Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Rehearsal Dinner - Setting the Tone

When it came time to think about the location of the rehearsal dinner, one very convenient place came to mind. Let’s call it Vinny Gumbatz’s or VG’s. VG’s is around the corner from the church, has a parking lot (important in the small parking spot limited beach town), good food, well priced and a private room. What more could you want?

Well, atmosphere.

This place is a local establishment that serves traditional Italian and has no shortage of three piece suit wearing men who all want you to think they are “connected” when really, their only connection is that they may have once served the nephew of Gotti some ziti. FH loved it! He thought it would be great to see his family’s reaction to the kissing Eye-talians as they hug and kiss the men and women and serve you cheap wine out of a jug. Thinking of our rehearsal here, I was somewhat nervous. But, like I said above, it had all the criteria!

The private room…

The private room was decorated with mirrors, marble, rope lighting and fake flowers which hung from the ceiling. Oh! And there was a dance floor made out of marble tiles glued to the floor. Think about that, tiles glued to a carpeted floor.

Enter the voice of all things local and reason…

My cousin's husband sat my FH down and said, VG’s is a great place. A great place to get a good plate of macaroni and gravy; but this is not the place to set the tone for your wedding weekend. He pointed out that the rehearsal dinner really sets a tone for the rest of the weekend, and when I thought about it, I agreed. And after thought, FH agreed too. My cousin and her husband had an amazing wedding in Cape May a few years ago and they are right, their awesome but casual rehearsal dinner definitely set the tone for the weekend - a tone of laid back fun, good music, good people, good fun, and which fab touches of class. The dinner doesn't need to be fancy but there needs to be an element of class. VG’s has everything needed logistically, but, no element of class or anything that matches the "feeling" of the wedding.

We have now booked our rehearsal dinner, and since the contract was signed and deposit delivered today, I can talk about it! I could not be more excited and my gratitude towards the future in-laws runs deep. This will not be the cheapest thing but they have a lot of people from out of town and they wanted to do it right. Kudos to them!

We booked our dinner at the new posh hotel where are guests are staying. And we got the rooftop lounge! I don’t think we’ll get the massive amounts of food that we would at Vinny G’s but we’ll have enough and it will be trendy and great. We are having stations with salads made to serve, tapas, carving station, pasta made to order and kabobs. I think it will be great! And, the best part, it will be on the rooftop deck over looking the ocean.

The place isn’t finished yet but here’s a rendering:

This the view of the Atlantic we will have:

The dinner will be for invited guests from 7-9 and then at 9 we are inviting all guests that came to town for cocktails on the roof. I think it will be perfect! It is very different from the wedding’s dinner at a mansion but still has the same level of style and sass!

Here’s what I have to think of now, let me know your thoughts…What to wear? (We’ve had this rehearsal dinner dress discussion already)
Do I need centerpieces or any decor? (a good friend that I trust with this stuff told me not to waste the time, money or headache, I am starting to lean her way but was thinking of some sand filled hurricane glasses with pillar candles?)
Do favors come to play at a rehearsal dinner?
Anything else I need to think about for the rehearsal?

Do tell, I've been focused on the wedding and since most of those logistics are booked, I am thinking about all of the little details that bring the whole weekend together and focusing on how to make it special for everyone!


Anonymous said...

I recently freaked out on this too -- Do I have to plan decor (i.e. MORE freaking DIY crap) for the rehearsal dinner?! And the answer was yes. We're inviting the whole wedding guest list, so we figured it better look pretty good too. Luckily we decided to make it a bit less formal.

Mrs. in May said...

We thought about inviting the whole guest list- since most people are coming from out of town. But I really wanted to have an intimate setting with the people directly involved with the ceremony. But, we are then inviting everyone from out of town (and some from in) to drinks on the outdoor rooftop deck and FH's parents said they would pick up the tab for that.

But man, having to think of a second set of decor is rough!