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The rehearsal dinner is the reception before the reception, with a personality of its own. Though much of your energy will go into planning what food pairs great with the best wine and desserts for your wedding’s reception, there are a few important things to remember when planning the perfect rehearsal dinner.
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Your rehearsal dinner should be a reflection of you and your partner, arguably even more so than the reception! For the rehearsal dinner, you don’t want to be giving away all of your sparkle that you are saving for the big day, so you have a lot more room to play around with your wedding’s theme. In fact, this is an opportunity to branch away from that theme and take on an entirely new personality for your wedding! As long as the direction you take your rehearsal dinner encompasses pieces of both partners, it will surely achieve that authentic and enjoyable atmosphere everyone hopes for!
Food is the best way to anyone’s heart. You’ve already captured your partner’s, so in order to share that affection with those closest to you, having delicious and a meaningful selection of dishes is a great way to celebrate your love for each other! But how do you reflect your relationship in the form of food? Simple! Think about you and your partner’s favorite dishes, and remember you are not limited to the theme you’ve selected for your ceremony. Whatever your favorite foods may be, incorporating those onto the menu the night of your rehearsal dinner will give your guests a chance to connect with both partners individually and as a couple, setting the stage for the coming ceremony! Depending on when you are hosting your wedding, adding seasonal twists to your favorite foods can elevate the overall experience as well! For example, for a spring wedding, fresh fruits and vegetables is best, so mixing and matching sweet and savory with an emphasis on freshness is a great way to bridge your favorite foods with the season! Summer events are always accompanied by that sweet-home barbecue cookout vibe that can’t be matched in any other season! If you love traditional cookout dishes like burgers, why not try mini-sliders with a variety of flavors and sides for a more refined summer rehearsal dinner? Fall is one of the most flavorful seasons of all and it’s so easy to incorporate your favorite foods with autumnal flavors! For example, try switching out some of the vegetables in your favorite dishes with squash and gourds, or even opt for a pumpkin-ified rehearsal dinner (if you like spaghetti and meatball, try a chipotle-pumpkin sauce instead of the traditional tomato-base)! Winter is characterized by warm and hearty foods. You may enjoy more of a laid-back approach to catering, so roasted kabobs are a perfect way to mesh your favorite foods (chicken, beef, pork, and your favorite flavors) with the delectable roasted winter vegetables!
Up-scaling your favorite dishes is the perfect way to keep your wedding exciting and guests entertained before the big day! There are so many delicious foods to choose from that are sure to fit everyone’s taste, and the theme itself won’t clash with whatever your ceremonial theme may be because it will feel like two totally different events (plus, the rehearsal dinner won’t anywhere near as stressful as it was to plan the ceremony and reception, so it’s a win-win scenario all around)! Incorporating an array of appetizers is essential to hosting an exceptional event, so when aiming for an up-scaled barbeque theme, appetizers could include tender smoked brisket, savory brioche rolls, or bacon-wrapped anything! Of course, that’s not all you have to choose from. This guide by Culinary Crafts goes over everything from appetizers to drinks to activities for an elegant barbecue wedding that you can customize your rehearsal dinner for a fun evening with loved ones and great food! Table & Thyme also offers great insight into this theme, as we recently catered a Western BBQ-style birthday. We created a ton of scrumptious barbeque-inspired foods, but our favorite had to be the two sliders: smokey brisket with crispy fried onion straws and kickin’ chicken and wickle sliders, both with homemade, sweet BBQ sauce. For more information about the BBQ-inspired dishes we created, check out our blog, here!
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If you’re wanting to create a space where your guests are open to communicate and connect with each other and the engaged couple, the food for your rehearsal dinner is going to need to reflect that! Having more grandiose dishes served will present a much more refined air for guests, which is great for some events, but it might hinder your guests’ comfort in engaging with one another on a more personable level. You want to craft an exciting and appealing atmosphere, so you should take special consideration for this when selecting what foods to serve at your rehearsal dinner. Weddings are a tradition built on tradition itself, so why not shake things up and think outside the box? A taco-party themed dinner may be the perfect way to get your guests connecting over some interactive food combinations, and it is incredibly easy to achieve! Or, if you’re having a summer wedding, a beach party or poolside theme could be a great option for an extra-fun evening! Maybe you don’t want to stick with a specific theme, a potluck is an awesome way to get people engaging with food and each other!
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Best practices for a successful rehearsal dinner include prioritizing the comfort and needs of guests while also preserving you and your partner’s authenticity. Having a variety of foods and small dishes is the best way to achieve this and there are plenty of resources out there for selecting the best meals and appetizers to fit your rehearsal dinner, such as this collection of appetizers by The Knot and this guide to hosting a beautiful rehearsal dinner by After Orange County! Luckily for you, is also something that Table & Thyme specializes in! We frequently help to take the ideas that our clients bring to us and make those dreams a reality, especially for their big day. We take a lot of pride in what we do in crafting our magnificent grazing tables and grazing boxes, and we continuously hope to share that knowledge and those skills with you as well! For a better look at what we do and how we can help you create elevated catering experiences, check out our Grazing Table Gallery, and stay up to date with our weekly blogs!
These tips and suggestions are intended to help you organize and plan your rehearsal dinner so that you have more opportunities to celebrate your love. We hope these things helped to foster some inspiration in your wedding planning and look forward to seeing your happy days!
For more information on Table and Thyme, contact them today! Follow us on our social media: Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest to see the other amazing events, lavishing grazing tables and beautiful graze boxes we have created.