Whether your party is large or small, formal or casual, it is undoubtedly a special time spent in company of friends and family. We've got great ideas to help you make your rehearsal dinner/lunch/brunch a standout!
Le Jardin Luncheon
If you prefer to keep the eve of your wedding all to yourself, why not convince your rehearsal party hosts to make your party a lunch? Rehearsal lunches work beautifully both dressed-up and laid-back, and if your rehearsal is scheduled for earlier in the day, it may be more convenient for everyone. The decision to host a lunch can ease the pangs of hungry attendants, and solve the problem of what to do with your assembled guests before the dinner hour. In addition, if you have a large rehearsal party guest list, your hosts may find lunch a more reasonable expense than a sit-down dinner.
Outdoorsy types might want to choose a garden or courtyard location for a midday feast. Fight the heat with a variety of lemonades, iced teas, or Arnold Palmers (a mixed non-alcoholic drink of lemonade and iced tea).
If your wedding takes place during a cold snap, find an airy, windowed garden room to create your own private springtime. Warm up your loved ones with an assortment of hot drinks, teas, and coffees.
Make a statement with a floral, or garden-themed invitation, like the design pictured here. If the ambiance you're after is reminiscent of a vintage affair, select a design that combines scrollwork, botanical prints, and retro fonts and phrases.
A Canopy of Stars
A beautiful, balmy night hardly needs embellishment. Imagine a group of your nearest and dearest assembled in a garden illuminated by twinkle lights -- what better way to set the tone for a romantic wedding. Many restaurants, both formal and casual, have garden patios, courtyards and other outdoor locations. If your wedding season will be clear but cool, make sure the establishment you choose will provide heat lamps. And be sure to advise your guests to dress for dinner al fresco.
On a Beach
If a beach wedding, however romantic, feels somehow impractical, why not indulge yourself with a beach rehearsal dinner instead? Rehearsal clambakes, fish fries, and barbeques are fast becoming a regular sight these days. The feeling of sand between your toes while you watch a beautiful ocean or lake sunset has been known to work wonders for those suffering wedding anxiety. After all, how could prenuptial nerves be anything but soothed by the sounds of waves?
Round up lawn chairs, picnic tables, tiki torches, find a spot on the sand, build a bonfire, and enjoy the evening. Make sure public gatherings are permitted on the beach you choose, and check with local authorities about the use of alcohol, campfires, and barbeques.
Blast From the Past
So you want to kick back and relax, but there's nary a stretch of sand in sight. Never fear -- some of the most extraordinary rehearsal celebrations take place at ordinary locales. If your wedding is taking place in your hometown, make a list of your old haunts, favorite childhood destinations, and teenage stomping grounds. Think of the restaurants and cafes you frequented before Mr. or Ms. Wonderful came into your life! It might be fun for your future mate to finally see that pasta bar, pizza palace, or steak joint you've talked about all these years.
More of our favorite rehearsal party ideas include:
- A Love Luau (Hawaiian music, tropical drinks, and pineapple)
- A Prenuptial Picnic (Grab the checkered tablecloth and go crazy!)
- A Sushi Soiree (For the faint of heart, yakitori, tempura, and teriyaki)
- A Mexican Marry-Me Fiesta (How about a piñata filled with personalized candies?)
- A Fleet of Pizzas (serve a sampling of small gourmet pizzas or other treats)
- The Backyard's Best (get comfy at a friend's home -- talk late into the evening without worrying about closing time)
Just remember, wedding rehearsals and rehearsal parties are often emotional events. Make sure you select a location, theme, and time that you are comfortable with. Then laugh, cry, toast, roast, and enjoy your party. After all, you have a very big day ahead.
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