Author Elin Hilderbrand to Appear at Hampshire House on November 27
Get excited for the fourth and final installment of New York Times best-selling author Elin Hilderbrand’s Winter Street series, “Winter Solstice,” with a special author appearance at Hampshire House on November 27. Cozy up with tasty hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar as you get reacquainted with the Quinn family from this popular series.
The Winter Street series takes readers on a journey alongside a grieving family that finds solace where they least expect it. After the death of celebrity chef Deacon Thorpe, his grieving family comes together to put the pieces back together. In “Winter Solstice,” readers will be reacquainted with their favorite characters one last time, as the Quinn family deals with Kelley’s terminal brain illness, Bart’s return home from Afghanistan and Margaret’s retirement. All new twists, turns and takes on this family’s dynamics make “Winter Solstice” a must-read!
Hilderbrand is a Nantucket-based author who makes the island a primary backdrop in her stories. And, not only does she do some of her best writing on the beaches of Nantucket, but she’s become a steadfast member of our own Beacon Hill community. We’re delighted to host Hilderbrand in the heart of our neighborhood. The author will be on-hand to speak, answer questions and sign books at the event.
How to Attend
The event will take place at 6 p.m. on Nov. 27 at Hampshire House. Not only will you get to enjoy a conversation with this beloved author set in the cozy atmosphere of our turn-of-the-century mansion, but you’ll also have the opportunity to purchase copies of “Winter Solstice,” as well as the three other books in the series through Blackstone’s of Beacon Hill. Signed copies will also be available. Please R.S.V.P. by contacting us at 617-854-7628 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fall is always a special time to marry, and the fall 2017 wedding trends in food, flowers, dress, and décor promise to make for some truly unique events at the Hampshire House this season.
Let’s start with everyone’s favorite topic, and the one that often has the most impact on guests: food. Food and drink stations are becoming popular, and not just the well-known dessert bar. Stations are a time-honored way to feed guests a main course or a significant side, ensuring they get exactly what they want in whatever proportion they want.
This season, we are seeing new twists on this traditional idea. How about a carving station that serves barbeque? Or a bar offering potato pancakes with sweet or savory toppings? Hampshire House has offered station dining for years. If you have an idea, we’ll work to make it happen.
Stations can also be used to serve drinks that make your wedding unique, from specialty coffees to craft beers. A professional barista or mixologist can add to the fun. One simple but elegant idea: Borrow a page from the Hampshire House holiday menu and offer a warm beverage station featuring cocoa, cider, or even cordials.
What about the cake? In this department, less is more this fall. Where ornate wedding cakes were once in style, more modest tiers have become the fashion, often sans-topper. These elegant confections often take on a clean and unadorned look (some couples have even opted for a translucent icing effect). When they are adorned, humble greenery, and flowers are in fashion.
Here’s another fall wedding trend: Cakes are getting smaller. Often, they are large enough to facilitate the traditional cutting of the cake, but auxiliary desserts are employed to feed all of the guests. One great idea for fall: pie. If ever there was a season for it, it’s fall.
Flowers and Decor
Popular color schemes this fall will hue toward plums and burgundies, with neutral or pastel accents. Ivory, rather than glaring white, can be used as an accent to create a Victorian effect. Want something bolder? Add a metallic color to your palate. This fall, copper will be popular.
This theme continues in floral arrangements, where wine-colored dahlias are popular. Overall, wild-looking arrangements have taken hold, from bouquets to table decorations. Leafy greens are popular, including some that may surprise you. Succulents, eucalyptus, bay leaf branches, and even berries are all making an appearance on tables this fall. The natural look compliments the season well.
Indeed, tables are the subject of much consideration this fall, when it comes to décor. Many brides and grooms are looking to fill the space between the tabletop and the ceiling, which often goes unused. Formal weddings will use tall candles and candelabras, which will be perfectly at home amid the elegant Italian marble and carved oak paneling at Hampshire House. Other options might include large flower arrangements.
Calligraphy can be used to great effect throughout the event, adding a distinct touch to match elegant surroundings. For example, you can ditch the day-of stationary in favor of custom signage. Cocktail and drink offerings can be written on a mirror. A welcome message can be presented on a blackboard. Either can be adorned with floral arrangements for a custom touch.
