Wine, Dine & Unwind: Hosting the Perfect Rehearsal Dinner
Rehearsal dinner, welcome dinner or groom’s dinner—no matter the name, the mission is the same: to thank your closest family members and friends with a celebration of food, spirits and quality time. So raise a glass and kick off your wedding weekend with a celebratory dinner to remember.
Give yourself three to six months to plan a rehearsal dinner, says Faith Folayan, lead wedding planner at This Love Weddings. When narrowing down your list of venues, consider the following: What is the food and beverage minimum? Is there a private event space or would you be renting out the entire restaurant? How large a party can the venue accommodate? Keep convenience in mind as you choose a locale; you want guests, some of whom have already traveled for your big day, to navigate between the rehearsal and dinner sites with ease.
This dazzling head table (above), dressed with a cascading garland and lush ivory blooms by Studio Fleurette, is outshined only by the show-stopping chandelier, made with a medley of bay leaves, silver dollar eucalyptus and olive branches. Whatever your table décor, ensure sightlines are kept clear so guests can converse comfortably with those sitting across from them.
There’s an art to creating a seating chart. (You may have already discovered this ultra-tricky step in the reception planning process.) While determining who sits where, take care to consider the optimum arrangements to invite lively conversation and the pairings that could spark new friendships.
A pop of color in place cards and other paper goods balances beautifully with the venue’s natural elements. Concrete floors, a rustic harvest table and chalkboard details lend themselves to a relaxed, yet impeccably planned, dinner—perfect for breathing easy the night before your wedding.
Though formal invitations like this suite by Gretchen Berry Design Co. (above) are not required, Folayan says, “If you opt to send rehearsal dinner invitations, send them four weeks before the dinner—after the wedding invitations have been placed in the mail, of course.”
Choose elegant fare. This dish of potted pork, peppery greens, shallot vinegar and grilled bread from Spill the Wine is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.
Planning + design: This Love Weddings
Floral design: Studio Fleurette
Stationery: Gretchen Berry Design Co.
Rentals: The Vintage Type Rentals + Midway Party Rentals
Calligraphy: Rosann Konieczny Calligrapher
Cake: The Country Cake Cupboard
Catering + venue: Spill The Win
Planning + design
Catering + venue