6 Keys To A Successful Rehearsal Dinner

Author Sam Hussey
Date Feb 15, 2021

L'Andana Rehearsal Dinner Patio Wedding Shot

You've spent months planning everything down to the last detail - your wedding dress, color scheme, floral arrangements, ceremony, reception, and of course the rehearsal dinner. We know how overwhelming and stressful the process can be, and the rehearsal dinner should be the last thing detracting your focus from the main event.

The last thing you need in the 24 hours leading up to your wedding ceremony is a night filled with stress and decisions. Your rehearsal dinner should be an enjoyable event where you can relax (if possible) and enjoy the company of your friends and family. Ease in planning and executing for the soon-to-be bride and groom is key to rehearsal dinner planning, which is why choosing the right venue is so important.

Together with our local rehearsal dinner expert, L'Andana, we've put together these key crucial planning tips to help you choose the perfect venue for your rehearsal dinner:

1) Host Your Rehearsal Dinner At A Different Venue

  1. First and foremost, the wedding is the star of the show, the main event, and you don't want to replicate that with your rehearsal dinner. You want to offer a meal with a different style, in a different setting to give your guests an amazing experience that won't overshadow the big day. Couples often worry hosting an off site rehearsal dinner is more complicated, however with the right venue it is actually the perfect way to gather with family and friends on the eve of your wedding.

  2. L'Andana's Private Events Manager, Shannon, advises couples that they shouldn’t overshadow the main event by hosting the rehearsal dinner at the same location. Unless you're willing to create two totally different experiences with different food and decorations at both, it's fun to save the big reveal of the venue on your wedding day!

2) Don't Overlook The Value Of An On Site Coordinator

The value of an on site coordinator is by far the number one most overlooked aspect of rehearsal dinner planning. The insight and expertise of this individual carries so much and can lighten the burden of decision-making, planning, and stress on the night of the dinner. They support you by understanding the flow, dinner, and events. After months of planning, having this indispensable insight is exactly what the bride and groom-to- be need.

3) Choose A Venue With Space Flexibility

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Choosing a venue with space flexibility is very important. A lot of times rehearsal dinners are where families and close friends are meeting for the first time, so having the right set up is essential to starting off your wedding weekend right. You and your guests should have space to walk around, mingle, meet, and catch-up with one another before and after your meal. A space that only allows for a formal sit down dinner may make it hard for guests to feel comfortable getting to know one another. Ideally there should be room for a variety of options.

You can see how L'Andana (above) is set up for many different layout options!

4) Make Your Rehearsal Dinner Unique

As L'Andana's Private Events Manager, Shannon, has seen more rehearsal dinners than you and I will ever attend, we wondered what makes one stand out from the other? Some of the best rehearsal dinner she's seen result from the couple personalizing the dinner. Whether it's through slide shows, engagement photos, etc., making the dinner connect with the couple that's being celebrated goes a very long way in making a memorable night your guests will never forget. After all, this isn't your average sit down dinner... they're here to celebrate you!


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You'd be surprised how often people let the importance of food fall behind when they are planning their rehearsal dinner. The taste, style, and quality of food being served at the dinner is even more important than the location. This dinner is about relaxing, spending quality time with your family, and getting prepared for the big day to follow. A sign of any good dinner party: your guests leaving with satisfied stomachs full of delicious food.

6) Finally, Ease In Planning Is Essential

All in all, the most important feature in choosing your rehearsal dinner venue is ease in planning. This is necessary... after months planning, a week filled with angst over last minute details (hair, make up, family, etc) this should be a fun relaxing night. The ability for the bride and groom to sit back and have an enjoyable stress-free rehearsal dinner with all of their loved ones is major. This value on being there to support the happy couple and make the process as memorable and easy going as can be is something both we at Long's and L'Andana believe to be indispensable.

If you're looking for an unparalleled dining experience and a one-of-a-kind private events team that will flawlessly manage every detail of the night, check out L'Andana's Private Events page for more information.

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