Fashion and Dress
Perhaps the most important element in any nuptials — and certainly so for the bride — is the wedding dress. In the fall, temperature often demands longer sleeves and layers. Two-piece separates will be a fall wedding trend. One idea: A cashmere sweater over a full-length bridal skirt. It’s a unique look that can be comfortable, too.
Here’s another comfortable idea: Consider a costume change before the reception. A second, less confining dress, built for dancing, and shoes to match can make the special night painless.
Not to be left out, fashion for grooms this fall will continue efforts to move attire beyond the traditional black suit or tux. Look for fitted, two- and three-piece suits in darker browns, blues, and burgundy. Tweed is also a consideration. With suit, vest, and tie to play with, layered color combinations will be popular.
After all, fall is all about color.
Your choice of wedding venue will set the tone for the entire event. When selecting the perfect location, the importance of a theme that will reflect your personalities cannot be understated. For all themes that depend on elegance, the Hampshire House’s charming architecture and prodigious history can help create thematic wedding harmony. Use these suggestions as inspiration for your themed wedding at the Hampshire House.
Accenting your wedding venue with the right decorations is key to creating a cohesive design. Having a set color palette helps ensure that all your decorative elements tie together. Since the Hampshire House is a historic venue with luxurious details such as carved oak paneling and crystal chandeliers, shiny pops of silver or gold in your décor can effortlessly draw the eye. A simple black and white color palette is second option that’s absolutely timeless and incredibly versatile when it comes to decorating. If you’re inspired by the sweeping views of the Boston Public Garden from the windows of the Hampshire House, another option would be to create a palette of greens, pinks, oranges, yellows, and other beautiful floral tones.
You’ll also want to include physical decorations that convey your theme to guests. Fine linens and lush floral arrangements will also add gorgeous textures to your décor design. Additionally, consider the Hampshire House’s turn-of-the-century details, vintage items add a chic touch to your event.
The Hampshire House makes it incredibly easy to create a themed menu for your event. The dynamic food selections, all of which are prepared on site, have been carefully developed by Hampshire House Executive Chef, Markus Ripperger. From classic fare to inventive, modern cuisine, couples may pick and choose from the many options to custom design a menu for their guests.
Some of the most popular themed menus for Hampshire House weddings focus on the local cuisine. This often includes seafood, which is always incredibly fresh and flavorful considering the Boston location. Consider adding a raw bar complete with lobster tails, oysters, shrimp, and clams to your event. For the entrée, the herb-poached halibut with saffron risotto and cardamom sautéed shrimp and scallops with creamy polenta are sure to satisfy even the most discerning guests.
Of course, seafood is just one of the many themed options for dining at Hampshire House. Your wedding could also include a Mediterranean menu, classic carving stations, gourmet pasta, or vegetarian selections. The Hampshire House staff will be happy to work with you to design a menu for your special day. Custom dishes can be created just for your event, so don’t be afraid to think outside of the box in order to come up with wedding menu ideas that will delight both you and your guests.
If you’re looking for a classic, elegant and timeless setting for your Boston wedding, the Hampshire House is the perfect fit. Nestled in the gorgeous Beacon Hill neighborhood, this Boston wedding venue offers a warm and inviting space with unparalleled style and luxury.
With the beautiful sunshine, lush greenery and warm weather afforded by the city, it’s no surprise that summertime weddings remain ever-popular at Boston’s Hampshire House. By taking inspiration from the building’s luxurious interior décor and scenic surroundings, it’s easy to create a beautiful atmosphere when starting with a color palette that will complement your summer wedding. The following are some beautiful and unique summer wedding color combinations that are perfect for a wedding at Boston’s Hampshire House.
Yellow, Pink, and Coral
Because the Hampshire House is located next to the Boston Public Garden, you can use the gorgeous scenery as inspiration for your summer wedding colors. After all, the gardens are at their most lush and colorful state during the summer months.
Start with a sunny yellow shade to brighten things up, then mix in pink and coral tones to create a beautiful floral palette. Set those essential colors off with a deep magenta to create more dimension. Plenty of greenery can also be incorporated into your bouquets, centerpieces, and floral arrangements to enhance the garden-inspired theme.
