Guy’s Night to Shine

Guys, there’s something quite useful you can do to help your bride as she busily plans your special day.  Take care of the rehearsal dinner plans, either by helping your parents organize this event or taking it upon yourself to host.

 

First, you’ll need a guest list.  This includes both sets of parents, including stepparents, everyone in the wedding party including readers and their spouses, fiancés, or long-term partners.  It’s entirely appropriate to invite immediate family members including siblings, grandparents and out of town relatives or close friends.  If known to you in a capacity other than presiding over your ceremony, invite your officiant and spouse.  If you’ve hired an officiant only for the wedding, feel free to extend a courtesy invitation, but don’t be disappointed if it’s not accepted. 

 

Next you will need to determine a budget, theme, date, time, and place.  Rehearsal dinners are held following a rehearsal the day before the actual ceremony.  Plan for one hour of rehearsal time followed by travel time to your rehearsal dinner location.

 

Your rehearsal dinner can be a great opportunity to relax, get to know everyone, and just have fun.  This can be a casual outdoor event with weather permitting, a home party, a private room in your favorite restaurant, or an evening of food and entertainment.  It’s also an opportunity to incorporate some family traditions, such as Aunt Martha’s peach cobbler and homemade vanilla ice cream for dessert.

 

Though we’re used to it, this IS Arizona and if you’re having out of town guests who want the Southwestern experience, opt for a feast at your favorite Mexican restaurant with specialty margaritas or go for cowboy steaks and beans followed by a hayride or a fire for roasting marshmallows and a guitar player to lead the group in camp songs.

 

Host a night of hotdogs and carnival rides at a local amusement park.  Go for gourmet pizza and bowling.  One enterprising couple arranged for everyone to be picked up in a shuttle and taken to a lake where they were canoed in groups to a friend’s dockside home that was transformed into a Hawaiian luau complete with lei greeters and fire dancers.   Another couple piled guests into a party bus for a drive to see the city lights with a stopover at a friend’s house for picnic baskets of food, wine and beer.

 

When you’ve made your choice, be sure to secure all vendors with a deposit and send or hand-deliver invitations to your guests.  The rehearsal dinner is a place to make more intimate speeches and expressions.  The host, usually the groom’s father, starts the toasts.  The bride’s father may also toast as well as others.  The bride and groom will want to acknowledge the toasts with thanks for all the encouragement and support with their own toasts and gifts for the wedding party, parents, and others who deserve a special mention.

 

The one rule about rehearsal dinners is … there really aren’t any.  Whatever you plan to do, remember to just enjoy the food, fun and intimacy of these precious people chosen to be at your side for this most significant event in your life.

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