While Marcy is planning parties, and Eventista is being her usual charming self, I’ve been thinking a lot about rehearsal dinners. Now, I realize it’s not an earth-shattering topic, but I know there are others like me out there that actually care about this stuff. So, I wanted to write about what makes a good rehearsal dinner; who should be invited? how can a fabu rehearsal dinner help make the wedding wonderful? and all sorts of other points…..
I just love the idea of everyone getting together before the wedding and I know it can sometimes be so darn expensive, but I’ve got to say that I really do think that if you invite guests from far away to your wedding, you do need to invite them to some sort of night before festivities. One way to do this if you really want a smaller dinner is to invite everyone else to a welcome cocktail party before the dinner OR (and this works even better) to host a dessert party after the dinner where bride, groom and everyone who was at the rehearsal dinner joins up with the other guests (I personally know that Marcy was so insulted she was invited to a wedding in California without being invited to any event the night before that she declined the wedding invite).
Assign someone to M.C. the dinner-you know how cute and clever all those drunk groomsman think they are after a few shots. The anecdotes about the grooms former girlfriends or strange hobbies are less likely to surface if the mc informs everyone before what they can say and how long they have. Now, of course it helps if the M.C. is witty and charming (and Marcy always thinks it’s a good job for someone who is feeling a little left out).
Rehearsal dinners are great ice-breakers for the wedding and they are even more fun if you create a theme or even just a dress code for them that is lighthearted. I’m all about whimsy and my experience as a guest has been that we do all get into it IF everyone is in it together. I’ve been asked to wear some yellow to an “Evening in Provence” rehearsal dinner (and it was a beautious photo op), here is an Indian rehearsal dinner done by Marcy and team (the groom was Indian, the bride American) where the guests were sent the URLs where they could buy saris or churtas and were offered to take their pick of bracelets when they arrived.
The pristine white loft was fitted with an elaborate Indian patterned floral DJ booth by Preston Bailey Designs and danced to tunes spun by the amazing DJ Rehka who rocked the party with Bangara hip-hop.
Pay attention to the seating- whether you want to mix it up so that people are forced to make new friends (put all the table numbers in a fish bowl and ask everyone to pick) or use place cards and make certain that everyone is seated next to different people than they will be seated next to at the wedding. This also can be a way for the bride and groom to honor their parents by sitting with them the “night before” and get out of sitting with them at the wedding.
Lastly, if the pre-wedding dinner guest list is small, you might decide to treat yourselves and your guests to some extravagances you might not consider for a large wedding- at a rehearsal dinner in Nantucket the groom served some of his precious red wine in Jeroboams and the guests lingered in a beautiful tent on the water.