"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." ― Virginia Woolf
While the wedding is certainly the featured event, the rehearsal dinner is what begins to set the tone for all the festivities. Unless you're having a small ceremony, it is more intimate and specific to those closest to you and your fiancé. It gives you both an opportunity to spend time with the créme de la créme of your guest list and sink into the excitement of the events to come. Here are a few ways to make your rehearsal dinner memorable and unique to you!
1- Toast and Roast
Instead of just the traditional family toasts, open up the floor! On the invite, notify your guests there will be time to jump up and share that embarrassing (but not incriminating) story from middle school or their sentiments toward your upcoming nuptials. Allowing time for both toasting and roasting the couple gives an extra personal flair to your dinner and without fail, will lead to tons of laughter!
2- Cater it from your FAVE local spot
If you host your rehearsal dinner in an event space instead of a restaurant, get you and your sweeties favorite hole-in-the-wall spot to cater it for you. It's a great way to introduce friends and family who've traveled to your local cuisine and one of your fave date spots! If you do hold it at a restaurant, how about asking to bring in your own dessert or local beer? Finding ways to personalize the actual dining experience can enrich the experience for all.
3- Get kickin'!
Okay, we know you want to look great at your rehearsal dinner. It's one of the last times you'll be able to break out one of the ten white dresses you've bought over the course of your engagement, but why not bring a change of clothes and get people moving? Depending on your venue, bring out the lawn games! Start with a game of croquet or bags, or if your guests are super active, have a bride v. groom side kickball game. This super unconventional way of celebrating will definitely surprise people and get your nearest and dearest mingling and enjoying each other.
4- Bridal Party Roll Call
Your wedding will be FULL of people you love saying wonderful things about you and to you! However, why not use the rehearsal dinner as a space to return the favor? Instead of simply giving your parents and bridal parties gifts, try saying a few words about each person - start with how you know each other or give a personal anecdote about your relationship. Not only will the person receiving the words (and gift!) appreciate it, but the other guests will enjoy learning about the important people in your life.
5- lOVE notes
Many rehearsal dinners are buffet style, so take advantage of the time people will be waiting to eat or waiting for others to finish eating by leaving simple card stock and pens on the table. Instruct your guests to leave you notes. They can write advice on love, fun memories, hopes for your future or just ramblings - whatever they scribble it will be fun for you to take something from the night to revisit in years to come!
Cheers to you and your love and to having a personal, memorable rehearsal dinner!