Navy, Yellow, and White
If you want summer wedding colors that are timeless and chic, this is the perfect color combination for you. Inspired by coastal themes, this color palette is perfect for weddings at the Hampshire House due to the location in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood. In fact, the Charles River is just steps away from our front door, so many couples take advantage of the scenic waterfront with their photographer. As an added bonus, this upscale, sophisticated palette transitions perfectly from outdoor photo ops to an elegant indoor reception at the Hampshire House.
Navy and white will be the basis for this timeless, chic color palette. By adding in a splash of yellow, the combination of tones has a sunny, summery feel that’s perfect for this season. Because all of the colors in this palette are so classic and simple, you’ll have less trouble trying to find matching shades for things like bridesmaid dresses, tablecloths, invitations, and flowers. In addition, your photos will always have an undeniably timeless look.
Blush, Gold, and Burgundy
If you want a summer wedding that’s reflects the season while still feeling formal, choose this color palette. The combination is particularly sophisticated, stylish, and luxurious, especially with rich, shiny touches of gold scattered throughout your décor. The blush is summery and warm without being too flowery or bright, and the hints of burgundy add a bit of dramatic elegance to the feel of the event.
This color combination is a favorite for upscale evening receptions at summer weddings. It makes an excellent fit for the Hampshire House in Boston due to the venue’s stunning and timeless details such as crystal chandeliers, Italian marble, and carved oak paneling.
Keep your summer wedding looking fabulous and perfectly fit for the season by choosing from these versatile wedding color combinations. With these unique and stylish options, it’s easy to find a great fit for your style. Use these palettes as inspiration for making the dream wedding you’ve been planning finally come to life.
Baby Shower Planning Checklist
If your daughter, sister, or best friend has a new baby on the way, throw an event to remember with the help of Hampshire House’s baby shower checklist. With sweet treats, a pretty venue, and fun shower activities, the mom-to-be will love being celebrated by her closest friends and family. If you are leading the charge for the baby shower planning, here is a checklist to ensure that you cover all of the little details.
Three to Four Months Ahead of Time:
- Pick a Date — It is generally ideal to host a shower a month or two before the baby’s due date. Think about the time of year and whether you want to take advantage of a cozy fire on the Hampshire House’s third floor in the winter or stroll through the Boston Public Gardens after the affair in the spring or summer.
- Make a Guest List — While you want to leave the new mom with as few details as possible, it is important to get a sense of who she wants to have at her shower. Will it be coed? Is it for extended family and coworkers or just close friends? Let the mom-to-be make these decisions.
- Contact the Venue —If you don’t already have a venue in mind, now’s the time to organize a list and make some visits. Hampshire House will work with you to find an available date for your special event, but we generally recommend getting in touch several months ahead of time to ensure that your date and desired space is free.
- Order or Design Invitations — Once you’ve picked the date, time, and venue, you can order the invitations. It’s important to note that many graphic designers and online invitation services require several weeks for personalization and shipping, so getting your invites ahead of time is key!
Two Months Ahead of Time
- Plan the Menu — Whether you’re looking for light finger foods or a plated meal, the Hampshire House has a variety of delicious items that will satisfy all palates, even pregnancy cravings! Coordinate an elegant brunch or an upscale tea party or opt for a more relaxed gathering in the afternoon. This is also the best time to contact your preferred baker or sweet shop to place a dessert order.
- Coordinate the Activities — If your party has a theme, consider that in developing the shower games and activities. One fun idea is to have all of your guests bring pictures of themselves as babies and have a guessing contest to see who is who. Another option is to have the parents answer 20 questions about their new baby and then compare their answers at the shower.
- Delegate Key Roles — Make sure that your friend with the best Instagram account is in charge of taking photos of the party and the pregnant mommy, and coming up with a clever hashtag! You should also designate someone to record gifts as they are opened so that your guest of honor will have all of the information ready for thank you notes.
Six Weeks Ahead of Time
- Send Out Invitations — At least six weeks before the event, you’ll want to make sure the invitations are in the mail. This will give you enough time to collect the RSVPs and make final adjustments based on head count.
- Coordinate Décor — If necessary, take a second walk-through of the event to ensure that you have décor for all the important surfaces and areas of the room. If you intend to order fresh flowers from the florist, make sure to get your order in at least six weeks prior to the event, and even earlier if you are planning a larger shower.
