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Ways to Make Your Rehearsal Dinner Memorable

  • Apr 06, 2023
  • Mysti
Rehearsal Dinner Newport Beach Rehearsal Dinner Newport Beach
For many couples, rehearsal dinners have become another opportunity to create an experience for guests that goes beyond the simple obligatory meal of years ago. Modern rehearsal dinners have gotten an upgrade from the traditional intimate gathering after a standard ceremony walk-through. Now, the night before the wedding and the string of welcome events before it are as produced and leveled up as the main event—complete with friends, family, and a taste of the town.  While the rehearsal dinner should not compete with the wedding, that does not mean it should be devoid of things like delicious food and fun touches!

Here, the ins and outs of pulling off a memorable, mood-setting evening. We rounded up our team of experts to compile a list of all the elements that can contribute to having the best rehearsal dinner ever.

What Is a Rehearsal Dinner?

A rehearsal dinner is a celebratory event that comes immediately after the wedding rehearsal, usually the night before the wedding itself. The dinner kicks off your wedding weekend and it offers your closest friends and family members a chance to bond and spend quality time with each other — and with you! — before the chaos of the big day.

Traditionally, the rehearsal dinner was given the night before the wedding by the parents of the groom. But, like many other wedding traditions, modern couples are starting to pay for these pre-nuptial parties their own. Rehearsal dinner agendas are sometimes much more casual or more intimate. Really, the way you plan it is all up to you.

Who Gets Invited to the Rehearsal Dinner?

Typically the immediate families for both sides, those in the wedding party, and anyone from out of town are invited to the event. The guest list, though, is completely up to the discretion of the couple. There are no hard and fast rules.
Additionally, the officiant and any readers or ushers may be added to the wedding rehearsal dinner guest list. Depending on how large your families and bridal party are, that can add up to a pretty sizable crowd right there. Beyond that, many couples also invite extended family and the ring bearer and flower girl (depending on their ages and closeness to the couple).

Rehearsal Dinners at Tavern House in Newport Beach

Whether you host an intimate affair or a larger shindig, the possibilities are endless. Surrounded by breathtaking views of Newport Harbor, Tavern House is the perfect place to host your rehearsal dinner. Our dedicated team of experts is here to offer you the best food and service to bring you peace of mind when it comes to putting together your event. Your bridal party will have their own designated servers through the event to make the night before your big day fantastically memorable!

Choose from one of our 3 course banquet menus or opt for a more casual hors d’oeuvres spread. Kick off the event with a complete open bar or allow guest to buy cocktails on their own. End the meal with your choice of one of our fabulous desserts. If you prefer, we are perfectly fine with you bringing your own cake to the event!

Our private room is available year-round complete with stunning bay views, large stone fireplace and complete privacy and seats up for 50 people. With such a scenic location, Tavern House lends itself to ample photo opportunities to capture those memories for a lifetime to come.
Of course, our team understands that you will probably want to decorate the room to perfectly suit the happy couple. At Tavern House, we go to great lengths to make your event special. Below, we have assembled some unique rehearsal dinner ideas to make your occasion stand out from the rest.

Unique Rehearsal Dinner Ideas

Go Wild With Fashion

Do not limit your fashion prowess to the ceremony and reception. Your rehearsal dinner ensemble launches the. Set up a photo booth for guests to have fun with. Or create a theme for the party. Roaring 20’s anyone? Or are the 80’s a little more your style?
When styling your party look, channel the aesthetics of the location and incorporate silhouettes, colors, prints, and styles you are not addressing down the aisle or at the reception.

Stack Your Toasts

The host of the party is typically the first person to toast the bride and groom. The groom’s parents usually host the wedding rehearsal dinner, so either parent can give a speech to welcome the guests and honor the happy couple.

After the first toast, parents of the bride, maid of honor, and any other members of the bridal party can give toasts.
Finally, the bride and groom are also required to stand up and thank the people who gave toasts.

Interactive Entertaining

Activities for guests to experience and participate in—party games, a portrait artist, and more can be a bit off-putting at the wedding, but at the rehearsal dinner, they set the event's tone, encourage conversation and create a more dynamic setup for gifting.

Set the Scene

Consider your destination when designing your rehearsal dinner table—or pull inspiration from somewhere you love visiting together. Let your rehearsal dinner take on a color palette, energy, and a slew of details you do not plan on including on your wedding day, but absolutely love.

How to Personalize Your Rehearsal Dinner

When it comes to rehearsal dinner decoration ideas, the world is your oyster. You're afforded some flexibility since the rehearsal dinner isn't the main event. These tips and tricks inspire you and help get the creative juices flowing while you plan.

Highlight Your Love Story

Your rehearsal dinner is a fun spot to spotlight your relationship and introduce your family to details they might not know about the two of you. Maybe your first date was at a fun little Italian Bistro—recreate that with some decorations that transport guests to Rome. Be sure to put up some pictures of your journey that you will not use at the wedding or put up mementos of some of your memorable dates or milestones. Using your love story as a base is a great way to come up with a meaningful theme that feels authentic to you.

Rehearsal Dinner Party Favors

This typically ends the wedding rehearsal dinner and allows the couple to express their gratitude for their guests. These favors can be anything from a personalized calendar, to bottle openers with the couple’s engagement photo, to anything in between. Practice good rehearsal dinner guest etiquette and thank your hosts and the couple before you leave.

Have Fun

Feel free to let loose and do what you want for this pre-wedding event. To start, think about your hobbies. Your interests can make a great base for your rehearsal dinner theme or aesthetic. Modern rehearsal dinners are less formal than they used to be. This is a chance for a couple to show their gratitude toward their closest friends and family for all the hard work that was put into making this wedding happen. At its core the dinner is an opportunity to gather your favorite people and remember how their support got you to this place.

Help Guests Meet

Now is the time to introduce any loved ones who have not met. An activity, like these icebreaker cards or introduction type games, will help.

Promote Your Wedding Hashtag

If booking a photographer will max out your budget, encourage attendees to document the rehearsal dinner by displaying your wedding hashtag predominantly (for example, at each table) to remind them to snap and upload images that you can access later.

Record the Toasts

Unlike the wedding reception where toasts are far more choreographed (and PG), the ones at the rehearsal dinner are lively and super personal. Have a friend record the speeches so that you have them for life.

The Premier location on Balboa Harbor offering stunning views, ambience, food and service

Its beautiful Harbor view location is warm, comfortable and stylish...a place for a casual lunch, relaxing dinner, weekend brunch, happy hour or late-night snacking. It represents a beach and water oriented lifestyle that many locals enjoy in the golden triangle....Cabo, Hawaii and Newport Beach. The seafood-oriented menu offers a collection of classic and creative dishes prepared with the highest quality ingredients including organically grown produce, sustainable and properly harvested seafood, and humanely raised poultry and livestock.

Accommodating up to 50 guests and overlooking Newport Harbor, it doesn’t get much better than Tavern House. Whether you are looking to host a baby shower, wedding rehearsal dinner or epic birthday party, this tried-and-true Newport Beach restaurant takes the stress off of planning. With multiple seating options, a large stone fireplace and operable windows and skylights, guests will love the elegant, coastal space. From tray-passed hors d’oeuvres to custom menus created by Chef David Wilhelm, all menus offer the highest-quality all natural and organic ingredients. Buyouts of the entire restaurant are available, as well as offerings for corporate events and presentations. Look no further, Tavern House is the Newport Beach destination family, friends or coworkers will all love.


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