Wedding Events for Out-of-Town Guests

Outdoor Wedding Reception at Haiku Mill in Maui

Photo: Jana Morgan

Even if you're not planning a destination wedding, there's a good chance that some, perhaps even most, of your guests will be traveling for your big day. As you put together welcome bags and think about reserving blocks of hotel rooms, it's also important to consider planning some events to make out-of-towners feel welcomed and appreciated. If there's open time in the wedding-celebration schedule, or for guests who plan to make a vacation out of the trip, provide your out-of-town friends and family with a list of local activities, sports centers, museums, and other attractions. This aside, there are a few other wedding-weekend events that you should either plan for these guests or include them in. Here, according to etiquette experts, is a sampling of when and how you should plan these.

The night of the rehearsal dinner: Some couples include out-of-towns at the rehearsal dinner. While this is not obligatory, if circumstances enable their inclusion in the rehearsal dinner, then it's a viable option. Otherwise, friends and relatives may offer to host a cocktail party, barbecue, or other gathering for guests while the wedding party is rehearsing or at dinner.

The day before the wedding: Many weddings are full weekend events. Gatherings are planned before and after the main event, so a hike, miniature golf outing, or other casual outdoor adventure is a nice way for folks to get acquainted in a less formal setting before the wedding.

On the day of an evening wedding: Friends might host a brunch or luncheon for guests on the day of a late-afternoon or evening wedding.

At a post-wedding brunch: Out-of-town guests at an evening wedding generally stay the night. For them, a breakfast or brunch makes for a nice send-off.

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