A rehearsal dinner is a great way to unwind before the “big day,” or to pay homage to special people in your life. These people include immediate family members, those who are adding a special touch to your wedding—a friend singing as you walk down the aisle or an officiant who is preforming your ceremony—and even those who flew in from great distances. Whatever the case, this is a great opportunity to say thank you.
Today’s rehearsal dinners by all accounts include a rehearsal, even the most laid-back bride and groom should have a dry run at the ceremony location to avoid any disorganization and unneeded stress. But the dinner to follow is an opportunity to showcase who you are as a couple. This is a moment for you to be creative and to express yourself. Heck, you don’t even have to have a dinner!
I’m including some of my favorites, but by all means, use your own creative juices, and have fun!
- Hibachi – Most Hibachi stations include eight to ten guests; a full square therefore holds 16-20. This is a great option for those who want tableside entertainment and control over the budget. You can easily prepare a menu ahead of time that includes a little bit of everything. Miso soup, ginger salad, sautéed vegetables, rice and multiple proteins are standard hibachi offerings.
- Comedy Club – Okay so the food is not going to be the priority on this one, seeing every comedy club that I’ve been a patronage of has had nothing more than a variation of some type of pub food but this is a great and highly entertaining way blow off some steam and pre-wedding jitters. Who doesn’t like to laugh!! My recommendations on this is to make sure the venue knows it’s a wedding rehearsal; there isn’t a comedian alive that isn’t going to have some type of fun (even if it’s at your expense) with an upcoming wedding. If you’re a little shy, this may not be the right venue for you!
- Boat Charter – If the budget allows, this is a great way to take in the beauty and splendor of what’s to come. And believe it or not, depending on the food options, it’s cheaper than you think. I just happen to know of a venue that
- Escape Room – This is a definite outside of the box event, but for those that are competitive, it’s a blast!
- Vineyard – New England boasts some really fantastic vineyards. Imagine the sun setting, and a guitarist strumming as you sip on your favorite red or white wine; perhaps a tour of the operations, and a demonstration by the in-house Sommelier. To top it off you give your guests a bottle with you and your fiancés picture or wedding date and logo as a special thank you.
Even with these options, you decide you’re a purist and you simply want a traditional dinner, think about making it family style with serving dishes that are passed from one guest to another. A horse shoe configuration or a large square where all guests are facing each other. It’s a great way for people to get to know each other and to share in stories about the two of you before your big day.