The Week of the Shower
- Check in with the Venue — Contact the venue to make sure that everything is organized for the big day. If you have extra vendors coming (for example, a live band or a photographer) you’ll also want to solidify details with them early in the week. If you intend to have desserts or flowers delivered, ensure that the venue knows to expect them before the event begins.
- Pick up Final Finishes — Décor and food items that have to wait until the last minute, such as helium balloons and baked goods, should be coordinated in advance.
Vintage Wedding Guide: Throwing an Old-Fashioned Affair
If you’re planning a vintage-inspired wedding, set the perfect backdrop to your special day with the help of Hampshire House. Our turn-of-the-century, five-story Georgian revival home in the center of Beacon Hill will add an air of old-school elegance to your entire event. Vintage weddings are the perfect choice for the couple who loves a classic ambiance with a bit of an eclectic feel, and our special space makes the perfect backdrop for your vintage vision.
Choosing a Vintage Venue
If you’re looking for a unique venue that’s well-suited for a vintage-style wedding, consider choosing a historical setting with architectural features that set the stage. Choosing an indoor setting complete with elaborate woodwork and stunning chandeliers will help you take some of the guesswork out of planning, since you won’t have to recreate the old-fashioned vibe with costly décor rentals. Choose a venue that allows you to decorate freely with whimsical centerpieces, string lights, and plenty of freshly picked flowers.
Constructed in 1910, the Hampshire House has elegant and timeless architecture that has held up over the years. In its over 100 years of existence, the home has dwelled on Beacon Hill and seen generations of Bostonians filter through its rooms. Overlooking the Boston Public Garden, the mansion offers exceptional views from its upper floors. Warm weather weddings can also take advantage of the location to take some photos in the garden before heading indoors. With elegant crown molding, fireplaces on every floor, eye-catching chandeliers, and enchanting staircases, the antique feel of the Hampshire House is sure to complement any vintage theme.
Vintage Wedding Themes
Although all vintage weddings are united by their ability to pay tribute to old-fashioned elements, there are a variety of different roads you can take with this theme. Here are some of the more popular vintage-inspired wedding styles:
- Antique Chic — Think all things charming, sweet, and antique! Complement your antique chic vibes with elaborate, Victorian frames, and milk glass centerpieces.
- Rustic Romance — This theme is a good choice for more laid-back vintage affairs. Capture your rustic, romantic side with mason jars, Edison bulb string lights, burlap, and birdcage centerpieces.
- Free-Spirited Formal — Celebrate your whimsical, free-spirited side when you implement tons of colorful wildflowers, vintage suitcases, flower crowns, and macramé.
- Old-School Industrial — You can also give your vintage theme a less flowery vibe when you implement hints of retro-inspired industrial charm into your décor. Add filament bulbs and aluminum vases for a style straight from the Industrial Age.
Touches that Set the Stage
If you decide to go all out with vintage inspirations, consider a few different areas to enhance the effect. Vintage wedding dresses that are refurbished by a local designer or seamstress can add an authentic touch. If you want a new dress, look for elements of lace or a 1920s silhouette to evoke the vintage feel. Additionally, you can accessorize with hats, combs, and jewelry depending on which era speaks to you the most. In your event’s décor, look at incorporating color palettes that draw from rose, mint, gold, and other timelessly fashionable colors into your linens, china and centerpieces.
Hosting a Bridesmaids’ Brunch to Remember
Just before you walk down the aisle, take a moment to honor and thank your closest friends who have supported you throughout your life. A bridesmaids’ brunch is a wonderful way to give a heartfelt thank-you to your bridal party. Take it as a way to unwind and begin to enjoy the festivities of the wedding itself. Typically, these luncheons are held the day before or the morning of your wedding. However, if you plan something much earlier, you can use a bridesmaids’ brunch or luncheon as a sweet and memorable way to ask your best girlfriends to be a part of your wedding.
The bridesmaids’ brunch has long been a Southern tradition, and Hampshire House is the best place to give your event some Southern charm with a New England flair. We have several unique, sophisticated spaces in which to host this event, and our intimate setting makes it all the more memorable. Our staff will work with you to create a custom brunch menu (complete with mimosas, if you so desire) so that you can leave your best girlfriends with a memory they’ll cherish for a lifetime.
