How to Throw a Thanksgiving-Inspired Rehearsal Dinner
Hosting some of your wedding's biggest events during the year's most festive months practically ensures your celebrations are unforgettable. While we love any holiday-inspired party, we're particularly fond of couples who work Thanksgiving (and its associated motifs) into their wedding-related celebrations. You could use Thanksgiving as a starting point for any celebration, but we think this holiday really lends itself to a rehearsal dinner. After all, it is the time when a bride and groom gather their nearest and dearest to thank them for all their support and hard work and share how much they appreciate their love during such a special time. If that doesn't remind you of a Thanksgiving dinner, we don't know what will.
The pros agree that your rehearsal dinner is an ideal time to bring a little bit of the Thanksgiving spirit to your wedding, so we asked them for their best tips for planning a pre-nuptial party that's inspired by the holiday. From ideas on how to incorporate classic holiday dishes into your menu and unique tablescape displays to festive cocktails and unique ideas for conversation starters, you'll find that their tips are more than just practical—they're also unique enough to set your event apart from all the rest.
To find out what some of the wedding industry's top planners, caterers, and all-around experts have to say about planning a joyful and sophisticated Thanksgiving-inspired rehearsal dinner, click through here. Their modern takes on traditional dishes, hors-d'oeuvres options that rival classic sit-down meals, and décor ideas that evoke the feeling of the holidays will surely convince you that a party inspired by this gratitude-based holiday should be part of your wedding weekend.
Decorate Your Tables with Unexpected Décor
"I loved capturing the pale wood tones and linen tablecloth as the backdrop for the strong reds and pale oranges of this arrangement. Adding produce to the table brought something unexpected." —Charlotte Jenks Lewis, owner, Charlotte Jenks Lewis Photography
Rethink Holiday Classics
"Elevate those holiday flavors into modern and imaginative dishes, like pan-roasted chicken with a handmade raviolo. Sweet potato and sage aren't just for Thanksgiving anymore." —Bryn Dyar, Limelight Catering
Consider Different Serving Styles
"A Thanksgiving-inspired rehearsal dinner starts with the style of reception. Consider a family-style sit down for a gathering that grounds your guests in a feeling of sharing, and warmth. Passing platters across a table could spark lasting connections long after the celebration is done." —Francesca C. Damico, Events Associate, Haven's Kitchen
Include a Charcuterie Board
"A well-executed charcuterie board is a great way to elevate the look of your spread thanks to its great visual appeal. Charcuterie displays create that 'wow' factor with minimal effort." —Mandy Vaughan, Proprietress, Apiary Fine Catering and Events
Choose Bold Blooms
"Use seasonal flowers and colors that reflect a bountiful harvest. Warm reds, burgundies, burnt orange, and terracotta are some of my favorites to use without being too loud or overbearing. Including persimmons, acorns, or dried ears of corn are also fun touches to add as styling pieces." —Lauren Emerson, Owner, Lauren Emerson Events & Design
Garnish Your Cocktails
"Festive beverages, like a vintage French 75 cocktail, are great for a Thanksgiving rehearsal dinner. Using a fresh seasonal garnish makes for a stunning display of color while adding a hint of added flavor." —Melissa Panico, Director of Marketing, Taste Catering and Event Planning
Create a Conversation Starter with an Unexpected Meal Option
"Put lobster on the menu. Food historians believe lobster was part of the first Thanksgiving feast. This is one of those food facts that will intrigue your guests when you share it with them while explaining why lobster should be on a Thanksgiving menu! I like using corn with lobster as a natural flavor complement, and for Thanksgiving, it seems particularly fitting." —Mark Russell, Executive Chef de Cuisine, Great Performances
Go Heavy on Root Vegetable
"For our fall/winter menu, we're featuring umami sauces, lentils, root vegetables, and warm spices. Utilizing harvest vegetables for appetizers, side dishes, and accompaniments to your main entrees will really tie in the overall feel of the season." —Paul Larson, Executive Chef, Blue Plate Catering
Serve a Traditional Thanksgiving Dessert
"Pie is a holiday favorite that can pay homage to past family gatherings while incorporating both timeless and innovative ingredients that feel fresh and modern." —Lisa Dupar, Owner, Lisa Dupar Catering