Meet our guest blogger and Upstate Indie member, Lauren, owner of Events by Lauren Marie! Read on as she shares her input and experience as a professional wedding coordinator with us! This week’s topic: planning a modern rehearsal dinner! Get even more guidance and ideas in our Instagram live right here!
I got married back in August 2016. My husband is from New Jersey. For most of his friends and family it was their first time in Buffalo. I had mapped out all these fun exciting Buffalo must dos for them. I wish I had incorporated that into the rehearsal itself. Since the rehearsal is where most of the family and friends of the bride and groom are meeting for the first time, I regret not having more of a fun Buffalo activity that we all could have experience together. These people were going to spend the entire next day together. I think a more casual cocktail setting or fun activity would have been a better experience to break the ice then the standard traditional sit-down dinner.
Creative/Budget Friendly Rehearsal Options:
Your bridal party is dedicating a lot of time and expense to be with you. It is a long day in formal wear, opt for a more casual rehearsal dinner. Imagine a casual clam bake on the water or in a relative’s backyard. A backyard BBQ or pot-luck dinner is another option. Include lawn games that allow you to mix and mingle with the entire bridal party. The idea is to get comfortable with everyone and calm the nerves of the bride and groom.
For couples who still want something more formal a cocktail party with passed appetizers and beer and wine. There are so many fabulous locations and rooftops all over Western NY. You could even add a signature cocktail to the mix without going overboard on cost. For a wedding that includes a lot of out of town guests setting up food stations with local cuisine is a fun way for them to learn about the city.
Winter couples embrace the great outdoors. Spiked hot coco bar and smores bar by a cozy fire pit. Rehearsal dinners do not need to be all night events. An hour or two with guests is plenty.
Get physical! You can break with tradition and skip dinner all together. Have snacks and have your bridal party gather for hatchet throwing, a Pedal bike over Buffalo, or even bowling. The idea is to have fun, get to know everyone, and relax after running through the ceremony itself.
Modern Rehearsal Dinner Must dos:
The couple getting married must in some way honor all their family and friends who gathered there to celebrate the couple to be. This is the intimate time to show your appreciation whether it be in a gift form or even a toast.
Keep in mind the atmosphere. Remember a lot of these people are strangers. Nothing kills a party like awkward silence. Have music! A small band or even a portable speaker is a must.
Send an invitation!!!! It can be a formal printed or digital invitation. The last thing a couple wants the week leading up to their wedding day is a million questions on who, what, where, and when for the rehearsal.
If you are serving alcohol you must serve food of some kind. You’ll be grateful the following morning.
Do pick a venue relatively close to your ceremony space.
Remember to introduce everyone in the bridal party.
Put someone in charge of reminding bridal party members where and when they are meeting the following day.
A must do, soak in the night. It’s the final night as someone’s fiancé.
Lauren Marie Events takes the stress out of your big day so that time can be spent with those you cherish most. Learn more and reach out in her directory listing here! If you’re a creative wedding vendor who wants to shine on our directory and blog, click right here!