Hosting Etiquette and Who to Invite
Bridal brunches are a wonderful way to express your gratitude and unwind amidst all the wedding stress. In order to ensure that you don’t add unwanted strain, choose a venue that will take care of all the finer details for you. Who to invite is completely up to you: keep it small and intimate by inviting the bridesmaids only or open up the invitation to additional girlfriends, moms, and family members.
Sweets, Treats, and the Bridesmaids’ Cake
In addition to the fabulous menus offered at the Hampshire House, consider taking part in the historic cake tradition. A staple of bridesmaid luncheons, this tradition includes serving a cake that is baked with a coin, ring, or thimble inside. The bridesmaid who finds the token in her slice of cake is thought to be lucky in love, and maybe the next to marry. In the Victorian era, this ritual evolved with six different charms attached to ribbons, which would be baked into the cake. Before the cake was sliced, the bridesmaids would each pull a ribbon to get their special charm.
Thoughtful Gifts for Your Bridesmaids
It is customary to give your bridal party gifts for being in your wedding. Consider giving a bracelet or earrings that they can each wear during the ceremony or select a pretty memento for each one that says something about your friendship. Increasingly, brides are also purchasing matching robes for their bridesmaids to get ready in before they put on their dresses. Although many couples still opt to give out their bridal party gifts at the rehearsal dinner, this is a fun and thoughtful option for the bridesmaids’ luncheon, too.
If you want to use a bridesmaids’ brunch as an opportunity to ask your best girlfriends to be a part of your wedding day earlier in the planning cycle, then you can surprise each one with an extra-special card — pick something out pre-printed or have one custom-made with your bridesmaids’ names — and a small token of your appreciation, like a miniature champagne bottle or a customized charm or trinket. With that being said, the brunch is enough of a gift on its own!
An Intimate Ambiance
At the Hampshire House, bridesmaid luncheons are typically hosted on our third floor. In the cozy Thayer room, a fireplace will be made in cooler months to warm up your gathering. From the windows, you can overlook the Boston Public Garden. In warm weather, take a stroll through the garden after your meal to capture some pictures of your bridal party. This intimate ambiance is perfect for smaller groups and provides you with an especially enjoyable backdrop to calm your pre-wedding nerves.
Get a head-start on planning a memorable shower for the bride-to-be with the help of Hampshire House’s bridal shower planning guide. If you are the maid of honor, it is up to you to lead the charge on this celebration, but don’t be afraid to enlist the help of your fellow bridesmaids, the bride and groom’s parents, and the venue to create a day tailor-made for the bride. You’ll want to start by discussing ideas with the bride — venue, theme, favors, décor and menu — and then divvying up tasks for the rest of the bridal party and the bride’s family.
Our exquisite Bostonian mansion, situated in the heart of Beacon Hill, lends itself well to both intimate and larger bridal showers. We’re happy to work with you and the bride-to-be to create an enchanting bridal shower that suits her special love story, with our unique venue as the backdrop. Brides of all styles will be delighted to throw a memorable shower in our space, which comes complete with fireplaces, hand-crafted oaken bars, brass chandeliers and sweeping views of Boston!
Initial Planning: Working with the Bride
While this is your event to throw, have an early conversation with the bride to get a sense of her ideas. Bridal showers are typically held about a month or two before the wedding, but she may want to coordinate it when certain friends or family will already be in town for the main event. Find out if she is looking for a big event or a more intimate gathering and determine whether the shower will be primarily bridesmaids or if it will also be open to other friends and relatives. Now is also a good time to decide whether to keep the event ladies only or to invite men as well. Coed bridal showers (also called “couples’ showers”) are quite the trendy option, but if you decide to go for this nontraditional take, consider that you’ll have to account for double the guests.
A Themed Occasion that Tells a Special Story
As you develop your friend’s bridal shower, decide whether to incorporate a theme. Even if you don’t go for an explicit theme, you’ll want to create a cohesive feel with décor, favors, food, and drinks that work together, even if they’re only tied together by a color scheme. If your friend is planning a beachy wedding or an upscale affair, you can draw from her existing plans to throw something in a similar vein. Another option is to opt for a full departure and host a fancy high tea even if she is having a low-key wedding. Once you have the theme nailed down, you can make decisions on food, favors, and décor.
