February 6, 2024

7 Incredible Wedding Weekend Venues in the US

Bride and groom standing in front of their weekend wedding venue in Lake Garda Italy

Planning A Full Wedding Weekend

If you’re just getting started in this wedding planning thing you’ve probably started to hear the phrase “Wedding Weekend”. Or people asking how they find the best wedding weekend venues. It can feel like a daunting task, especially if you don’t have any idea what they’re talking about to begin with. This is a trend that isn’t really all that trendy. Celebrities have been doing it for years. It’s just sort of filtered it’s way down to the rest of us in a much more mainstream way over the past few years. And that’s why it has probably come up in conversation a lot more as you’re looking for your wedding venue, even if you’re not looking for full wedding weekend venues.

So, let’s talk about the magic of stretching your wedding celebration into a whole weekend. Trust me, it’s not just about extending the party (although that’s definitely a bonus!). A weekend wedding opens up a world of joy and creates moments that weave into the fabric of your love story.

For you, the couple-to-be, it’s like unlocking a treasure trove of time. Instead of cramming everything into a few hours, you get a canvas of days to savor each moment. Imagine waking up in a place that feels like a dream, surrounded by your closest crew, and knowing that the festivities have just begun. One of the most challenging aspects to a wedding day is how fast things move. We’re constantly fighting against that by creating pockets of time for you to sneak away, have a moment, savor a small sip together tucked away. But think about it: More time means more moments to cherish. From intimate rehearsal dinners to lazy brunches the next day, every bit of the weekend becomes a chapter in your love story.

Guest Experience

It’s not just about you; it’s about your guests too! A weekend celebration isn’t just an event. It’s an experience. It gives your guests a chance to immerse themselves in your love story, to connect, to unwind, and to truly be a part of your journey. It’s a little beyond a “wedding favor” in that it gives people what they most want, time away together. For them, it’s a getaway—a break from the routine. It’s an opportunity to create memories that extend beyond the wedding ceremony itself. They get to bond, laugh, and share stories over more than just a hurried meal and a dance. It’s a chance for them to explore new places, make new friends, and be a part of something truly special.

And let’s not forget the magic of anticipation. A weekend-long celebration builds up excitement, creating a crescendo that culminates in the most epic “I do” moment. It’s like a beautiful symphony, each note leading to that perfect harmony of love and commitment. Picture this: The sun painting the sky with hues of gold as you exchange vows in a place that feels like it was made just for you. That’s the kind of experience these wedding weekend venues offer—a fusion of romance and pure bliss that makes your heart skip a beat.

Wedding Weekend Venues Benefits

One thing you might be surprised by is the significant number of benefits to finding a wedding weekend venue and planning a contained getaway versus a one-day event. Although at first glance you might think that this would be by far the more significant investment there is so much more to consider for a wedding day vs a wedding weekend.

1. Venue Costs:

A smaller guest list means you can choose from a wider range of luxurious and exclusive venues that might have higher per-person costs. However, with fewer guests, the overall wedding weekend venue cost can be significantly reduced while still affording a more opulent location.

2. Catering and Bar Expenses:

Food and beverage expenses typically constitute a large portion of a wedding budget, and usually far more than people realize. With fewer guests, couples can opt for higher-end menu options, specialty drinks, or even tasting menus without breaking the bank. Additionally, certain venues may have minimum guest requirements, and keeping the count low can help meet those requirements more affordably.

3. Accommodations:

Destination weddings often involve accommodation costs for guests. A smaller guest list means the couple might be able to cover or negotiate better rates for accommodations at a luxurious destination, potentially providing a more exclusive experience for attendees.

4. Décor and Details:

With a smaller guest count, couples can allocate more of their budget towards extravagant décor, luxurious details, and personalized elements, elevating the overall aesthetic and ambiance of the celebration.

5. Experiences for Guests:

Fewer guests allow for more extravagant experiences for each attendee. This could involve curated activities, exclusive tours, or special entertainment that might not be feasible with a larger crowd, creating a more memorable event for everyone involved.

6. Logistical and Planning Costs:

Smaller weddings can simplify logistics and planning efforts, potentially reducing costs associated with coordination, transportation, and staffing. Again, so much about wedding costs comes down to the overall guest count. Generally, when you’re planning a full weekend wedding you can guarantee you’re not going to invite 300 people. A wedding of 40 people is an entirely different beast than one of a much larger guest count.

While hosting a lavish celebration with a smaller guest count at a fabulous destination can seem counterintuitive in terms of cost-saving, wedding weekend venues allow couples to allocate their budget more strategically, focusing on quality over quantity and creating a more immersive and luxurious experience for their guests. This approach can often result in a more memorable and impactful celebration without necessarily escalating the overall wedding budget.

Why the Full Weekend Wedding Trend?

Where did this idea come from and is this new? Short answer, no, not at all. The long answer is that the trend of celebrities opting for weekend weddings and micro weddings basically started this trend years ago and for very good reason. This became a lot more mainstream in recent years. Why? I see several reasons contributing to this to this not so trendy trend.

