There are all sorts of ways to plan a wedding rehearsal dinner, and all sorts of appropriate people can plan one. We did it the traditional way (sort of) since I am the mother of the groom. Truth be told, I really allowed my son and his bride to do much of the planning and I just did the paying! It was fun seeing them make adult decisions and made me really proud.
1. The Guest List – We began planning the rehearsal dinner with choosing the guest list, which can be comprised of everyone who needs to be at the rehearsal, their spouses (significant others) and close family members. Although some couples choose to invite family arriving from out of town, my kids wanted this to be an intimate, casual affair, and once you start inviting people not immediately involved in the rehearsal, well, feelings can get hurt if you leave anyone out. So, we had about 50 guests on the list which was larger than we had originally anticipated..
2. Logistics - The choice of Little Point Clear was based on proximity to the the hotel (The Grand) at which many of us were staying and the rehearsal venue and we just loved the Southern Coastal Charm. We were looking for a place that was intimate and more charming than a restaurant. The staff at LPC is very accommodating and made it easy for us to select vendors. We had total control over food, flowers, music and it was sun fun planning the event with Jessica and Tricia.
3. The Menu - When we agreed that FOOD should be the number one consideration at the rehearsal dinner, we selected a local caterer who features an adorable food truck. Their menu is inventive and interesting and the truck adds a really fun interactive experience. Since we were having the wedding in Autumn, we were able to sample their autumn menu which consisted of a lot of unique grilled vegetables, a couple of live stations and even a create your own sorbet station. There is no liquor license, which was actually a plus for us because we were able to get our own wine, beer and spirits which saved some serious cash (especially since I asked my son to pick up that tab!). Hey, sometimes, if the kids are doing as well as, or even better than, their parents, they can help out or even host these dinners on their own.
4. To Invite, or not to invite…that is the question. Many wonder if they need to send formal invitations to the rehearsal dinner. Rehearsal dinner etiquette says the answer is usually no, not formal. Depending on the formality of your dinner, you can send email (beware of email not being delivered or grandma not having a computer!), make calls, buy invitations from your local Hallmark store or even order special invitations online.
5 . Preparing- Since Little Point Clear is so simply clean and beautiful there wasn’t too much to do with regard to decorations. But, if you want or need to, adding some candles or centerpieces to the tables is a nice, personal touch. A little favor at each plate can make things more festive too. Coordinate with the wedding theme but don’t try to duplicate it. The venue provides all the outdoor seating, bars, pub tables and many tables and chairs so renting extra dining or a tent is about all you need. This dinner shouldn’t be a mini-reception.
On another note, the VW bus is an adorable addition and solution to issue of parking. All cars are parked off-site and so the transformation outside the courtyard is so enchanting. Corn Hole was the hit with both big and little kids. There was a fire pit providing just the right ambience with white adirondacks circled around next to the food truck & pub tables.
6. And Now we dine! We did all of the typical wedding rehearsal dinner activities like delivering bridal party gifts, speeches and toasts and had a little fun at the couple’s expense. Hey, it’s a rite of passage for a parent. After all, they’ve been embarrassing us for years, right? I’ve heard of other families playing little get-to-know-us-better games, but we didn’t feel the need for games. I brought my son and his bride-to-be a gift, a Glass Blessing Bowl, which personalized the event a bit and allowed the guests to write some of their thoughts of the couple and their marriage and place them in the bowl. We ate some awesome food, drank some well selected wine and beer, enjoyed the company of good friends and family. All in all, it was a good break from the stress of the planning and waiting for the wedding day to arrive.
7. The BEST part - The bride and her maids went upstairs to the adorable, spacious and very unique Polo Bunk for a relaxing evening and bedtime stories (haha) The next day is all about hair, make-up, photos and a brunch before the big ceremony. Again, that cute bus took the girls to the church