Popular bridal shower themes for this season include:
- Around-the-World — Deck out the Hampshire House Library or Oak Room with travel-themed décor, such as decorative globes, antique luggage, and plenty of maps. Work with the catering staff to develop a global menu with dishes and desserts from her favorite destinations.
- Glamorous Garden Party — Brides who love all things floral will adore the garden party themed bridal shower. Cover tables with colorful, fresh flowers in spring or summer themes and send guests home with adorable seed packets or miniature planter favors. Make it an extra-sweet affair when you pair it with high tea.
- Effortlessly Eclectic — Hampshire House provides the perfect backdrop for eclectic affairs, with our Old World finishes and handsome hardwood. Complement this theme with wildflowers, antique centerpieces, and popping pastel décor for an eclectic approach.
- Literary Love Story — Another ideal choice for the Hampshire House Library, the literary bridal shower theme is a perfect pick for academic brides. Craft unique centerpieces and décor from old books and order shower invitations that look like library cards to tie your theme together.
Memorable Bridal Party Favors
Create some charming favors to give back to all of the gift-bearing friends and relatives, and to help them remember the occasion forever. Consider local candies and treats from a Boston sweets purveyor, or find another local artisan who can craft candles, bookmarks, or makeup bags for the special day.
Activities and Games
Shower activities like a wedding-related bingo or the newlywed game are fun and topical, while more unconventional bridal shower games — wedding Jeopardy and two truths and a lie, for example — will keep things upbeat for out-of-the-box brides. Encourage games that get the bride to dish about her fiancé and their relationship, while keeping everything appropriate for grandma!
Champagne is the perfect way to top off a mid-day brunch or afternoon high tea while keeping the mood light. If the bride is not a fan of champagne, consider a specialty cocktail featuring seasonal ingredients. At the Hampshire House, a range of menu items are available for a brunch, tea party, or late afternoon reception. Contact the Hampshire House today to schedule your Bridal Shower!
Imagine this: it’s your wedding day, and instead of your guests being confined to one specific table all evening long, they’re all mingling around and noshing on delicious foods from butler-passed hors d’oeuvres or specialty food stations. If this sounds more like your style compared to a sit-down dinner, you may be interested in one of Hampshire House’s reception-style packages.
Hampshire House is one of the premiere wedding venues in the greater Boston area and we offer a very wide array of wedding packages to accommodate parties of all sizes. If you prefer to forgo the traditional sit-down dinner option and instead offer a reception-style event, you may want to check out our Elegant or Grand wedding packages. Both of these packages are designed to accommodate a reception-style dinner service, and they feature butler passed hors d’oeuvres, food displays, and carving and specialty stations that allow you and your guests to mingle throughout the evening. Here’s everything you need to know about these all-inclusive packages.
The Elegant Package
This incredible wedding package includes everything you and your guests will need to have a truly unforgettable wedding day. Your celebration will begin with a selection of five hors d’oeuvres presented by Hampshire House’s friendly servers, followed by a one-hour open bar before a champagne toast to the new couple.
Instead of a sit-down dinner, your guests will enjoy food stations after the passed hors d’oeuvres. This will include two carving stations, one specialty station, two sides and wine to accompany dinner. A custom wedding cake will be served as dessert, as well as fresh-brewed coffee and tea selections. Couples can choose from a selection of floor length linens to help customize our event space. Hampshire House provides budvases with seasonal flowers and mercury glass votive candles. There will also be a complimentary coat check all evening.
The Grand Package
Enhance the evening with even more amenities from Hampshire House’s culinary team. Guests will begin the evening with seven hors d’oeuvres options and two food display options, as well as a champagne toast and five hours of an open bar.
After mingling over drinks and small plates, guests will enjoy a number of food stations and retire to their tables for dinner. This option can be as casual or as elegant as you like, and can be served cocktail-style or as a seated buffet. Food options may include two carving stations and one specialty station. A customized wedding cake will be included for more than 50 guests, plus fresh tea and coffee. On the tables, you’ll receive a selection of floor length linens, seasonal budvases, candles.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.