1. Privacy and Intimacy:

Celebrities often prioritize privacy and intimacy. Weekend weddings and micro weddings allow them to celebrate with close friends and family in a more secluded and controlled environment, away from media scrutiny. I think more and more all of us are realizing that time celebrating with the people we love is one of the things we value the most in life. A massive ballroom wedding isn’t for everyone.

2. Personalization and Customization:

Couples want unique and personalized experiences. Smaller gatherings or weekend-long celebrations offer more opportunities for customization, allowing you to create a wedding that reflects your personality and preferences in a more intimate setting. Is horseback riding your favorite thing in the world? Live your dream and get married on a ranch. It’s a moment to make your wildest dreams become a reality and include your favorite people.

3. Exclusivity and Luxury:

Weekend weddings often take place in exclusive venues and offer luxury experiences. Couples are tending to opt for unique and opulent locations. They are creating an exclusive and lavish affair that sets the tone for a memorable celebration. More and more people are choosing experiences over things and you can see that reflected when a couple chooses a wedding weekend venue for their celebration.

4. Extended Celebrations:

Weekend weddings allow for an extended celebration beyond just a single day. This aligns with the desire of many couples, to maximize their time with loved ones and make the most of the wedding experience.

5. COVID-19 Influence:

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted wedding trends. Micro weddings gained popularity due to restrictions on large gatherings, prompting couples, including celebrities, to opt for smaller, more intimate ceremonies that comply with safety guidelines. More than anything I think the pandemic reminded people that it truly is their celebration and it can look any way they’d like it to. The “rules” are made up and it’s ok to create the day or weekend of your dreams.

While celebrities have long embraced weekend weddings and micro weddings for reasons related to privacy, personalization, and luxury, for the rest of us it’s been about the desire for more intimate and meaningful celebrations, the impact of the pandemic, and the realization that smaller gatherings can create incredibly memorable and heartfelt experiences.

Best Wedding Weekend Venues

So where do you begin? If you’re looking for the best wedding weekend venues in the United States there are countless options. The question is about how to narrow it down. So much about finding the right full wedding weekend venue is starting with what kind of experience you want for yourself and the people you’re going to celebrate with. Here are some things to think about and questions to ask as you’re interviewing venues.


Accommodation and Amenities:

  • Capacity and Lodging: Evaluate whether the venue can accommodate your guest list comfortably for an entire weekend. Ensure there are enough rooms or nearby accommodations for your guests.
  • On-site Facilities: Consider the amenities available—dining options, recreational activities, spa services, or entertainment—to keep guests engaged throughout the weekend.
  • Exclusive Use: Determine if the venue offers exclusivity for your celebration or if there might be overlapping events that could affect your wedding experience.
  • Location and Accessibility: Assess the venue’s accessibility for guests—proximity to airports, ease of transportation, and any potential travel inconveniences.
  • Vendor Accommodation: Check if the venue has preferred vendors or restrictions regarding external vendors to ensure your chosen professionals can work seamlessly within the venue’s policies.
  • Weather Contingencies: Consider the weather patterns and have contingency plans in place for outdoor venues to ensure a smooth celebration regardless of weather changes.
  • Cost and Customization: Understand the venue’s pricing structure and what’s included in the package. Evaluate if the venue allows customization of the wedding experience to align with your preferences and style.
  • Additional Costs: Inquire about any additional fees or hidden costs associated with the venue or services to ensure your budget remains within your limits.
  • Flexibility and Policies: Ensure the venue’s policies align with your needs, especially regarding timelines, setup, and any specific requirements you might have for the celebration.


What Will Your Guests Do?

When you’re choosing from wedding weekend venues, you’ll want to really think about guest experience as a top priority. What kinds of things will you have for your guests? Will they have a lot of time on their own? Will there be a lot of planned activities? Are you in a location where the venue will be providing for their every step? Or do your friends and family love space to explore? These are all important questions to ask as you’re choosing your venue.

  • Welcome Reception: Kick off the weekend with a casual welcome gathering. This could include a cocktail hour, casual dinner, or a themed event where guests can mingle and get to know each other.
  • Outdoor Adventures: Depending on the venue location, organize activities like hiking, biking, kayaking, or nature walks for guests to explore the surroundings and enjoy the outdoors.
  • Wine or Brewery Tours: If your venue is in a wine region or near breweries, arrange tours and tastings for guests to experience the local libations.
  • Cooking Classes or Food Experiences: Organize cooking classes, food tastings, or farm-to-table experiences where guests can learn about local cuisine or even participate in creating dishes.
  • Wellness and Relaxation: Offer yoga sessions, spa treatments, or wellness workshops for guests looking to unwind and relax during the weekend.
  • Games and Competitions: Set up lawn games, trivia nights, or friendly competitions to keep guests entertained and encourage interaction.
  • Rehearsal Dinner and Post-Wedding Brunch: Extend the celebration by hosting a rehearsal dinner and a post-wedding brunch, providing more opportunities for guests to connect and share in the couple’s joy.
  • Live Entertainment: Arrange live music, performances, or DJs for evening entertainment, creating a lively atmosphere for dancing and enjoyment.
  • Local Tours and Sightseeing: Organize guided tours to local landmarks, museums, or attractions, allowing guests to explore the area and immerse themselves in the culture.

