Welcome back, readers! Today, we share with you some invaluable advice from three of our most experienced planners. Yes, the rehearsal dinner can be an important part of the celebration, however it is often overlooked! Read on for our DOs and DON’Ts…
Nira, Owner and Lead Planner, says:
DO decide if you would like it to be a big event versus a small event. If it is on the larger side, set an appropriate amount of money aside for it. DON’T assume that the full wedding budget you tell your planner should cover this cost. Typically, a wedding budget is for the wedding day only.
DO communicate with family as to who is pitching in for this. This is a great area to delegate tasks to family members that want to help. DON’T forget appropriate décor and audio/visual needs. Do you have a string of speeches? Great! Make sure guests can hear them. You’ll probably need a mic!
DO make sure that if you do book a restaurant, that there is a flow to the room. The last thing you need are walls partitioning guests off from seeing a parent speech. Guests don’t like to be castaways in another room.
DO choose a venue that is rather close to the ceremony rehearsal location (if you’re having rehearsal at your wedding venue), so there is ample time for your wedding party to travel from one location to the next so there is minimal stress in sitting in traffic or nailing the timing and flow of festivities. DON’T have an extravagant event. You and your guests would be exhausted by the next (more significant) day–the wedding day! You’ll definitely want to get plenty of rest the evening prior to your big day. Waking up hungover or simply exhausted and drained on such a joyous day is never a pleasant thing.
DO utilize the rehearsal dinner to intimately connect with friends and family nearest and dearest with you before the wedding day. DON’T BYOB. A bartender and moreover, bar service (set up, ice, bar tools, garnishes, breakdown) is well worth every penny.
DO think about the wedding weekend as a cohesive experience for your guests, especially if you have a lot of out-of-towners! The whole weekend should represent you, your fiancé, and families. Many of our clients want an upscale, elevated, and elegant wedding, yet are casual, fun-loving, down-to-earth people. The contrast is great! If you’re having a formal dinner service for the wedding, but feel that doesn’t fully represent you–as a couple, your personalities, or maybe your cultures–the rehearsal dinner is a great opportunity to wave your true hosting/hostessing colors! DON’T forget about capturing this sweet and intimate gathering. Arrange for a photographer to document the evening,even if it’s just a friend. You won’t regret it!
DON’T choose a “room” at a restuarant without checking the size first. My bride and groom were dead set on a small room in a restuarant to run through their rehearsal and have dinner. Needless to say, the 25 people that were there couldn’t even line up properly because the room was too small and the staff kept standing around waiting for their party to leave so they could set up the next party. DO check out the rehearsal dinner space before you book. Make sure that your entire party can fit and that you have ample time to enjoy your dinner and run through your rehearsal if you are combining the two at one place.
Thanks for joining us today! Let us know in the comments what you’d like to hear our DOs and DON’Ts for next!