Heels: Michael Kors
I wore this dress to our rehearsal dinner in Hawaii and upon throwing it back on to take some photos, found myself reflecting on both our dinner and the entire nature of the rehearsal dinner. Perhaps, because it was not my responsibility to throw, I didn't see that much online about the rehearsal dinner (save for some etiquette suggestions). It took me a bit by surprise when we actually had ours and, though I walked away having had a wonderful time, it was a bit of stressful event.
The rehearsal dinner is the one element of the wedding left entirely up to the groom's family. For a type A bride and a type A bride's mom, I think that this can usually cause panic. After a full year of planning, it's difficult to let go part of the process and just let someone else take the reigns. I suppose that holds true for anything that my I do, but the dinner stands out to me as very difficult to release from my anxious grasp. The rehearsal dinner also happens to take place, traditionally, post-rehearsal and the evening before the wedding itself. I know that my mom was seriously stressed about putting the final details on the ceremony and reception site (flowers, gifts, paper goods), I was stressed about the coming day and all it held, Ben was interested in getting away from it all and back to the beach.
Our rehearsal dinner was at Kona Brewing Company on Oahu and we had a delicious dinner, lots of beer, and the service was great (besides the wait to get in - 20 minutes after our reservation time, we were finally seated). They offered us complimentary poke platters, had their live band play a song dedicated to us, and I spent much of the dinner in tears, the laughter sort of tears. But having our rehearsal at a brewery, on a lanai (porch) with other guests, and in a noisy restaurant made it a bit difficult to turn the dinner into something that brought people together. Though it was the first time that our extended families had met, the table was so long that there was minimal mixed-family mingling. It was also quite loud and there were no speeches, toasts, introductions.
Depending on the sort of dinner your groom's family would like to throw, I think it's good to remember that private rooms, homes, or other venues that offer seclusion, allow for more mingling, talking, moving about. Though it seems a bit ridiculous, a seating chart would be a great idea for that first ice-breaking dinner. Our families ended up clumped together on opposite ends of the table (whoops!). I also highly recommend that someone give a toast (it doesn't have to be long) to start the event off on less of an awkward footing. Once we got the dinner going, everyone was talking (loudly) and having a great time but the first thirty minutes or so, felt a bit stilted - like everyone was waiting for something to happen (probably dinner).
In other, less wedding-y news, I am so sad this dress is no longer available as it's become a favorite in my closet. The perfect amount of tropical and pockets!