Best Regions for a Weekend Destination Wedding?

This is a category that is a little biased. And frankly, that’s how it should be. You can plan a weekend wedding right in the town you live in. The only downside there is that it’s quite difficult to limit the guest list if they all know where you are! Here are a few places that would make delightful destinations right in the United States. The benefit of planning a destination wedding stateside is that it makes traveling significantly easier for your friends and family. Ultimately this is a beautiful country and is filled with nooks and crannies that are just dying to be explored.

Here are a few fantastic domestic based options if you’re stuck on ideas


Napa Valley, California:

Renowned for its picturesque vineyards and wineries, Napa Valley offers a romantic backdrop for a weekend celebration. The region’s lush landscapes, fine wines, and upscale accommodations make it a top choice for couples seeking a luxurious and elegant wedding experience.

Sedona, Arizona:

With its breathtaking red rock formations and serene desert landscapes, Sedona has become a sought-after destination for couples looking for a spiritual or nature-inspired wedding. The majestic vistas and spiritual energy of Sedona create a magical setting for a weekend of love and connection.

Asheville, North Carolina:

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville exudes a blend of natural beauty, vibrant arts scene, and southern charm. Couples are drawn to its eclectic mix of venues, from mountain resorts to historic estates, providing a diverse range of options for a weekend full of festivities.

Lake Tahoe, Nevada/California:

The stunning alpine beauty of Lake Tahoe, with its crystal-clear waters and majestic mountain backdrop, attracts couples seeking a picturesque outdoor wedding. Whether it’s a lakeside ceremony or a mountaintop affair, Lake Tahoe offers a breathtaking setting for a memorable weekend celebration.

Charleston, South Carolina:

Known for its historic charm, cobblestone streets, and antebellum architecture, Charleston offers a romantic ambiance perfect for a weekend wedding. Its rich history, beautiful gardens, and southern hospitality create an enchanting atmosphere for couples and their guests.

Kennebunkport, Maine:

Nestled along the stunning coastline, Kennebunkport exudes coastal charm and New England elegance. Its picturesque seaside views, quaint streets lined with historic homes, and bustling harbor create a scenic backdrop for couples seeking a romantic celebration. With its lobster shacks, charming inns, and the rugged beauty of the Maine coast, Kennebunkport offers a delightful blend of coastal allure and small-town charm for an unforgettable wedding experience.

Best Weekend Wedding Venues

Pinpointing the “best” wedding weekend venues across the country can vary, and again, is entirely subjective based on your preferences. However, here are several venues known for their excellence in hosting weekend-long celebrations that will hopefully get you started on thinking about your weekend and what you want.

Blackberry Farm – Walland, Tennessee:

Nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains, Blackberry Farm offers a luxurious and rustic setting for weekend weddings. With elegant accommodations, farm-to-table dining, and picturesque landscapes, it’s a sought-after destination for intimate and opulent celebrations.

The Ranch at Rock Creek – Philipsburg, Montana:

This exclusive ranch combines natural beauty with luxury. It offers various accommodation options, outdoor activities, and stunning views, making it an ideal choice for couples seeking a weekend wedding in a serene and picturesque setting.

Calistoga Ranch – Napa Valley, California:

Set amidst vineyards and oak trees, Calistoga Ranch provides a secluded and upscale experience. Its private lodges, natural beauty, and top-notch amenities make it a premier choice for a wine country weekend wedding.

The Inn at Little Washington – Washington, Virginia:

Known for its historic charm and culinary excellence, this inn offers an intimate setting for a weekend celebration. The blend of luxury accommodations, gourmet dining, and picturesque surroundings creates an unforgettable experience.

Ocean House – Watch Hill, Rhode Island:

Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Ocean House combines seaside elegance with top-notch service. Its luxurious accommodations, stunning ocean views, and range of activities make it a captivating destination for a coastal wedding weekend.

Auberge du Soleil – Napa Valley, California:

This renowned resort offers panoramic views of Napa Valley. With its Michelin-starred restaurant, luxurious spa, and exquisite vineyard setting, it’s a favorite for couples seeking a sophisticated and romantic weekend celebration.

The Greenbrier – White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia:

With its historic grandeur, elegant décor, and vast array of activities, The Greenbrier provides a luxurious and multifaceted experience. Its stunning grounds and opulent accommodations make it an exceptional choice for a wedding weekend venue.

So, in the end the question is why settle for a single day when you can have a whole weekend of love, laughter, and memories? Embrace the luxury of time. Create an experience that will forever be etched in your hearts, and let your love story unfold over a weekend.
Cheers to weekends filled with love and joy!

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