The welcome party is a fun pre-wedding event that can take many forms. It can replace the traditional rehearsal dinner or be added on to the end of one. The welcome party may also be distinct from the rehearsal dinner, taking place on a different day entirely.The event might be a chic, simple gathering with cocktails and/or dessert, or a more interactive affair.
Others may skip the typical formal rehearsal dinner and do something a little more fun and lighthearted instead. We love this because it means your wedding weekend begins with a casual start, making it easier for your friends and family (many of whom are strangers before this day) to mix and mingle.
That being said, this night should be about the two of you and not go overboard. You can celebrate with a happy, and friendly party—and your guests will thank you later. To do so, simply incorporate one (or all) of the creative ideas below and, who knows, your welcome party might be just as memorable as the wedding itself.
Create an experience
Find an interesting aspect of your location and make that the focal point. Is your locale near a body of water? Charter a yacht, or a cruise and host a cocktail hour on board so guests can take in the sights. This is perfect for a destination wedding but can highlight cool local hotspots, too.
Have an informal style setup
This idea is not for everyone, but we think you should at least consider it. The next night is going to be fancy so make the rehearsal dinner homey and laid-back. Wooden tables and natural linens do the trick. and of course, elevate this look with next-level flowers or local greenery.
Incorporate a grazing table
What’s the best way to bring guests together? Food, obviously. Grazing tables have taken over cocktail hours with their fun and aesthetically pleasing, family-style alternative to the usual hors d’oeuvres and canapés. Choose rustic wooden boards, marble slabs, glass platters or porcelain bowls to wow your guests. Add signage, flowers, herbs and greenery for a show-stopping look.
Hire a local band
Set the mood for the night with some local music—whether it be a bouzouki band, traditional musicians or a folklore dancing group. Your guests will appreciate the entertainment as they mix and mingle with strangers (and new friends).
Make it interactive
Bring in a form of entertainment that is both special and incorporates an interactive element. You can even fit this to the destination to make it even more special. Think along the lines of setting up a local artisan making small charms custom for your wedding guests or handmade pasta.
Get creative with food
Turn the menu into a fun experience by drawing from local tastes and flavors to really immerse your guests in the culture. If you’re having a traditional fish port taverna setting why not bring on the fresh fish and lobster option? Flying guests into the Greek Islands? Bring on the Greek Salad and tzatziki!
Don’t be afraid of a theme
Your rehearsal dinner should act as a representation of the two of you as a couple, and not a copy of other events or a mirror image of the wedding reception to come. So don’t hesitate to make it special to who you are with a theme. If you both love greek music and BBQ, why not have a good variety of grill and fresh salads. If you love wine what better way to highlight that than with wine tasting during the cocktail hour.
Now that you’re brimming with rehearsal party inspo, it’s time to figure out who should invite to this event!