Wedding rehearsal dinners are an important pre-wedding event that take place the night before the wedding ceremony. It's a great opportunity for the couple, their families, and close friends to come together and celebrate the upcoming nuptials in a more intimate setting.
And while LOTS of time goes into thinking about and planning the wedding reception meal, many people tend to put much less thought into their rehearsal dinner, which can be just as memorable as the big event the following day if appropriately planned. Here are a few things couples would do well to consider when planning a wedding rehearsal dinner:
It is a much smaller group of people, usually consisting of the wedding party and maybe a few more close friends and family. This generally makes it a more intimate experience.
Timing is usually less of a factor. While the wedding ceremony and reception often requires precise timing choreography, the timing for a rehearsal dinner is much more relaxed. It generally follows the ceremony rehearsal, and most often is the last item on the schedule for the day, so there is absolutely no need to rush at any point.
It's a great opportunity to truly share a meal with your closest friends and family. While you can't really share a meal with 100 or more people at your wedding reception, you can have a wonderful, shared experience with 15 - 25 people at your rehearsal dinner.
With all of this in mind, don't be afraid to "go for it" with your wedding rehearsal meal. Maybe select a menu that is a bit more on the exotic and provocative side - choosing some dishes that are unusual or unique to enjoy with those you're closest with. Or you could plan a tasting menu - offering lots of courses with wine pairings - a culinary tour if you will.
Mix up the style to contrast with the big meal you'll be having the following evening at your wedding. If you're doing a buffet meal for your reception, perhaps plan a seated and coursed experience for the rehearsal. Or, if you're doing a seated meal for the big day, consider doing a heavy hors d'oeuvres or tapas-style party for the evening prior.
Whatever you choose, just be aware that it's an evening that can be filled with great memories you'll keep for a lifetime too, Make sure and pick a menu that is just as memorable.