Rehearsal Dinner Guide

Traditionally, a rehearsal dinner takes place the night before your wedding. This is a perfect time to gather with your wedding party, close friends, and family to intimately celebrate your upcoming nuptials. If you are planning to have a rehearsal dinner party, here are a few tips to get the preparation underway.

Who is the host?
It is customary for the groom’s family is plan, organize, and pay for the rehearsal dinner. Today, some couples choose to share the responsibility and host this event on their own. Whichever route you choose, the person that oversees the event will send invitations, book the venue, plan the food, and pay.

Where should it take place?
Some rehearsal dinners are formal and take place in a ballroom with a seated dinner included, while others take place in the backyard with barbeque. The possibilities are endless. First consider if you want a formal or informal event and recognize that the price will vary depending on the location and size of your party. If your wedding is formal, you may choose to keep the festivities in line with a proper setting.  If your wedding has a more causal and laid-back atmosphere, stick with a relaxed and warm party.

Who should be invited?
When organizing your rehearsal dinner guest list, begin with parents of the bride and groom along with immediate family members, the wedding party, and the officiant. Then it is time to branch out to spouses and potentially their children (depending on how large your event will be). Ring bearers, flower girls, and junior bride’s maids should be included and, depending on their age, possibly their parents. Once this list is finalized, reach out to close friends or out of town guests that you want to be a part of this intimate gathering too.

For unique rehearsal dinner ideas, click here.

Formal or Informal Wedding Invitations?

Wedding invitations are one of the first items you will select for your wedding. There are a few steps involved and some details to consider when finding the right fit. If you have begun your search, you have probably noticed there are thousands of options out there and it can seem a bit overwhelming!  Here is a guide to helping you select and personalize the right set for you.

The first question you need to ask is…are you hosting a formal or an informal wedding? Formal wedding invitations are considered to have a “proper” look and the wording is remarkably different from the casual invite. If you are moving in the formal direction, choose invitations that use a tissue liner in the center with an exterior envelope to protect the invitation itself. While a few physical characteristics may vary, the key distinction is in the verbiage.  Here are a few wording details that may diverge in a formal invitation:

  • They are sent by the “host” of the event using a formal or proper name and a title.
  • Middle names are included.
  • “Request the honour of your presence” is often used over statements such as, “please join us”.
  • The time and date are spelled out such as, “Saturday, the twenty-fifth of May at seven o’clock in the evening.”
  • The city and state are included and fully spelled out.

A casual wedding invitation creates a canvas for creativity and character. These invitations may appear more simple or imaginative and allow the use of informal wording such as:

  • We are saying “I do!”
  • “We have found our happily ever after. Join us in celebrating!”
  • The date and time do not need to be spelled out in a formal way.
  • You can include the name of a particular host or just let your guest know they are invited in any creative form.

If you are unsure about which invitation best suits your wedding motif, click here for your wedding invitation guide

Tips to Make Your Wedding Reception Upscale

Did you know that the key to elegance is simplicity?  The fewer details you incorporate, the more upscale your wedding reception will feel.  Here are a few other tips that are sure to help you create a more sophisticated vibe.

Color Choice

Color choice alone speaks volumes when creating an ambiance for your wedding reception.  According to www.colorpsychology.org, shades of white are associated with “goodness, perfection, and purity”.  When mixed with black which represents “elegance and formality” the blend creates a simple, fashionable, and classy setting. If you integrate a few soft or neutral colors into the mix you can also retain a sense of calmness and harmony.  Imagine yourself walking into a wedding reception full of detail and color in comparison to a simpler arrangement.  For most, the reception with less detail and bright color choices will have a more sophisticated feel. Other elegant color choices are: silver, gold, and soft shades of green.

Lighting

Adding some sparkle is one of the most fun and beautiful ways to create exquisiteness and elegance. If you are having an outdoor reception, string lighting is a great table accent. For an indoor reception, lanterns and candles are a beautiful way to incorporate soft and upscale illumination.  Whether indoors or out, the right lighting can add such a beautiful tone for your reception. Be sure to spend some time selecting the best lighting choice for your party!

Timing

It is understood that evening receptions lean on the side of elegant.  Guests may arrive more formally dressed and ready for cocktails and appetizers. Typically, at an evening reception, dinner is also served and guests plan to stay for the duration.  It is less likely for guests to sneak out early for other obligations, which in turn creates a less casual atmosphere.  Mixed with your brilliant lighting choices, an evening wedding can look stunning and maintain that intimate and upscale vibe.

If an elegant wedding reception is what you are shooting for, remember to still have fun! Smiles and laughter never go out of style, no matter what setting you desire.