Things you’re doing at your wedding that you can do at your rehearsal dinner instead

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Photo: E. Losinio Photography

Are you excited about your big day but overwhelmed by all the details of planning a wedding in DC? Don’t worry; you’re not alone! It’s easy to get caught up in tradition and societal expectations, however, it’s important to remember that your wedding day is about you and your partner. After all, this is your story. So, we’d like to bring up the topic of wedding elements that may seem like a must-have but can actually be reduced or shifted to the rehearsal dinner – let’s think of them as wedding traditions to skip. By streamlining your plans, you’ll be able to focus on what really matters – celebrating your love and starting this new chapter together. So let’s take a deep breath, relax, and simplify your planning journey!

Creating a More Intimate Atmosphere for Toasts and Speeches

Toasts and speeches are a tried and true tradition at weddings, but did you know that they don’t have to be limited to just the reception? Moving these special moments to the rehearsal dinner or a welcome party can actually enhance the overall experience for everyone involved.

Hosting these events provides a more relaxed and intimate atmosphere where friends and family can share their thoughts, stories, and well-wishes in a more personal setting. This not only takes some pressure off of your wedding day schedule but also gives your loved ones more time to catch up and connect with each other. Plus, you’ll have one less thing to worry about on your big day and can instead focus on enjoying the celebration with your partner.

Making Room for Intimate Dining and Mingle-Friendly Celebrations

Formal sit-down dinners can be a beautiful and traditional part of a wedding, but they can also be time-consuming, stuffy and stressful. If you’re looking to simplify your celebration, consider saving the sit-down dinner for a smaller, more intimate guest count at your rehearsal dinner. This allows you to have a more relaxed and intimate dining experience with your closest friends and family while still enjoying a formal meal together.

On your actual wedding day, feel free to mix up the seating arrangements or even skip them altogether in favor of a more relaxed, reception-style meal. This not only saves you time and stress, but it also gives your guests the freedom to mingle and enjoy the celebration without feeling tied to a specific seat.

Curating the Perfect Playlist for Your Big Day

Music is a crucial component of any wedding, but with guests making requests on the day of the celebration, keeping the playlist tailored to your taste can be challenging. Therefore, song requests can be one of the wedding traditions to skip. Instead, why not allow guests to make music requests at the rehearsal dinner or welcome party?

This way, you can have a curated wedding day playlist that you and your partner have selected in partnership with your DJ or band, ensuring that the music fits the mood and atmosphere of your big day. This not only enhances the overall experience for you but also gives you peace of mind and confidence in the music choices for your special day. 

A Kid-Friendly Solution: Making Room for the Little Ones

Depending on your perspective, kids at weddings can be a blessing or a challenge. If you’re not into the idea of having kids at your celebration, don’t worry. You can include them at your rehearsal dinner or welcome party instead. 

Including kids at these pre-wedding events gives you a more adult-focused celebration on your actual wedding day. This allows you to relax and enjoy the company of your closest friends and family without worrying about keeping the little ones entertained. And who knows, maybe you’ll even get a chance to bond with the kids and create some unforgettable memories at a pre-wedding event!

A Sweet Celebration with Loved Ones: Moving the Cake Cutting to the Rehearsal Dinner

Cake cutting can be a standout moment, but at the end of the day, the only ones who truly want to witness it are usually just close family members. So, why not make things a little easier on yourselves and move the cake-cutting to the rehearsal dinner instead?

Not only will this allow you to indulge in the sweet treat with those nearest and dearest to you, but it also helps keep the energy high throughout your big day by minimizing the number of times you need to pause the celebration. By doing this, you can ensure that the focus stays on the joyous occasion and the love you share with your partner and your guests.

Making the Most of Time with Loved Ones

Interacting with out-of-town guests is a crucial part of any wedding celebration, as it provides an opportunity to strengthen relationships and create memories that will last a lifetime. Rather than trying to divide your attention between multiple tables during the wedding reception, consider dedicating most of your time at the rehearsal dinner to engage with your out-of-town guests. This allows the opportunity to build deeper relationships with those who have traveled from near and far to be a part of your special day.

Prioritizing these smaller, more intimate gatherings will ensure that every guest feels connected to the celebration and included in the festivities. Whether you’re sharing stories, reminiscing about old memories, or simply enjoying each other’s company, these interactions will create a strong bond between you and your guests that will last long after the wedding is over.

With all these elements in mind, it’s clear that thoughtful planning and attention to detail can help make your wedding celebration truly unforgettable. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or need help bringing your vision to life, consider working with professional wedding planners in DC. With the right support, you can enjoy every moment of your special day, surrounded by the love and support of your closest family and friends. Feel free to drop us a message, and let’s start envisioning and realizing the event of your dreams!


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I'm courtney-rose!

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I’m an event logistics guru and wedding designer based in Washington, D.C. I’m also a wife and mama to a fiercely independent toddler and two fluffy terriers. Settle in as we share our team’s latest love stories, behind-the-scenes adventures and top-notch wedding planning advice.

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Dantus & Co. Events specializes in special event, and wedding planning & design in the greater Washington, D.C. area and beyond. Our couples are busy professionals who love details, want to incorporate several cultures or religions into their big day, and need a wedding planner who gets it to help.