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Welcome to my blog. I document my adventures in travel, style, and food. Hope you have a nice stay!

Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette

Practice Makes Perfect

Last year, one of our grooms described the rehearsal dinner perfectly: "The Rehearsal Dinner is where all the cool kids will hang out and have fun." Today's couples are often hosting guests from all over the country if not all over the globe. The traditional rehearsal dinner has been repurposed to include weary travelers and close friends and makes an incredible welcome party as a warm up to the big event.  Even though the format, location, and size may have differed from your wedding day, there are still certain rules and etiquette guidelines that are attached to the rehearsal dinner.  We've outlined a few of these items along with a few tips and suggestions.

  • The official host of the rehearsal dinner (the person paying the tab) should pick out the location along with the couple. The location, theme, and feeling of the rehearsal should never outshine the actual wedding, no matter the budget. Instead, the rehearsal should be a casual preview of the wedding to come.
  • Typically, the rehearsal dinner should be held the night before the wedding, no matter when the actual wedding rehearsal is held.
  • The rehearsal dinner is the perfect place for family and close friends to meet one another. This is the perfect place to break the ice making the wedding reception more comfortable for close friends and family who may or may not have met each other previous to your wedding day.
  • Toasts: If you have a long list of well wishers who want to say something during the festivities,  the rehearsal dinner is the perfect place to let those childhood stories come to life.
  • Gifts: if you plan to give gifts your bridal party, family, or friends to thank them for their help and support, the rehearsal dinner is the perfect time.
  • Have fun, but not too much! Ending the rehearsal dinner a bit early keeps overindulging to a minimum.  No one wants to miss out on fully enjoying the big day because of over indulging the night before.

So what constitutes a great rehearsal dinner location? If you happen to be getting married in Sonoma, I can highly recommend The El Dorado Kitchen (featured above). Our clients, Ashley and Kevin, really wanted to spoil their guests. The couple wanted to share touches of all the things they love about Sonoma.  The wedding was planned at Kunde Family Estate and was leaning towards a rustic winery vibe.  As they planned the rehearsal dinner, they sought out something a bit more elegant and chic but did not want to lose a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. Comfortable-yet-elegant perfectly describes El Dorado Kitchen, which is why it is a favorite location of Alicia K Design's clients!

We love working (and eating!) at the El Dorado,  the food absolutely amazing. In addition, El Dorado provides both indoor and outdoor options for dining and socializing, so it really has it all. It is the perfect amount of contemporary wine county; a great fit for clients who are having rustic outdoor events. The El Dorado Kitchen gives you a very different experience, yet still a very classic wine country vibe.  Our clients love this location and it's an even better perk when our clients are able to book a room at the El Dorado Hotel, as it is a convenient walk downstairs!

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Autumn at Charles Krug