With most of the wedding details in place, it's time to think about the rehearsal dinner! Where it's going to be, what time, what will happen there. The Groom's family usually host this event but it may be up to the couple to get the ball rolling, particularly if the parents don't live in the area where the wedding will be. The rehearsal dinner usually follows the rehearsal at a restaurant type of location. It is ideal if the restaurant has somewhat private spaces so your group is somewhat more private for the meet and greet and the toasting. We like Michael's on Main for rehearsals because there are 4 distinct spaces; the creekside patio, front courtyard, fireside room and the front room, that can be reserved and the menu can be designed so as to not compete with the Wedding Day menu. You can go casual with stations or a buffet or more formal with a plated dinner, always designed around your budget.
Certain elements are usually incorporated: The Meet and Greet is your chance to welcome everyone. Introduce people, walk around and catch up with loved ones (and meet more of the in-laws) throughout the evening, because the wedding night will most likely be a bit of a blur. The Gift Exchange You may hand out the bridal-party gifts at this occasion, but do it subtly. No matter what, take a moment to stand and thank your bridal party for their support. The Toast As dessert winds down, the toasts begin. As host of the party, the groom's father (sometimes along with the groom's mother) typically goes to bat first, toasting his soon-to-be daughter-in-law and her family. Next up: Traditionally, the groom also toasts his new wife, the guests, and the hosts, but there's no reason both of you can't stand up to thank everyone together, if you'd prefer.
The Friendly Reminder While everyone is still seated and you have their attention, it's also your chance to slip in a last-minute refresher about the next day. And last, but not least, don't overdo it. Tomorrow is a very important day so this is no time to be out dancing till dawn.