Must-Know Rehearsal Dinner Basics
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.
Hampshire House Engagement Celebration Recap
The Hampshire House event professionals work diligently throughout the year to plan a special evening to showcase our venue to recently-engaged couples in the area and beyond. It’s a fun night for us to celebrate with couples and to give them an opportunity to experience what it’s like to attend an event at the Hampshire House. Guests can also interact with other couples and meet with a variety of Boston wedding professionals in an intimate, one-on-one setting to get a feel for what planning a wedding will be like.
This year’s Engagement Celebration was one for the books, as it had a great turn-out from both engaged couples and wedding vendors from around the Boston area. Read on to hear a complete recap of the evening’s festivities.
From the moment guests arrived, we wanted to showcase the elegance of our venue and staged a Rolls Royce courtesy of Rockstar Limo at the entrance of the Hampshire House. Guests were then welcomed into the lobby with elegant music from Gilded Harps performing, as well as bistro lighting draping from ceilings provided by Gateway Lighting. Throughout the evening, guests were also treated to the illustrious music of Siman Entertainment, Groove Events and Entertainment Specialists.
Hampshire House’s turn-of-the-century architecture and grand rooms provided a beautiful backdrop for the Engagement Celebration, and it also gave couples a chance to tour the facility and learn more about utilizing the space for a wedding. From the charming Library to the elegant third floor, guests were able to really visualize their future weddings while learning about what goes into planning a wedding. Other design vendors in attendance included Lolo Event Design, Rentals Unlimited, Lynn Graham Designs, Invitations & Company, Marrero Events, Unique Weddings by Alexis, Katrina Hess Make-up and Boston Wedding Magazine.
Aside from the décor and transportation, we also see the Engagement Celebration as an opportunity for the Hampshire House to showcase many of the food and beverage items that are available to our clients when hosting an event in our space. As guests made their way up the spiral staircase to our second floor, they were greeted with our specialty cocktails such as cosmopolitans, blood orange mimosas and old fashioneds.
Butler-passed hors d’oeuvres included decadent dishes like baby lamb chops, Maryland crab cakes, caprese skewers, miniature clam chowder and vegetable spring rolls. The library also featured a gourmet ravioli station with lobster, pumpkin, sweet pea and ricotta cheese raviolis for guests to enjoy.
Our third floor featured some of the most elegant desserts in the Boston area, including French Macaroons and Tuxedo Dipped Strawberries. Our Abbot Bar was transformed into a Cake Bar for the evening, with Ellen and Maggie from local bakery Cakes to Remember serving some of their most popular wedding cake flavors. Our personal favorite was the Summer Breeze, which was a lemon zest cake filled with white chocolate mousse and fresh blueberries and topped with a frosted citrusy lime buttercream.
Many of Boston’s top wedding professionals were also at the Engagement Celebration, which offered newly engaged couples a chance to see what their options are when planning their wedding at Hampshire House. Justices of the Peace Elizabeth Gemelli, Barbara Kahn and Joseph Gagnon were in attendance, as well as wedding photographers such as Ambrose Photography and Person + Killian Photography. Other photography groups in attendance included Johnson Photography, Alternative Angles, Binita Patel Photography and Generations Cinemastories. There were also floral displays from Jeri Solomon Floral Design, Artistic Blossoms and New Leaf Flores, which allowed guests to get an idea of the types of vibrant, colorful florals that they would like to have at their weddings.
Hampshire House extends our sincere gratitude to all guests that attended the event to all event professionals that added to our evening. We are truly grateful for your support.
Be on the lookout for a video recap of the Engagement Celebration in a future blog post! If you’d like to contact the sales office to book a wedding, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hampshire House Mother’s Day Brunch
Are you looking for the perfect Mother’s Day gift for Mom that will really show her how much you care? Hampshire House’s Mother’s Day brunch is the perfect way to treat your mother to something truly special and elegant this year. This annual event is held at Hampshire House, a turn-of-the-century mansion in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood, which gives an upscale, historic setting to your Mother’s Day celebration.
This year’s Mother’s Day brunch at Hampshire House will be held on Sunday, May 14 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. You’ll want to make your reservations in advance, because this event fills up fast. Whether you plan on celebrating Mother’s Day with the entire family or treating Mom to some one-on-one time, Hampshire House’s expert staff will provide your party with impeccable service and a gourmet meal that she’s sure to love.
Your three-course brunch experience begins with your choice of an appetizer from a list of locally sourced favorites. Choose from lobster bisque, fresh fruit, clam chowder or even a Gulf Shrimp Martini while you decide which entree to choose. Main courses include brunch options like the stuffed French toast or the Florentine Benedict, as well as seafood-inspired dishes like the New England Lobster Omelet or the herb-crusted salmon. Finally, your meal will conclude with a decadent sampling of the Hampshire House Chocolate Trilogy, a dessert that includes miniature selections of the chef’s Swiss chocolate maple soup, chocolate bread pudding and bitter sweet chocolate crème brûlée. Pair your meal with a mimosa or a Bloody Mary to add even more opulence to your afternoon.
Hampshire House’s Mother’s Day brunch costs $65 per person. Taxes, beverages and gratuity are not included. Make your reservation online at the Hampshire House website or by calling the venue directly.
Wedding Trend 2017: Table Settings
Whether your wedding style is elegant and traditional or sleek and modern, your table settings should reflect that personal style. There are a number of new wedding trends that might spark some inspiration for your own wedding table settings. If you’re planning your wedding at Hampshire House, here are some of the top types of table settings for 2017.
- Classic table settings. With simple silver or gold silverware, crisp white plates and elegant stemware, classic table settings are a tried-and-true trend that is coming back around. Add rounded floral bouquets in the center of the tables and you’ll have a classic yet not at all boring look.
- Rustic table settings. Rustic, farm-style weddings have been on trend for a few years now, but rustic table settings take a bit of know-how to perfect. While you want to maintain a shabby chic look, you want it to focus more on the chic side than the shabby side. Add linen napkins, vintage silverware and foraged centerpieces, and dress it all up with pops of reclaimed wood throughout.
- Vintage table settings. For a wedding with a vintage flair, you’ll want table settings to match. Scour local vintage stores and online shops to find the perfect china, or if you’re lucky enough to have a set of family china, you can carry on the tradition. Add bronze or silver candle holders, luxurious napkins with matching napkin holders, and regal glasses to complete the look. You can also rent vintage china to mix and match place settings for the big event.
- Colorful table settings. To keep your wedding feeling fresh and fun, add pops of color to the table settings. Keep things simple with white plates and accent them with bold napkins, or add color with color blocked plates and eye-catching floral arrangements.
- Minimalist table settings. This year’s hottest interior design trend is spilling over to weddings as well. To achieve the minimalist look through your wedding table settings, add crisp, white linens, china with slight, delicate details and bursts of eucalyptus or an equally sparse centerpiece.