Wedding Ideas

The New Rehearsal Dinner Trend: Make It a Show

Posted on August 14 by new jersey bride

So what are you thinking for your rehearsal dinner? It may be the groom’s parents’ party to plan or perhaps your parents wanted to take this on—this is the era of Customized Weddings, after all—but you do get a say in this party’s style. One top trend in rehearsal dinners is to give it a theme, perhaps a theme that you originally planned to use for your wedding itself, but the logistics didn’t work or you changed your mind. That’s one way to personalize the party. But the new way to make the rehearsal dinner a fabulous event is to add an entertainment element to it. That means holding it at a restaurant that has live entertainment. I’m thinking immediately of Shanghai Jazz in Madison, named one of the top jazz clubs in the world, and featuring some of the top jazz performers out there. (It’s a favorite of mine, since that’s where my husband and I had our first date!) At this upscale restaurant, your rehearsal dinner won’t be held at a long table on the side of the room. They have a party room downstairs, where the live music is piped in. So you get the privacy you want for your party, the ability to make toasts and speeches, phenomenal food and that fantastic musical performance. If Asian cuisine and jazz music aren’t your style, look into other restaurants that book musical acts, or plan your rehearsal dinner as a two-stop event. You’ll host your dinner at a great restaurant’s party room, then lead your guests to a pub or bar where live music is on the schedule. You pick up the bar tab there, of course, and the cover charges for your group. This plan is a bit pricier, but if you have a small group that wishes to go take in the show with you, it can be very do-able. Aisle Files tip: New Jersey has a ton of restaurants offering live entertainment, so check New Jersey Monthly’s restaurant listings and site for reviews and listings of dinner-plus-entertainment spots to find the rehearsal dinner spot that’s perfect for you. Know any great venues you’d like to suggest? Just add them to the Comments section! All commenters will be entered to win a copy of my new book The Smart Guide to Wedding Weekend Events.