Planning an Unforgettable Rehearsal Dinner Party

January 15, 2020

Rehearsal dinner parties have become known as the pre-party or the pre-wedding soirée meant to leave guests craving more and looking forward to the rest of the wedding weekend. Rehearsal dinners are a great way to celebrate your impending nuptials, thank those who have supported you throughout the process, welcome guests, and set the tone for the rest of the wedding weekend. And don’t forget, the main purpose of the night… rehearsing the ceremony! 

The party-before-the-party can be such an enjoyable occasion marked with happy tears as well as poignant moments that are a hallmark of the wedding weekend events. While the rehearsal and the dinner party that will follow should not take as much planning as the actual wedding, there are some items that you will want to remember when planning this party. 

What is the Rehearsal Dinner? 

The rehearsal dinner is traditionally held to practice with members of the bridal party for the wedding ceremony, including the order of ceremony, seating, procession, practicing of the ring exchange and vows, and, if there are children in the wedding, a chance for them to acclimate to the area and to walk down the aisle a few times. Most often the dinner and rehearsal is held just before the wedding, often on a Thursday or Friday, and usually starts around dinnertime. 

More recently this evening has become a kickoff to the wedding weekend where guests are welcomed to the area, family members have time to catch up, and bridal party members are introduced. 

Since rehearsals are generally reserved for smaller groups including the wedding party and their dates, immediate family members, and close friends, we offer event spaces with varying capacities, expanses of water views, and outside options as well.  

Rehearsal Dinner Checklist 

As with any wedding, or for that matter any event held at Danversport, our seasoned coordinators will help you plan your dinner from cocktails and appetizers, to the dinner menu, toasts, entertainment, and any personal details or traditions you want to include. 

After practicing the elements of the ceremony, most couples find that the dinner party portion of the rehearsal tends to be a relaxing time when they can connect personally with each member of their bridal party. 

Once family and members of the party have been served our signature cocktails and appetizers, the party can get started in earnest. Often the main meal is kicked off with a toast to the bride and groom by members of the wedding party such as: the Maid of Honor, Best Man, and/or the Father of the Bride/Groom. These tend to range from hilarious to touching and everything in between. 

Once the meal is finished the couple usually take the opportunity to thank the wedding party and family members for being a part of the planning process and for supporting their relationship. This is a great time to offer personal gifts for bridesmaids, groomsmen, and close family members. 

Entertainment during a rehearsal dinner can range from casual music in the background to a DJ, live band, or entertainment group. It all depends on your budget and schedule for the evening. At Danversport, our guests love to take the opportunity to use the outside spaces for photos and after dinner drinks. 

Other entertainment ideas from our couples have included: slideshows to document their childhoods and early courtship, recitation of important quotes/poems, or cultural traditions that show some of the important heritage of the families celebrating the wedding. Our event coordinators can help you plan everything right down to the smallest detail. 


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