Invitation Tips for a Rehearsal Dinner Party

Dreaming of Moonlight InvitationWhether or not you choose to send out invitations for your rehearsal dinner is entirely up to you since it is considered acceptable to forfeit this step during your busy time. We do suggest, however, that you do send out an informal invitation a few weeks prior to the scheduled date, to ensure that there are no misunderstandings about who is invited and who is not. Here is a guideline for who should be invited:

• Parents of the bride and groom.
• Members of the wedding party and their spouses or significant others.
• The wedding coordinator and spouse.
• Parents of any children participating in the wedding.
• The clergyman and spouse.
• Special out-of-town relatives, especially grandparents.

Keep your invitation simple and not too extravagant – you certainly don’t want to overshadow your wedding invitation. Any store-bought invitation can be made appropriate for a rehearsal dinner – just add a few sprinkles of rose confetti in the envelope for a special touch!

Decorate for a Beautiful Rehearsal Dinner

Luminescent-Pedestal-ColumnIf you are opting for the traditional wedding rehearsal dinner with a romantic, sit- down dinner, we have some special ideas to help you decorate your room. If you have chosen a theme for the celebration, then you will want to decorate according to what is appropriate for your theme. We have many suggestions online to help you with about any theme you can dream up!

Indoor Decorations:
• To make your party site look more intimate and festive, drape and swag gossamer across ceiling, walls, and table skirting. If you are not familiar with gossamer, it is a wonderful, lightweight fabric. Twist two colors (preferably the bride’s colors) together for a stunning look. The gossamer drapes so beautifully, that if your room is softly lit, it will have an ethereal glow.
• Never underestimate the power of decorating with balloons as they can transform any size room into a cozy space in minutes at a very low cost. You can choose to inflate balloons with helium, but that is the only option. In order to save money, inflate hundreds of balloons in colors to match your theme without using helium. Tie a 6-8 foot piece of curling ribbon to the end of each one. Using scotch tape, masking tape, or straight pins, hang balloons down from the ceiling so they hang at different lengths. Curl the loose end of the ribbon with scissors.
• Think mood lighting – candles, candles, and more candles. As long as there are no small children around, fill tables with various-sized candles and keep them lit throughout the evening. Prior to the party, put your candles in the refrigerator or freezer. Cooler candles will burn for a much longer period of time.
• Floating Candles look absolutely lovely, and you can even color the water with a little food coloring to match your theme colors. Place a glass bowl, or several different sized wineglasses filled with water on a mirror. Add small candles, and enjoy the romantic effect they produce!
• Hang twinkle lights everywhere to complement the glow of the candles.

Decorate with a personalized focal point by creating a personalized photo standee or wall graphic using one of your engagement photos.

Table Decorations & Napkins:
• For your centerpieces, choose flowers in the bride’s colors. This will set the tone for the next day. You might even check with her and see if you can arrange to share flowers or vases to help with costs. Be sure to have a larger flower arrangement at the table where the bride and groom will be sitting.
• Fill crystal bowls or vases with brightly colored glass ornaments (silver for 25th, gold for 50th) and place them on the table in a bed of metallic shred.
• Personalize your table decorations to your guests of honor. For example, one table could display the bride’s cheerleading poms from when they met and another table could show the groom’s baseball glove from his college years.
• Confetti is a great extra touch to add to any table. Scatter it down the center of the table to tie in the number of years, colors, or theme. If you plan ahead, insert a few pieces of confetti in the invitations and then sprinkle the same confetti on the table to connect the two.
• Add elegance to your affair by creating place cards for your tables. If the group is small and well connected, make copies of old photos of each guest with the honored guests. Adhere them to a heavy cardboard “tent”. Let each guest find their seat by locating the old photo of themselves.
• Order personalized napkins and have them imprinted with your party slogan and design of your choice. Select a metallic or foil imprint. The napkins will serve several purposes – great decorating in disguise and a delightful memento of the party that can be saved in scrapbooks for years to come! Napkins can be laid out on a buffet table, or displayed at each place setting. Place napkins in the center of each place setting at an angle, or unfold them and place them in Glassware for a tall dramatic look.

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Activities for a Rehearsal Dinner to Remember

Capture-the-Moments-Satin-Photo-AlbumBefore dinner there should be some time for formal introductions to be made. Many times family members of the bride have never met family members of the groom – so now is the time to get acquainted! If it is a close, intimate group in attendance, have the bride and groom say something specific about each person. This could be how they met, or what each person has done to make their life more fulfilled. This can become a very emotional and meaningful time during the big weekend celebration!

Here are some more ideas for the dinner:

During the dinner you will want to set aside time for toasts. This usually occurs right before or during the dessert. The father of the groom typically starts the toasts, and then the best man goes next. The groom usually has a toast to his new bride and then the floor is open for other well-wishers to toast the happy couple.

If the bride and groom are fun-loving and outgoing, have them put on a short skit about how they met, their first date, and the proposal. This can provide great entertainment for all!

This is normally the night that the bride and groom give out their attendance Gifts as a token of appreciation to all those that will be participating in the wedding.

Often times a video or slide show will be shown during the evening of the bride and groom growing up. Pick some appropriate music to play in the background and include as many pictures as possible of different stages of their lives. End with an engagement picture, or cute picture of the couple together.

Again, if you will be creating a theme for this event, have a couple of activities related to the theme available for entertainment. For example, a Caribbean party would not be complete without a limbo competition!

Give Great Favors at your Rehearsal Dinner

Silver Moon LampFavors at the rehearsal dinner are becoming more popular in recent years. Some trendy favors include personalized fortune cookies, custom Jones Soda bottles, personalized photo albums, photo DVDs, and other keepsakes with some connection to the couple.

Favors for all guests are typically not required at a rehearsal dinner, but we do have the following ideas for attendant gifts:

There are several styles of beautiful wedding photo boxes for your attendants to hold photos of the wedding.

Another idea would be Frosted Moon Lamps that can be personalized with your special wording!

Present each attendant with a bottle of wine with a label made especially for your big day. They can save the favor and remember your wedding over a special meal or other celebration.

The rehearsal dinner is also a great opportunity to give gifts to the parents of the bride and groom, thanking them for all they’ve done over the years as well as for their contributions to planning the wedding!

Plan Fantastic Food for a Rehearsal Dinner

Pink, Red, and Gold TableThe food that you decide to serve for your wedding rehearsal dinner is entirely up to you! If you are hosting a theme dinner, we recommend you serve food that is appropriate for the theme. For example, if you are throwing a Western rehearsal dinner, you would want to serve barbecue chicken, baked beans, etc.

If you are holding a more formal, traditional rehearsal dinner with a sit-down meal, we suggest that you choose something other than what you will serving at the wedding. If you will be serving chicken on the big day, then serve steak or pork the night before.

Some brides are choosing to bring back the Groom’s Cake these days and it is showing up at rehearsals also. The traditional Groom’s Cake is a dark chocolate cake, sometimes flavored with liqueur. It should represent something that is special to the groom, so use your imagination for a truly unique and fun cake!

No matter what food you decide to serve, have a great time decorating your tables. Check out table decorating ensembles in the hottest color combinations or mix and match centerpieces, tablecovers and confetti for your own unique look!


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