One thing that I can say, is that I truly loved our rehearsal dinner. It was way more than I could have asked for. As tradition has it, the groom’s parents hosted it and boy did Steven’s parents spoil us. Because our wedding was somewhat of a destination wedding, I wanted to take our guests off of the resort so that they could explore Park City a little more.
We had our rehearsal dinner at Riverhorse on Main Street. Not only did they have mouth-watering food, they had the perfect ambiance. I wanted to keep our rehearsal dinner small and intimate so we only invited the bridal party, family, and real close friends.
If you’re having a destination wedding, you most likely are having your guests stay at a hotel or resort where the wedding is taking place. I would recommend having your dinner at another location so that they can see other parts of whatever city, beach, or town you’re in.
Along with taking your guests off site, here are a few other tips to help plan your rehearsal dinner.
Hire a Videographer and Photographer
Treat this like your wedding day because you only get one of these and it should be something you remember. We hired our wedding videographer to film our rehearsal dinner because we wanted to capture the toast that was going to be given by Steven’s dad, our pastor’s blessing, and everyone in attendance. Because I had a million and one things on my plate I totally spaced out the photographer but had my girl Daryl take some quick shots for me.
If you’ve got key moments that you’re planning on incorporating into your dinner, let your videographer and photographer know and make a list of shots for them prior to the dinner so they know exactly what you’re wanting to capture.
Choose the Right Location
Aside from wanting to take our guests off site, I was looking for a restaurant that would let us personalize our time there as much as we could. Things that I was looking for:
- Music. Will they let us bring our own playlist to plug into their system?
- Privacy. How far away would our private banquet room be from the rest of the restaurant?
- Food. Will they let us create a “signature drink”? Will they have different dinner options and could we customize any items? Did they have a kids menu with food our toddler son and nieces would actually like?
Riverhorse worked with us on all of these which made it easy for us to pick them and I am so glad I did. Their environment and staff not only gave me a night to remember, but they gave our guests an experience that they’re still talking about.
Personalize Your Menus
As a place setting, my mother in law had them print one of our engagement session pictures on the menus with our names and a verse from the bible that read, “I have found the one whom my soul loves” Song of Solomon 3:4. It wasn’t just a nice table setting element, it was a personal touch that reflected Steven and I because our relationship has been built on our Christian faith… Although sometimes I may not act like it…
Make sure that at the end of the dinner, you collect a few menus left behind as a keepsake.
Play a Game
I knew our ceremony was going to be a lot more formal and serious, so I wanted our rehearsal dinner to be more light and casual where our guests could be more involved since our wedding day was going to be all about us. We wanted to know how well our friends and family knew us so my mother-in-law printed off a handout for each guest that had questions about our relationship.
This was seriously so much fun. Seeing what our guests thought of us as they shouted the most random answers. I couldn’t stop laughing at some of their responses. This is also another reason why you should have a videographer to film it, this game is so much funnier to watch now, looking at mine and Steven’s facial expressions trying to agree on one answer.
Since we just got our videos back from Chris here are a few videos and photos from our rehearsal dinner to hopefully inspire my brides to be. Enjoy!
Steven’s dad’s toast:
Rehearsal Dinner Game: