How to plan a rehearsal dinner
How to plan a rehearsal dinner party? You’ve booked the ultimate venue for a spectacular wedding celebration, found the exquisite gown you’ve always dreamed of, chosen a décor concept that perfectly captures your style as a couple and you’ve created a guest list of wonderful people with whom you can’t wait to share your big day.
While small details may be all you have left to consider when it comes to your wedding day, one large undertaking that often remains is planning your rehearsal dinner.
A rehearsal dinner is a distinctive dinner party, an intimate celebration, that takes place immediately following the ceremony rehearsal a day or two prior to the wedding day itself. While these celebrations may be less formal overall, they are certainly no less sentimental as those in attendance are almost always those closest to you.
Traditionally the rehearsal dinner is hosted by the groom’s parents. Today, however, much of tradition has been replaced by a more modern approach. Anyone who offers to host the rehearsal dinner may do so – including the bride and groom. Once a gracious host has been selected, the planning can begin!
The Modern Twist
While it’s often referred to as a rehearsal dinner, this gathering doesn’t have to be a dinner at all! A rehearsal brunch or a wine tasting with heavy hors d’oeuvres are each a contemporary approach to the rehearsal dinner tradition. If you’re considering a wine tasting, follow these helpful guidelines about selecting wines to pair with the food you’ll be serving. As a note, be sure to indicate what style of soiree you’re having on the invitation so as to not leave your guests waiting for a sit-down meal if one isn’t coming!
How to plan a rehearsal dinner- The Location
From charming garden parties and casual backyard barbeques, to a favorite restaurant or even a lively local pub – the location of this celebration is often somewhere with a hint of sentiment. It can be at the home of the bride or groom’s parents, the spot of a first date or a local eatery featuring your favorite cuisine.
When it comes to the décor of the location you choose, consider keeping it modest. Romantic décor can be reflected in any design concept. There is no need for elaborately adorned tablescapes, (unless of course that’s something you strongly desire). Simple yet romantic touches – such as airy linens, minimalist floral designs and perhaps a few engagement photos to add a personal feel, are all you need to capture the sentiment of the evening.
The Guest List
The wedding rehearsal is typically attended by those individuals participating in the wedding ceremony itself – such as the wedding party, parents of the couple, officiant, readers and of course the bride and groom. However, the rehearsal dinner guest list isn’t limited to just these exceptional individuals. Immediate family, close friends, out-of-town guests and anyone else who has an intimate relationship with the bride or groom should be considered for this exclusive celebration.
How to plan a rehearsal dinner- The Party
On the day of the rehearsal dinner, once everyone has arrived, it’s only natural to mingle with your guests. Introductions can be made and leisurely conversation organically follows without the pressure to move along to the next person.
It’s important to take this opportunity to thank your host, parents, and those participating in the wedding with a toast and small token of appreciation. Elaborate speeches aren’t necessary, however, recognizing not only those who are a large part of your life but those who are part of your wedding day is important. This relaxed setting full of love, family and friendship is the perfect place to say, “thank you.”
The carefree and jubilant atmosphere of your rehearsal dinner will be the perfect beginning to your wedding celebration. Spending an evening (or an afternoon) with close family and friends in an intimate environment is the perfect way to enjoy those closest to you, and to thank them for the roles they’ve played in your life.
This article was contributed by Megan Beth