The Rehearsal Dinner is the kick-off to the wedding weekend and besides the invitations and whatever you graciously leave at the hotel for when your guests check-in, the Rehearsal Dinner is your guests first impression of the wedding weekend. So why not start off with a splash!?
1. Know your guests. Will they know each other? How far are they traveling to be there? Where are your guests from? What will make them feel at home? How far is the Hotel from the Rehearsal Dinner location? Take these questions and more into consideration as you are planning the flow and timeline of the evening.
2. Hospitality is love in action, max it out. Your wedding weekend is one of the most magical weekends because all of your favorite people, who may not even know each other, are together in one room. These people have invested, loved and challenged you (and your groom) in each and every one of your different stages and ages of life and it is truly humbling to look around and see all those who have helped shape who you are today. Stick by your grooms side as you together make a point to welcome and spend precious moments with as many guests as you can, it may not hurt to go through your guest list before the dinner and give short bios about each guest to each other as well.
3. Remember your roots. Incorporating your grandmothers silver candlesticks, using your mothers crystal champagne flutes, getting personalized napkins printed with special quotes either from family members or friends, serving your mother-in-laws chocolate mousse recipe, displaying wedding pictures from extended family members whose marriages were those whose footsteps you wish to follow, these ideas and more create a beautiful backdrop for stories and memories that can't help but make your guests feel at home.
4. Have a statement piece. Whether it is a tower of Champagne flutes, or a whisky and cigar bar, or a stunning ice sculpture in the foyer, organize your budget so that you are able to "wow" your guests in a big or little way and talk about conversation piece! Your statement piece can be a natural way to get your guests mingling and form these relationships that will Lord willing last a lifetime. A current trend, is to hire a professional barista and offer a full coffee bar as your guests are leaving your dinner. Note: serving decaf coffee is essential.
5. Hire a photographer and videographer. A great way to be friendly to your budget, is to share vendors with the bride! Per approval of the bride and her family, consider hiring the same stationer, florist, photographer and videographer to capture those precious moments with your guests at the Rehearsal Dinner. Many Rehearsal Dinners, because of the more intimate setting, are seated and set a perfect scene to toast the bride and groom with well wishes. The toasts from those closest to you, are some of the things you will forever treasure - so allow a photographer and videographer to help you cherish them!