How Many Days Before the Wedding Day Should Our Wedding Party Arrive?

It all depends on whether you're planning a multi-day affair or sticking to a more traditional schedule

Updated 01/18/17

Photo by Angie Silvy

The days leading up to your wedding will be an absolute whirlwind of excitement, anticipation, and last-minute projects. It’s hard to believe your wedding day is almost here! Whether you’re planning a single day, a wedding weekend or a wedding week, having your closest friends in town leading up to your wedding can add to the fun, relieve some stress and make quick work of what’s left on your to-do list. How long can you ask that your wedding party be in town before the big day? Here’s what our experts have to say.

The amount of time you can ask your wedding party to spend in town depends, for the most part, on what you have planned for your wedding. Is it a multi-day affair with outings, activities and parties leading up to your walk down the aisle, or a week-long stay at an exotic destination? You can definitely ask your bridesmaids and groomsmen to arrive a few days before your wedding so they don’t miss anything you’ve planned. If you’re sticking to a more traditional schedule of a rehearsal dinner, your wedding day and possibly a morning-after brunch, requesting that they take any additional days off would be fun, but shouldn’t be too high on your to-do list.

If you have bridesmaids or groomsmen who won’t be able to make it until closer to your wedding day, try to schedule the key events accordingly. If possible, have your ceremony rehearsal and rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding, so your gang can travel that day and make it in time to review the main event. That might mean one of your bridesmaids will miss the group trip to the nail salon if she can’t take more than a day off of work, but at least she’ll know who she’s walking down the aisle with!

And of course, be respectful of things like travel costs and work schedules. The flight may be the same price a few days earlier, but extra time out of town means additional nights at a hotel and more vacation days taken, so check in with the members of your wedding party one-on-one to ensure that they’re comfortable with what you’re asking of them.

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