Posted by Hotel Westminster on 03/16/2015

Top 10 Trends for Rehearsal Dinners

Top 10 Trends for Rehearsal Dinners

The rehearsal dinner has busted out of its shell as a classic, predictable tradition (lemon chicken warming in chafing dishes on the dining room table) and has thankfully broken free of one of the most uninspired budget wedding tips ever. In its eye-opening metamorphosis, the rehearsal dinner has gotten amazing, chic, stylish, impressively foodie, and ultra-personalized, thanks to these top 10 rehearsal dinner trends we love (and we were named one of the Best Rehearsal Dinner Spots in NJ by New Jersey Bride: http://newjerseybride.com/wedding-inspiration/decor-details/top-rehearsal-dinner-spots/, so we know!)
1. Fabulous Restaurant Cuisine. It’s the #1 rehearsal dinner trend for a very good reason – when all of your most special people have gathered around you for a momentous occasion in your life, you’ll want to feed them extremely well. And since so many people are foodies, well-versed in ingredients and regional cuisine, it takes the stellar cuisine and service of a fine restaurant to impress them all, and to satisfy your wish to treat your VIPs well. The fabulous rehearsal dinner restaurant trend arose as a welcome Fix to an old budget wedding tip: planning a casual pizza party at home as your rehearsal dinner, with the idea that guests will like to kick back and relax before your formal wedding day. Well, there can be plenty of relaxing, recharging and enjoying at one of the best restaurants in NJ, enjoying fine wine and champagne, delectable cuisine, indulgent desserts, and fabulous company while dressed to impress and enjoying that VIP service from restaurant staffers…and the chef, who may just visit with you as an added spark of flair.
2. A custom menu. Party hosts and wedding couples don’t want to pick one dish from column A and one dish from column B on a catering menu for a party as important as the rehearsal dinner. So more rehearsal dinner hosts arrange to meet with their restaurant’s chef for a chat about infusing the menu with farm-fresh ingredients, trendy presentations and pairings and specialty foods like gluten-free, vegan and Paleo dishes. It may even be possible to do a tasting with the chef for the rehearsal dinner menu.
3. Back to old-school ‘Who Is Invited to the Rehearsal Dinner?’ etiquette. Wedding etiquette of way-back-when stated that only the bridal party (and their guests,) parents and siblings, and the officiant (plus his or her guest) were invited to the rehearsal dinner, and then in the past decades wedding couples invited all of their out-of-town wedding guests to join in for this special dinner, not wanting to leave them out. That was a fun trend, one that OOT wedding guests loved, but now we’ve moved back to making the rehearsal dinner more exclusive. It’s now a top rehearsal dinner trend to invite just the bridal party, parents, grandparents, siblings, officiant and their respective guests to a smaller, more indulgent rehearsal dinner, and at the same time have a cocktail party in place for the rest of the out-of-town guests, with light hors d’oeuvres, and wine and beer, at their hotel. Guests don’t get offended by not being asked to the official dinner; they know this trend well and are happy to have the treats and mingling time.
4. Theme. In a private party room, it could be a ‘speakeasy’ theme for the rehearsal dinner. At a restaurants al fresco terrace, it could be garden chic or rustic glam. The rehearsal dinner now gets its own theme, perhaps one you considered for your wedding but didn’t ultimately choose, giving you both your favorite themes on your wedding weekend.
5. Signature drinks. They’re not just for the wedding reception bar menu. Work with your rehearsal dinner restaurant’s mixologist to create your own signature cocktail(s.) Another twist on this trend: signature mocktails, non-alcoholic drinks with great personalized names.
6. A very special drink. Break out a fine bottle of scotch, cognac or a pricy bottle of wine or champagne for a group toast.
7. Signature dessert. It could be a family favorite dessert, or you might choose a dessert from your rehearsal dinner restaurant’s menu and give it a personalized, signature name, printed on the menu cards at your guest tables.
8. Video presentation. As part of your rehearsal dinner’s very special design, play an edited videotape on your rehearsal dinner spot’s HD flat-screen TV. You might play the video to open your rehearsal dinner with a touching video tribute, play it before the toasts, or play it at the end of the party.
9. Toasts. A special toast from you to your parents and guests is still a top trend in rehearsal dinners, with more couples playing background music as the soundtrack for their toast.
10. Anyone can host the rehearsal dinner. In old-world wedding etiquette, the rehearsal dinner was always the domain of the groom’s family, but now that more wedding couples are paying for their weddings on their own – with some parental contributions at times – the rehearsal dinner planning and hosting may be done by both sets of parents, and even by the grandparents…or you might wish to host this soiree on your own as well, if your wedding budget allows.

Contact us at Westminster Weddings to plan your rehearsal dinner details, and we’ll be happy to bring all the top trends to life for you at this sensational official start to your wedding celebrations.

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Livingston, NJ 07039 US
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