Planning a rehearsal dinner is more challenging than you might think. It’s a tricky part of weddings, essentially in between the actual big day and a simple party. You want there to be some level of ceremony at a rehearsal dinner. After all, it’s often the first time that both the bride and the groom’s families are meeting each other, and a good tone has to be struck between formality and fun. While some choose to have their rehearsal dinners in locations separate from their actual weddings, others like to host this special event in the same venue as their wedding, merely in a different space. After all, the actual rehearsal will be taking place at the venue. In this sense, it really is a preview for the wedding day itself.
There’s a reason why lots of people choose to have their weddings at golf courses. A golf course provides space outside, while also often featuring in-house catering or restaurants, as well as banquet halls of various sizes. A smaller party of rehearsal dinner guests can be hosted as easily as the full wedding guest list. With that in mind, let’s look into what you should take into consideration when planning a rehearsal dinner at Jonathan’s Landing Golf Course in Magnolia, Delaware.
1. Figure Out Who’s Hosting
Technically speaking, the rehearsal dinner is usually hosted by either the bride or the groom’s families. The tradition is usually that the bride’s family pays for the wedding while the groom’s family pays for the rehearsal dinner. This isn’t necessarily the case in our more modern era; 2013 saw brides spend an average of $1,184 on their rehearsal dinners, up from $1,135 in 2012, and $457 on their morning-after brunches. But it could be a custom that your groom’s parents wish to follow. You could also split costs. Either way, make sure that this is decided well ahead of time.
2. Consider a Theme
The great thing about a golf course is that you can play with a lot of different themes for your rehearsal dinner there. In fact, you could potentially set up a private golf tournament for the guests at your rehearsal dinner. Having a theme sets the tone for your rehearsal dinner, and gives guests a better idea of what they have to look forward to, how they should dress, and what the menu might be like. You may want to coordinate your theme around the types of restaurants that are on-site in Dover, Delaware, to keep things simple.
3. Decide On Your Guest List
The reality is that not everyone who is going to be attending your wedding will be attending your rehearsal dinner. A rehearsal dinner is meant largely for close family and friends, particularly those that will be part of your wedding party. You may want to consider inviting guests who are attending your wedding from out of town as well. If your rehearsal dinner guest list is getting rather long, you can simply the menu and focus more on appetizers and hors d’oeuvres rather than a full meal. But that’s why you need to know who’s going on the guestlist well ahead of time!
4. Consider That Menu
Again, a golf course will usually have restaurants or catering on-site for their clients. But remember that not everyone will be able to eat the exact same thing. You need to check on the dietary restrictions of your guests, whether they have allergies or are vegan or vegetarian. Make sure that they can be accommodated at the rehearsal dinner.
5. Offer Wedding Party Gifts
It’s customary for those getting married to give gifts to those in their wedding parties. The rehearsal dinner is the perfect place to do it. You may want to do so quietly, or perhaps give a speech and present the gifts to them with some ceremony. But either way, a gift is a special way to say thank you and commemorate the event.
A rehearsal dinner should not be as stressful to plan as the wedding. Have fun with it, ask for help and ideas from those working at your venue, and enjoy the evening with family and friends. After all, you’re about to get married in Kent County; it’s time to celebrate!