No matter where you’re getting married, the Taharaa Mountain Lodge or the fountain at Casa Bonita, most ceremonies involve a pre-party of sorts. For many weddings, the rehearsal dinner kicks off the festivities. Taking place after the wedding rehearsal, it’s an intimate gathering of those closest to the couple. 

But while rehearsal dinners are meant to be celebratory, they can feel overwhelming, too. To help things go off without a hitch the night before you get hitched, consider the following tips:

Make a Guest List

In order to plan your rehearsal dinner, you must know what you’re working with, so make your guest list early to determine the size of the venue and required menu. Etiquette states that both families, the wedding party, and any out-of-town guests should be invited, but who you include is really up to you. You have the right to hold a more-the-merrier event or a limited one. 

Choose a Theme

Not all rehearsal dinners have a theme. But some couples opt to have one as a way to better tie the dinner to their wedding day; others use a theme to set the tone for the festivities. Some couples revolve the theme around the venue (such as a rustic or nautical theme), while others revolve it around the couple’s love story. You can find ideas for themes all over the internet, from high class to high sass. Of course, you can also opt for no theme at all: an anything-goes dinner can be just as memorable as an organized one.

Pick a Unique and Proximate Place

When choosing a venue for your rehearsal dinner, location is one of the most important aspects to consider. Ideally, your rehearsal dinner should be in close proximity to the rehearsal itself, especially if the dinner takes place on a Friday evening when guests have to contend with driving through rush hour before digging into hors d’oeuvres. Choosing a unique place is also recommended; to make your rehearsal dinner stand out, choose a venue that stands out, as well.

Plan the Menu

Planning the menu should be easy since the venue does the heavy lifting. The best menus are customizable and inclusive. The Twin Owls Steakhouse, for example, offers a buffet-style dinner and a choice of three entrees, allowing you to easily meet the dietary needs of your guests and cater to various palettes. 

Consider Tradition

Tradition may or may not be important to you and your partner. If it is, there are a few things you can do to pay homage to rehearsal dinners of wedding eves past. Opening the floor to speeches is a common part of this dinner. While many people speak at the reception, the rehearsal dinner provides a more casual, less threatening environment. Handing out gifts to the wedding party keeps with tradition, too, and one your wedding party would be happy to indulge.   

When it comes down to it, your rehearsal dinner should be an enjoyable and meaningful event. Some stress is understandable, but with a little proactive planning, you can sit back and relax, saving all your energy for that walk down the aisle. 

Taharaa Mountain Lodge is the perfect place to stay when visiting Estes Park. Tucked away from the rush and bustle of downtown Estes and surrounded by the Rocky Mountains, we provide a lodging experience sure to leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. Contact us to learn more.