunity to connect with the ones you love—wherever they might be. And after years of cancelled weddings due to the pandemic, a wedding weekend is the ideal setting to reconnect with your community in celebration of something special.

If you’re looking for guidance on how to organize your very own unforgettable wedding weekend, you’ve come to the right place. From creating a top-notch wedding weekend itinerary to incorporating delightful wedding games, we’ve got you covered.

Read More: Planning a Wedding in Scotland: The Ultimate Guide

What is a Wedding Weekend?

A wedding weekend is essentially an extended celebration that spans two to three days. While the typical wedding might just include a ceremony and reception, wedding weekends will often include a combination of welcome parties, rehearsal dinners, the main ceremony, a reception, and perhaps a post-wedding brunch. This extended format not only allows for a more relaxed pace but also gives guests ample opportunity to mingle and enjoy the festivities.

sarah and richard scotland wedding at stair arms hotel edinburgh

Photography by Wildling Weddings

Choosing the Right Wedding Weekend Venues

Putting together a wedding weekend involves a little more planning than the traditional wedding. One of the key decisions in planning your wedding weekend is the venue. Here are a couple of factors and options to consider when you’re figuring out where:

Destination Venues

Destination venues are a favourite option for wedding weekends. There are many destination venues to choose from, like a resort or large villa or even a hotel fit to

accommodate larger parties. These kinds of venues ensure that transportation is minimized and guests can fully immerse in the experience.

Read More: Top 10 Castle Venues in Scotland

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Local Delights

If your wedding weekend is in a scenic location, consider venues that highlight the natural beauty or cultural highlights of the area.

Space for Activities

When choosing the venue for your wedding weekend, ensure that there’s adequate space for various activities, especially if you’re considering adding wedding games to the mix.

wedding photography at newhall estate scotland samantha and jamie rainbow smoke bombs

Photography by Wildling Weddings at Newhall Estate

Wedding Weekend Venues in Scotland

With the above in mind, here are some of our favourite wedding weekend venue options in beautiful Scotland:

Drumtochty Castle, Aberdeenshire

Located in the Scottish Highlands, Drumtochty Castle offers a romantic, fairytale-like setting that’s perfect for a wedding weekend. The castle and surrounding lodges can be exclusively booked and with both indoor and outdoor ceremony options, it’s versatile enough to suit different preferences and weather conditions.

The Lodge on Loch Goil, Argyll

Ideal for intimate weddings, The Lodge on Loch Goil is set against the stunning backdrop of a Scottish loch. This is a truly stunning venue that offers a unique treehouse for ceremonies and several outdoor areas for activities or relaxation. There’s nothing we can think of as more romantic than getting married near the gorgeous waters of a Scottish loch.

Crear, Argyll and Bute

Crear offers an immersive Scottish experience with both indoor and outdoor spaces for your wedding. This venue allows for beachside ceremonies and can provide accommodation for up to 26 people—perfect for a close-knit wedding weekend.

The Cow Shed Crail, Fife

For those who prefer a rustic, farm-style wedding, The Cow Shed Crail is an excellent choice. The venue provides exclusive use for the entire weekend, letting you set up and wind down at your own pace. As a bonus, there are lots of accommodations nearby for your guests.

Carlowrie Castle, West Lothian

Only 20 minutes from Edinburgh, Carlowrie Castle offers luxurious accommodations for up to 18 guests and options for both indoor and outdoor ceremonies. Its location provides easy access for international guests, and

additional activities like tennis and game shooting keep everyone entertained throughout the weekend. This is the ideal venue for the smaller, more intimate wedding weekends.

Crafting the Perfect Wedding Weekend Itinerary

One of the perks of planning a wedding weekend is that you’ll have much more time to entertain and connect with your guests. And while planning a three-day itinerary might seem more daunting than, say, you’re average 5-hour wedding, it’s really not that much more complicated!

Here’s a sample itinerary for a three-night, four-day wedding weekend:

Day 1

Start with a welcome party or casual gathering. This gives guests a chance to get to know each other and sets a relaxed tone for the weekend. This could be in an indoor or outdoor space and should feel relatively relaxed.

Day 2

Incorporate light activities like a group sightseeing tour, spa day, or fun wedding games that can help break the ice. In the evening, the rehearsal dinner can take place, allowing the wedding party to get ready for the main event.

Read More: Fun Things To Do In Scotland For Couples: A Full 2023 Guide 

Day 3

The big day! This day could go like the typical wedding day, with a ceremony and reception followed by a laidback after-party. Try to avoid scheduling anything on the day of to allow guests the time to get ready.

Day 4

The final day could include a farewell brunch or breakfast, which would be a wonderful way to thank your guests and relive the weekend’s best moments.

Games and Activities

Wedding games are a great way to facilitate connection within your wedding party and to allow all of your guests to get to know each other before the big day. The games are also a brilliant way to entertain guests and add fun memories.

Some wedding weekend ideas in terms of games include:

  • Lawn Games: Giant Jenga, horseshoes, and cornhole can be a hit.

  • Trivia Games: Create questions based on the couple’s journey or general pop culture.

  • DIY Crafts: Allow guests to tap into their creative side by setting up stations where they can make personalized wedding favours or decorations.
wedding photography at newhall estate scotland samantha and jamie bubbles

Photography by Wildling Weddings at Newhall Estate

Creating Lasting Memories

When planning a wedding, one of the most important considerations is wedding photography and filmography. For a wedding weekend, this consideration is particularly significant as the event extends over multiple days.

If you’re eyeing a wedding in Scotland, we highly recommend our very own photography services. And if you’re looking outside of Scotland, we recommend finding a photographer who would be able to provide services over several days, to ensure that every special moment from the welcome party to the goodbye brunch is captured.

Read More: Bridesmaid Boxes DIY: How To Make The Perfect Proposal Box

Pros and Cons of a Wedding Weekend

Choosing how to celebrate your wedding is a personal thing, so each couple will approach planning their wedding weekend differently. That being said, here are some pros and cons for this style of wedding:

  • Pros: Ample opportunity to connect with guests, especially those who may be coming from far away; creating a unique and memorable wedding experience; and a less-intense, more relaxed wedding experience.

  • Cons: Wedding weekends will typically be more costly than a one-day event; a full weekend of activities might not be feasible for all guests to attend; and more planning is involved on the part of the organizers.
two brides dance at wedding reception at newhall house in scotland

Photography by Wildling Weddings at Newhall Estate

Wedding Weekend FAQs

A wedding weekend is an extended wedding celebration that spans over two to three days, offering guests a fuller experience with various activities, including the main ceremony, pre-wedding parties, post-wedding brunches, and other entertainment options.

Start by outlining the main events (welcome party, ceremony, reception, farewell brunch). Then, fill in with activities that will engage your guests, such as tours, spa days, or wedding games. Always make sure to include some downtime and communicate the schedule to guests in advance, either digitally or with a printed itinerary.

A 2-day wedding is a great option if a three- or four-day wedding weekend isn’t possible. A 2-day wedding typically includes a day of pre-wedding activities and celebrations, followed by the main ceremony and reception the next day.

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