Must-Know Rehearsal Dinner Basics
Posted on: April 25, 2017

Let us help you plan a perfect rehearsal dinner here at Hampshire House! We aim to make the planning process easy and seamless, but there are a few things every bride, groom, or family should know about planning and hosting a great rehearsal dinner. Here’s how to ensure that yours goes off without a hitch.

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  • Choose who will host. To avoid any confusion (or, let’s face it, any drama), you’ll want to make sure everyone is in agreement about who will host and pay for the rehearsal dinner. Traditionally, the groom’s family pays for this wedding expense; however, in modern day weddings, it’s up for both parties to decide who should write the check.
  • Narrow down the guest list. The only real essentials when it comes to the guest list are those in the wedding ceremony — the bride and groom, their parents, and the bridal party. However, many couples choose to invite other family members, close friends, or out-of-town guests. Choose a guest list that you feel comfortable with, both socially and financially.

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  • Invite your guests. If you’re only having a small rehearsal dinner for just your wedding party, you don’t need to send out formal invitations; instead, simply add the dinner to the rest of the agenda. If you’re having a larger event, you may want to mail out separate invitations to invited guests.
  • Know when to invite. Instead of inviting your guests to the rehearsal dinner along with the wedding invitation, send out rehearsal dinner invitations a week or so later. This will avoid any confusion and make sure that your guests still have enough time to make travel arrangements.
  • Create the event. Work with your event professional to plan out the food, beverages, décor and entertainment to showcase some of your favorite things as a couple.
    • Food: Decide if you would like to offer a reception-style event or a plated meal for your guests. Hampshire House’s creative executive chefs are happy to customize a menu to showcase some of your favorite foods, including hors d’oeuvres, displays and plated dinner selections. Be sure to choose foods that will set the menu apart from your wedding menu!
    • Beverage: Determine what beverage selections you would like to offer your guests throughout the night. We often recommend welcoming your guests to the event with butler-passed beverages upon arrival. Is there a special cocktail that you enjoy? Would you like to begin dinner service with a champagne toast? Be sure to also select a red and white wine option to offer tableside with dinner service.hh2
      • Décor: Consider adding décor to the mantles, cocktail and dinner tables in Hampshire House’s beautiful dining room. Seasonal florals instantly brighten any room and help to create an elegant atmosphere for your celebration.
      • Photographs of the bride and groom, parents, grandparents and other guests will also help to personalize the event.
      • Entertainment: Consider a trio or pianist to enhance the atmosphere at the rehearsal dinner celebration.
  • Consider table assignments. Will you assign seats for your guests or will you allow guests to seat themselves? If guests are choosing their own seats, be sure to reserve a place for the bride and groom and parents. Often times, these guests of honor are interacting with all of the other guests and are the last ones to be seated.
  • Consider welcome remarks and thank-yous. The host will want to start the rehearsal dinner with a greeting or welcome toast to start the celebrations. The bride and groom may also want to thank their friends and family for all their support.

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Enjoy the evening with your family and friends. You’ve worked hard to plan the evening! Let the Hampshire House event team take care of you and your guests.

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