Getting married can be so exciting: first, you get to spend the rest of your life with the one you love, but also you finally get the chance to plan and prepare the wedding the way you want it. Still, there are other things to take care of, such as planning a perfect rehearsal dinner. Usually, rehearsal dinner is held a day before the wedding day, and its purpose is to gather the closest friends and family members in order to relax and have fun before the official wedding party. Rehearsal dinners can be formal or more laid back — it’s all up to you to decide, but whatever you do, make sure to have everyone on board so there won’t be any inconveniences.
If you’re about to plan that rehearsal dinner, here are some tips that will help you organize everything:
1. Start with the basics
Before you get carried away with planning the dishes and your outfit, make sure to first organize the basic details such as who’s going to pay, the number of guests and the name of the restaurant. When it comes to inviting people, try to invite those that really matter to you, instead of inviting everyone who seems like a good company. Rehearsal dinner is supposed to be an intimate gathering reserved for those closest to you. Also, make sure to know exactly who pays for it: back in the day, the bride’s family paid for the wedding, while the groom’s family took care of the rehearsal dinner. Nowadays, things changed so these things don’t matter that much, but it’s still necessary to make it clear in order to avoid potential arguments.
2. Pick the right location
When it comes to picking the location, first you need to decide on a type of rehearsal dinner. If you want a casual event, then there is no point in choosing an upscale fancy restaurant, and vice versa, if you prefer an elegant dinner, then you can’t book a laid back restaurant that serves burgers and fries type of food. If you want, you can consult your guests to see what they prefer, especially if they’re coming for different parts of town. Also, you don’t need to limit your rehearsal dinner to restaurants: there are other interesting locations to pick from such as bowling alleys, parks or beer gardens.
3. Choose the best food
Luckily, nowadays there are so many cuisines available so finding something for you and your guests shouldn’t be hard. Whether you opt for Asian, Italian or Mexican cuisine, it’s important to take your guests’ preferences into consideration. If there are people with different food allergies and other dietary needs, you should definitely ask them, so they’ll feel appreciated and welcome. Similarly, you can make a short questionnaire and send it via email so your guests will be able to fill it in, and that can also be really helpful to you. If arranging this is too stressful, you can always choose the place that serves local food, because when it comes to eating, there’s nothing better than hometown specialties.
4. Make sure you look good
You’re probably relieved that you’ve finally picked your wedding gown, but if you want to have a fun rehearsal dinner, you should definitely pay attention to what you wear. Now, you don’t need to wear an elegant dress paired with ultra-high heels, but you should definitely make an effort to look stylish. You can even wear jeans and a cute buttoned shirt with your favorite pair of sandals. Also, make sure to spruce up your outfit with some carefully chosen pieces of jewelry, such as a cute infinity necklace with symbolic meaning that will let everyone know you’re in love and ready to commit. This type of jewelry is great because it’s not too flashy, so they can be worn on any occasion.
5. Give your guests time to reply
You should definitely send invitations, now it’s up to you to decide whether you want to send elegant printed invitations or use email instead, but anything you do, always give your guests enough time to RSVP and make sure to let them know when and how to do it, so you’ll be able to organize everything on time. If you’re hosting a dinner with a small number of people, then you can invite them by calling them or approaching them in person. But it’s important to give them space, so they’ll be able to plan everything, while you’ll be able to take that time and deal with other matters, such as picking your outfit or interior decorations.
6. Arrange the photographer
Since you’re preparing for your wedding, you know how important it is the book the right photographer who’ll capture all the memories. Same goes for your rehearsal dinner — that’s why it’s necessary to find the right person who knows how to take good photos. You can use the same photographer you’ve booked for your wedding, just make sure they’re available for both events. Also, you can ask your friends and family to take photos because they’ll probably be able to capture all the little moments that matter to you the most.
7. Don’t forget to have fun
Some brides get too caught up with preparations that they forget to relax and remember to have fun. It is understandable if you feel under pressure and worry too much, but also make sure to take a deep breath and have fun with your loved ones. After all, wedding dress and perfect floral arrangements are important, but are the atmosphere, music, fun, and memories! Keep in mind that nobody will remember the elaborate wedding cake design, but everyone will surely remember how much fun they’ve had on that particular day!
Conclusion If you want to have a successful rehearsal dinner, make sure to accommodate your guests’ needs first. Additionally, if you don’t have a big budget, it’s better to organize a small and intimate event that everyone will enjoy than to spend too much money on something you can’t really afford. Finally, remember to have fun and enjoy your time spend with people you love the most!
Contributed by Stella Green Thompson, Graphic Designer and Lifestyle Blogger