Hi I'm Michelle, a self-professed "creative Type A," constantly in pursuit of a joy-filled, well balanced life. My deepest desire is to help people celebrate the important moments of life. Please stay awhile and explore all of our planning tips, inspiration, and creative work.
October 22, 2018
I’ve talked a lot about how much I love the smaller, more intimate parts of a wedding weekend. One reason is because I love getting to witness the moments before the pressure of the big day gets here. Usually, that means the rehearsal dinner. Happiness is teeming, and the anxiety is fun and exhilarating. Everyone is so excited for the vows to come, and I love witnessing how families come together through those emotions. In fact, it’s what inspired this celestial-themed rehearsal dinner – a party that sets an ethereal tone for an unforgettable weekend.
But what makes any party so much fun is when it’s pulled off without a hitch, stress-free and within budget. A party that makes the guests feel as welcome as the bride and groom feel celebrated is one that will go down in the books as memorable and timeless. I’m excited to share a simple checklist with you to help your rehearsal dinner be easy to plan and a perfect success.
First, put some thought into where you’re going to host your dinner. Make it a location that’s convenient. If you have a hotel room block, see if they have private venue options. In fact, many hotel companies offer booking incentives. Or, cater to your tastes as a couple, and see if your favorite restaurant has a private dining option. At most basic, a rehearsal dinner should create an environment where friends and family can relax and enjoy a more intimate moment with the bride and groom before the big day. We did that here with a warm, seated environment for both families and the wedding party to mingle and share well wishes for the new couple.
The next step to planning a rehearsal dinner is deciding on a menu. While this menu can be as casual or as formal as you would like, I suggest serving a menu different from what you’ll have at the wedding. We kept ours simple and straightforward with salads, entrees and a dessert, leaving ample room for creativity within each course. Complemented by a signature cocktail, it made for an easy evening with plenty of room for conversation and good energy.
Now, you can start thinking about décor. (Well – I am always thinking about décor.) After you’ve got the basics in place, you can let your creative side loose. The first rule is to have fun with the theme! It’s the perfect opportunity to show your personality in a way that’s not as formal as your wedding day. Here, I used a scheme of deep blue and navy, soft whites and touches of sparkling silver to set the tone for a comfortable, yet elegant evening. I chose cool, blue lighting, black and blue crystals and, of course, plenty of stars to polish off a celestial look that was truly out of this world.
Always make a plan for toasts. As I’ve mentioned, the rehearsal dinner is usually more intimate than your wedding, which provides the perfect opportunity to open the floor for longer, more sentimental toasts. With short and sweet notions at the wedding (if any), that means more time for dancing and mingling!
Many brides and grooms choose the rehearsal dinner to present their attendants with special gifts and tokens to say thank you for standing by you on this important day. Gifts are also a great expression of how much their time and money spent has meant to you leading up to the wedding. You can even pass out welcome gifts to your out-of-town guests here, which may also help you avoid additional hotel fees.
I hope you find some inspiration in this starry celebration – I can’t wait to hear what you think!
Venue & Catering – W Atlanta Midtown
Design + Planning – Michelle Gainey, Lemiga Events
Floral – C.Wayman Floral & Events
Linen & Chargers – BBJ Linen
Stationery – Tiger Lily Invitations
Backdrop – Pretty Paper Blossoms
Photography – Janet Howard Studio
Video – Joel Adrian
Makeup – Erica Bogart
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