The Barn at High Point Farms

waiting to go down the aisle
T. Haley Media

You are a bride who has chosen her wedding date and her venue.  More plans begin. One of the details to tackle will be to plan your Rehearsal Dinner Event. This blog will hopefully give you a few ideas to ponder so that you can consider some out of the box choices.  Most of our weddings here at The Barn at High Point Farms are weekend packages so this blog is geared to our own couples.

full bridal party in ceremony area
Hunter LaShea Photography

One of the better features of our weekend package is that typically the bride, groom, and bridal party lodges on-site,  This is the bulk of the ones who need to actually attend the rehearsal side of the event. The elimination of the traveling back and forth from hotel to venue to back in town at a restaurant then back to the hotel only to return back to the venue on wedding day.  This is worth its weight in gold.  Being able to arrive early enough on Rehearsal Day to unload, unpack, settle in, and have some time before your Rehearsal Dinner Event, immediately sets a more relaxing tone for the night.

landscaped ceremony

When you rehearse, you do not need everybody in your family (much less additional guests) to attend.  You only need the bridal party and parents. Considering asking your “non-rehearsing family and guests” to show up for the dinner a full hour after the rehearsal segment begins.  This will eliminate much of the chaos of arriving to the venue, unloading some of your personal items, and corraling your bridal party to begin the rehearsing. With less guests there to want your attention, to greet you, to converse with initially, this allows for a quick start to the rehearsing so you can have plenty of time to run through details.  Again, this decreases the stress level and allows you to rehearse till you are fully prepared so you can then be ready to greet a new round of arriving guests.

bar outside at grain bin

One great idea to consider is to actually have an appetizer/cocktail hour for your guests as they arrive.  This allows guests who even happen to show up earlier than needed, to go grab some nibbles and a drink without feeling a compelling need to go find the bridal party and hang out at the rehearsal area.  This makes it pleasant for your incoming guests and again, allows you to rehearse until you are ready without feeling guilty over any early arrivals.  I love it when an idea can make everybody happy.

catering buffet food by urso
Urso Photography

Typically, but certainly not always, the grooms family has involvement in the Rehearsal Dinner choices or funding.  Whomever it is who is helping to pay, include them in the plan.  That said, considering thinking outside the box.  Go high end with all of the bells and whistles. Our guest limit for Rehearsal Dinner Event is 50 or less.  This would allow a splurge on those closest family and friends, if you desired. China, goblets, wines, and  extraordinary foods can be considered.  Maybe consider the groom’s favorite foods. More options is to go fun like a vendor truck or a on-site pizza oven trailer.  If the couple is known for being at the Mexican restaurant every weekend, consider a Mexican buffet.  Make it a memorable even whether that is with a tight budget or a healthy one.

toasting couple in grove

Sometimes it is actually better to have some (or all) of your speeches on Rehearsal Dinner night rather than wedding night.  This night has a much more relaxed timeline so if your Auntie rambles on and on, it won’t infringe on your dancing time.  If your brother reveals some of your childhood secrets during toasts, it won’t be blasted to all of your guests.  There are many versions of Bride/Groom games that can be played where everybody gets to know more about the couple.  These can be both hilarious and also invoke stories to be told. In this environment, it helps with the relaxing side of things without the fear of watching the clock as you might on wedding evening.

bonfire horse ring (cropped)

Consider adding a bonfire for after dinner for a cozy hangout area in the Horsering for relaxing and connecting.  Add on the S’mores Package for an easy dessert.  If you are utilizing a vendnor truck, you may even move the dinner tables to the Horsering to dine under the cafe lights.  This really only works best in some Spring or Fall dates when the outdoor temperatures would be pleasant.  Late Spring, Summer, and early Fall would be best to eat inside in a temperature controlled environment away from heat, direct sun, and bugs.  Enjoy your food inside where it can be properly maintained during preparation and dinner then move outside for lounging time.  After dinner, typically the sun will have been tucked behind the mountain making the outdoor spaces much more ideal.  

relaxing photos by svs
SVS Creative

The couple pictured above actually had their photographer attend the Rehearsal Dinner Event and they took off for an hour to do some romantic photos so they did not take too much time on wedding day.  Thinking outside the box paid off.  Whatever you choose, try to make sure that your Rehearsal Dinner Event is part of the fun weekend, a relaxing time with family and friends that can give you that “connecting time” ahead of wedding day where often time hurries by.



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