8 Must Dos For an Unforgettable Rehearsal Dinner

Rehearsal Dinner

8 Must Dos For an Unforgettable Rehearsal Dinner

Rehearsal dinners are the kick-off to wedding festivities. Coming after the wedding rehearsal, they set the tone for the wedding and allow time for family and friends to get to know each other before the big day. The rehearsal dinner should not be stressful or a strain on wedding resources.

Hidden River Events offers a wedding venue that can handle your rehearsal dinner, accommodations, and wedding all in one place. Keeping things simple and in one area can take the headache out of planning your rehearsal dinner. Here are some secrets to planning a great rehearsal dinner you and your guests will enjoy!

Set a Budget for Your Reheasal Dinner!

To ensure a stress-free rehearsal dinner, the most important detail is the budget. If someone is paying for the dinner, make it clear before any venue is booked what the budget will be…and stick to it! Do not limit inviting guests to make the event cheaper, hurt feelings are not worth the savings. Head over to Pinterest to create a special event that stays in your budget. Find out what options your wedding venue may have for the rehearsal dinner. Hidden River Events has space for a rehearsal dinner on the deck at one of their houses. An affordable way to have an onsite rehearsal dinner for up to 42 people.

Location, Location, Location!

A great venue is also convenient to the wedding venue and lodging for guests. Be mindful of guests traveling into town for your wedding, only to travel further to your venue for rehearsal, and further still for the rehearsal dinner. You want your guests to be refreshed, relaxed, and stress-free for your wedding events. Keep things close together and also think about providing transportation to take all the worry out of the rehearsal dinner. One of the draws to having a wedding near Asheville is the amazing culture nearby. Bring in a Blue Grass band for a fun theme. Instead of an open bar, have a fire pit, hot cocoa station, and popcorn bar. There are plenty of ways to create a memorable night when you start out at a great location like Hidden River Events and get creative.

Timing is Everything for Your Rehearsal Dinner!

The rehearsal dinner is to follow the wedding rehearsal, make the events flow together to keep guests engaged and focused. When you are planning the night before the big day, earlier is better. You want your guests well-rested and on their normal schedules if possible. A cocktail hour and early dinner are preferable to a late-night party that could veer off track and leave guests exhausted. Have a meet up for a group hike at Warren Wilson as an ice breaker and then move along to a casual dinner. Everyone will be worn out in a good way, fed a good meal, and ready for some quiet time and bed.

Give Plenty of Notice!

Advance notice of the rehearsal dinner should be sent out separately from the wedding invites. Out of town travelers and locals need notice to adjust their plans for the dinner. The more time they have, the better. When heading to a fun destination like Asheville, guests may want to come early and stay longer to enjoy all the fun things that bring people to the Appalachians. Send a list of local concerts, festivals, and events your guests may want to take advantage of while they are here.

Rehearsal Dinner Menu!

Menu is important, especially in these days of vegan/gluten-free/peanut allergy/keto/kosher dietary restrictions. You want every guest to enjoy the food and the environment, make sure there are options for every eater. If there are guests with major food allergies, be mindful. Nothing would cast a shadow over your rehearsal dinner like an emergency epi-pen being stabbed in a thigh or an ambulance ride to the hospital.

Don’t Drop the Mike!

If you need speakers and mikes for speeches, make those preparations early. You don’t want to be scrambling for equipment or not have any and make speeches a struggle. Think about an open mike night where everyone is free to share a few fond words with the wedding party.

Be Present with Your Presents!

You won’t have the casual, relaxed time to give out gifts to your wedding party on your wedding day. Take advantage of the rehearsal dinner to present gifts with meaning especially if you are giving out jewelry or gifts that can be worn or used at the wedding. Gifts mean so much more when you take the time to present them and thank everyone who came to be a part of your special day. Buying gifts locally also add to the significance. Western North Carolina has a thriving arts community-a piece of locally made jewelry, blown glass, local wines, chocolates, or pottery that is native to the wedding venue is a great way to support the local community as well as a keepsake of a special event.


Keep it casual and enjoy the people in your life that have come together to celebrate you! Keep things light and fun, have activities planned so that your party can interact and get to know each other. Western North Carolina has beautiful hikes to waterfalls, lakes, a colorful music scene, a vibrant downtown, art workshops-there is something for everyone! Take advantage of all the activities to bring people together that may not normally interact and have fun doing it.

A fun rehearsal dinner activity is to have a table set up with blank bisque plates and bowls and the bride’s chosen glazes. Everyone can paint a plate or bowl in their own style with a word of wisdom on the back for the couple. After the event, the pottery is fired in the kiln and returned to the bride and groom to be used as their daily dishes.

Hidden River Events can provide a perfect backdrop for you and your guest’s creativity. The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy one of the best days of your life.

Unforgettable Rehearsal Dinner at Hidden River Events

The folks at Hidden River Events have tons of experience creating unforgettable rehearsal dinners. Some of their favorites include having a bluegrass band perform by the river, creating ambiance with tiki torches, hay bales made into “couches” (covered with material), fire pits, casual country meet-and-greets to people just stopping in after dinner. They can even bring out an old surrey, draped with low country style Spanish moss, a vintage quilt, and had it filled with fancy box dinners…delicious steak sandwiches with cookies in a box that had the couples’ initials done in calligraphy on it. These days the rehearsal dinner is as varied and unique as each couple that throws one. It’s a time to show your personality and allow your guests to have fun while incorporating the beautiful country that is the Appalachians. Hidden River Events have the means to make your mountain rehearsal dinner a one-of-a-kind experience.

Vow Renewals
We Specialize in All-Inclusive

At first, we thought all-inclusive meant just having all the infrastructure ready to go for the couple, so what looks like such a simply beautiful, largely outdoor wedding could be as clean and simple as the lines of the tent.  There should be no hassles about getting in all the infrastructure and having it ready for your wedding. We did not want to witness a rental truck showing up at the last minute and a mom or bridesmaid, or the couple themselves, setting up chairs and tables–even mowing the yard–on the morning of the wedding.  These were all things Jeanne witnessed repeatedly over the years. No wonder people were exhausted before their wedding even began…