Contributed by Tim Brugger, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru
It’s time to start planning the rehearsal dinner, which means the Big Day is nearly upon us; an exciting time, no doubt.
But, before potentially marring the festivities by having the rehearsal dinner blow up like a nuclear testing facility, it’s worth taking a few minutes to ensure it comes off as planned. Avoiding the following pitfalls will virtually guarantee a good time had by all.
These are the top ten rehearsal dinner mistakes:
10. Avoid bad beer
Selecting the drinks to be served at a rehearsal dinner bears consideration. Providing guests the option of a keg of Pabst Blue Ribbon or ice water will simply not do.
9. Avoid only beer
For those who read the #10 worst rehearsal dinner mistake and thought, “of course, who serves PBR at a rehearsal dinner?!” number 9 may be for you. Serving guests good beer as the only option will not suffice either. It’s not Heineken over PBR that’s at issue; it’s a lack of choices. A white, and possibly red, wine is in order, as are mixed drinks if the budget allows. Do something really cool and brush up on your wine tasting abilities for the rehearsal dinner.
8. You got this one, right?
Assuming the grooms parents are going to pay is a no-no. Time was when this was a given, but those days are gone. Confirming who is covering what with Mom, Dad and anyone else with potentially deep pockets should be done prior to planning the rehearsal dinner.
7. Wrong guest list
Inviting non-wedding guests to the rehearsal dinner should be avoided. The dinner is about thanking those who are, and have been, involved in the pending nuptials, especially people like the maid of honor, best man, bridesmaids and groomsmen. If there are several non-wedding attendees, arranging a get-together separate from the rehearsal dinner is kosher. Of course, all this goes out the window if the non-wedding guest in question gives the bride and groom a rocking gift.
6. Feuding family
Seating Uncle Bob, who hasn’t spoken with Aunt Suzie since “the incident” of ’87, next to Auntie is rehearsal dinner mistake #6. This situation brings with it the distinct possibility of violence, which may provide loads of entertainment sure, but should be avoided for the health and welfare of all.
5. Variety wins the day
Heaven love the vegans and vegetarians among us but, as with the PBR from #10, options are the key when planning food for a rehearsal dinner.
4. ‘Tis better to give
Don’t forget the thank you gifts; that and the free food are why everyone’s there to begin with! Okay, that’s not entirely true; many attendees are there for the free drinks too.
3. Timing is everything
Ideally, the rehearsal dinner is scheduled for the evening before the wedding. This helps ensure probable guests are in town, without having to come in days early and sit around listening to the bride and groom “coo” at each for hours on end.
2. This one’s for posterity
Guests not dressing the part should be avoided. Remember, Aunt Suzie will be there taking pictures (after having disposed of Uncle Bob in a covert manner), of everyone and everything that moves, and it is quite likely these are pictures the happy couple will want for years to come. Dad, do you really want your future kids to see that orange, plaid shirt? And Mom, 10 years from now pictures of that tube top you were sporting is likely to cause irreparable harm to your young daughter.
1. Think before you speak
Please, attendees of rehearsal dinners everywhere implore you, give at least a few minutes consideration to what should be said during a toast before “plowing away.” Not only is this bad form, but there are few things known to mankind that are more uncomfortably painful than sitting through a rambling, borderline incoherent toast. Don’t be that person.