Outdoor Rehearsal Dinner | Wilmette, IL

A rehearsal dinner is a time to bring two families together before the big day. Usually used to rehearse the ceremony for the next day it has grown to include a nice dinner along with it. The goal is to relieve stress and make everyone feel more comfortable before the wedding day. Personally, as both a guest and bridesmaids of rehearsal dinners they are the secret sauce to a great wedding. When your family and friends get to connect the day before everyone has a better time at your wedding and stay later because they feel more included.

Traditionally, hosted by the groom’s family, you can take matters in your own hands or share the responsibility. You will want to get started 4-6 months in advance to scout a venue and work on details for the event.

For Becky and Matt’s rehearsal, it was hosted by Matt’s parents, who called me asking for some help. They lived in Los Angeles and needed help from a distance to get everything set up. They had seen the restaurant once when they were in town but given the time change and how much they wanted to spend time with family they just wanted some help. We worked with Matt and his parents to pull in colors that were being used that the wedding but create an al fresco dining experience reminiscent of California. We set the table up to make two long guest table so many people could connect. His parents brought in pictures of the two of them that we placed on the coffee table in the lounge area. Along the length of the tables a florist set a variety of bud vases with locally grown ivory and cream blooms and each place setting had the evening menu topped with the coupled custom seal.

I encourage you to make rehearsal dinners your own. From open mic night with a roast and toast to order your three favorites restaurants and eating at home for something more casual. Focus on spending time with those you love and introducing them to each other to feel more comfortable the next day. The rehearsal dinners that I have really gotten to know the other guest made the wedding the next day even more enjoyable and those weddings have resulted in many new friends.

See more of their wedding here - Becky & Matt’s Wedding


Event Planner & Design: Samantha Joy Events | Restaurant: Firefly Kitchen