Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Night Before the Big Day: The Rehearsal Dinner

{Sarah and her dad walk down the aisle.}

The night of the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner can be so fun and meaningful.
Generally those in the bridal party and participating in the service are at the ceremony rehearsal learning about the “geography” (as one local minister puts it) for the next day. I see a lot of brides that suddenly realize at the rehearsal when they are about to “practice” walking down the aisle, that they are in fact getting married the next day. I think the rehearsal is special, and also worth capturing in photos either by your photographer or a friend. And after the "geography lesson" everyone shares a meal together (generally hosted by the groom’s family), a time to get to know each other better, and for the couple to say some words of thanks if they so wish.

More and more, rehearsal dinners are including many out of town family and guests, to welcome them to town and give them time to see the couple and others before the next day. I really love this…it adds to a fun and festive atmosphere to the night before. And, why not think outside the box for the rehearsal? Do something different than the next night…perhaps, a luau or honeymoon theme, a barbecue, an outdoor, pool side venue, or other theme or location that has meaning to the couple.

Consider these options:
Eagle Pointe in the Bloomington area, though it is a short drive, it would be worth it…a great pool-side terrace, fun atmosphere, good drinks and a space that could be quite different than the next night. {Pictured above is the Eagle Pointe Terrace.}

Barbecue in the backyard. Is your fiance from Texas where barbecue is king? Does your family love flavorful, smoked chicken, ribs or pork? Explore options to host a casual barbecue.

{Photo from Style Me Pretty}

A Mexican fiesta…almost anywhere!

FARM Bloomington, for great sophisticated local food in a more casual atmosphere, in the heart of Bloomington. They have the Root Cellar which has several space available for groups of different sizes.

The IMU...if you are not having your reception at the IMU, or even if you are!, why not consider it for the rehearsal dinner? It's in the heart of campus, is beautiful and has many great options and room for personalization.

Grazie, are you honeymooning in Italy, did he fix Italian for your first date? Grazie combines great food and wonderful wine in downtown Bloomington in their private dining space.

Also, if you don’t want to go all out on favors for the next day, why not consider a meaningful small favor for those that are with you the night before? A tree they can plant, a donation in their honor, if sweets are your thing maybe personalized cookies or a small box of chocolates from local favorite Blu, or even a favorite Oliver Winery bottle of wine. My advice is to keep it personal, keep it fun, and think outside of what you are doing the next day.

Happy Planning!

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