Bristol Harbour - Finger Lakes Weddings, Lodge, Dining and Golf

How To Host Your Wedding Weekend


As more and more couples move away from "traditional" and "classic" weddings in favor of modern, creative, and uniquely-their-own celebrations, the Wedding Weekend has become a popular trend for those looking to extend the festivities beyond just one day.  

What is a Wedding Weekend?: Long gone are the days of the cookie-cutter, one-day wedding formula of ceremony, reception, then guests heading home. Instead, many brides and grooms are now opting for a Wedding Weekend experience - a multi-day, multi-venue celebration of their love with a variety of events, activities and opportunities for bonding with friends and family. 

The Wedding Weekend option is particularly popular with couples hosting destination weddings at Bristol Harbour, so that their out-of-town guests have a fun-filled itinerary throughout their stay in what may be an unfamiliar area. For guests with long travel times, it's the perfect incentive for them to attend because they can make a mini-vacation out of the trip. It also encourages guests to get to know each other during the pre-wedding events, so when it's time for the reception, everyone is already well acquainted and can focus on having fun instead of making introductions.

While Wedding Weekends are all about individuality and creating a one-of-a-kind experience, they will typically follow a general outline:

Day 1 - The Day Before the Wedding
(keep in mind, some couples may opt to plan events for two or more days prior to their wedding depending on anticipated arrival dates of their guests)

- Welcome Brunch, Luncheon or Cocktail Reception

- Group Activity 

- Rehearsal Dinner 


The ideal weekend:
Holiday weekends are typically the perfect choice for a long, enjoyable Wedding Weekend. Not only will most guests have a three-day weekend, wedding destination areas tend to have more activities on holiday weekends such as outdoor concerts, festivals and wine walks. 

The CMAC concert amphitheater, located on the grounds of Finger Lakes Community College (FLCC) in Canandaigua, NY, traditionally hosts big name concerts during most holiday weekends. The city of Canandaigua also features a monthly Wine Walk on the first Saturday of the month and The Canandaigua Lady steamboat dinner and lunch cruises.

Canandaigua Lake delights residents and visitors alike on the Saturday before Labor Day with The Ring of Fire. This Seneca Nation celebration marks the end of summer and hopes for a plentiful harvest. Starting with a bonfire atop Bare Hill, residents on the lake light flares on the beach, creating an illuminating “ring of fire” around the lake. Many residents also supplement this celebration of lights with fireworks and smaller bonfires. This tradition is a personal favorite of mine as it showcases both our beautiful lake and surrounding hills and also pays homage to The Seneca Nation.


Activities:  Select activities you would like to incorporate into your Wedding Weekend based on your personal interests and what the area has to offer. Wine tours and golf are always crowd pleasers and the Finger Lakes region is rapidly becoming the newest trendsetting destination for both. The perfect outdoor wedding venue, Bristol Harbour Lodge and Golf Club, is located in the heart of Finger Lakes Wine Country and also offers an 18-hole Robert Trent Jones Championship Golf Course that's open to the public. 

It's also important to consider the guests you'll be inviting when planning events - for instance, are you having children at your ceremony, reception, or do you have lots of guests who will be traveling with their kids? Consider a family-friendly option like a trip to Bristol Mountain Arial Adventures, where the kids and adults of all ages can try their hand at zip lines high up in the Bristol Hills!

Do you have a wide array of tastes, interests and demographics when it comes to your guest list? You can plan multi

Venue:  Choose a reception venue that is not only ideal for your Wedding Weekend but is also perfect for your Destination Wedding.  Bristol Harbour Lodge and Golf overlooks beautiful Canandaigua Lake and is one of the top Outdoor Wedding Venues in the Finger Lakes.  Offering scenic lake views, dozens of local area wineries and one of New York States top public golf courses, Bristol Harbour is guaranteed to please everyone on your guest list.

Wedding Weekend Favors:  Many For a flawless way to commemorate your Wedding Weekend at Bristol Harbour, a gift box filled with a bottle of local wine, golf apparel and accessories from our Golf Pro Shop and one of our signature Bristol Breeze candles, made exclusively for Bristol Harbour by Forge Candle Co., is a great way to arouse blissful memories of your beautiful Wedding Weekend. 


Nicole Morgan

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