We planned to make ourselves available to help the bride and her parents with any last moment details. As it turned out, the bride's parents had everything under control, and actually opened their home for lunch and treats to all the out-of-town family and guests. It was a lovely way to get to know the bride's extended family and family friends.
MOG tip: If it is an out-of-town wedding, you may not be able to do much to help with the wedding related tasks. Ask if there is any way you can help anyway...and prepare to be gracious if your help is not required. Keep in the loop of the work being done (addressing invitations, making wedding favors etc.) and thank the MOB and her friends for all the work they do to prepare for your son's wedding.
MOG tip: If you secretly really want to add your ideas and thought as to what you think the wedding should include, resist! If you are having a hard time with the idea that you need to resist, (your need to be a "buttinski" is overwhelming) may I suggest you consider remodeling your house during the engagement. Trust me...with a million remodeling decisions being demanded of you, and overseeing the process and budget, you more than likely will be thanking heaven above that you aren't needed in the wedding planning process after all.
rehearsal may be the first time you see the church or location of the wedding.
MOG tip: Take a good look around...on the wedding day you will be too busy seeing your son and the bride and the wedding party to notice the finer details of the setting.
MOG tip: Be prepared for an emotional jolt at the rehearsal. Seeing your son looking down the aisle at his bride-to-be really hits you hard. This wedding is REALLY going to happen!
I was interested in seeing my son's friends, some of whom I had never met. At age 29, Jeff had been out of our house, and several states away for the past ten years. It was nice to meet his "best friends" at last!
MOG tip: Since you have booked the rehearsal dinner venue and therefore know the appropriate dress for the event, be sure that information is passed on well in advance by the bride and groom to their wedding party, and by you to your family as well. It is nice to know if a coat and tie will be needed, or shorts and tee shirts for a beach party instead!
You might also ask the bride or her mom ahead of time if there are any specific wardrobe requirement for the rehearsal, especially if it is in a place of worship different than what you are familiar with. Pass the word along about anything that needs to be known at the same time you suggest rehearsal dinner attire.
The chef worked with Bernie to assure a well rounded menu, including a vegetarian dish, and while we weren't exactly sure how the "family style" serving style would work out, actually it was marvelous.
MOG tip: Since it is the groom's parents task to host this meal, be sure to ask everyone in the wedding party ahead of time if they have any known food allergies before planning the menu with the chef. A tiny bit of anchovies in a dish, or a nut can have serious consequences that shouldn't have to be faced right before a wedding!
By the end of the meal, we all really did feel like family, passing plates of ribs and chicken, breads and desserts back and forth down the table on a center table-length board.
(Man oh man...would I like another serving of those ribs RIGHT NOW!)
MOG tip: Eat hearty at the rehearsal dinner. On the wedding day you will likely be much too busy to do more than get a nibble in before the wedding, and too busy chatting with guest to eat much after the wedding either.
MOG tip: Since you are hosting this meal, you may wish to encourage the family members to make their toasts to the couple at this dinner...or at least to make the toasts that include sly bits of teasing or humorous family stories. With those out of the way at this semi-private event, the more formal wedding day toasts can be the sort that preserve the couple's dignity on their special day
I was so glad that we could all be seated at one table, there was no sense of "her table" or "his table" but rather pictures were taken back and forth and conversation traveled up and down the row. Dinner finished around 9 pm, the "youngsters" still managed to go out to party more at a hotel/club while the more "seasoned" members retired to their various rooms to catch a good night's sleep.
MOG tip: A detailed area map is a lovely table favor for the rehearsal dinner, at least for the out-of-town guests. While printed directions were given from the church to the restaurant, some guests had a problem figuring out the route from the restaurant back to their lodgings. Wish I had thought of handing out maps sooner!
Next post: The wedding day!