Your reception venue is booked, the ceremony location is confirmed, and vendors are on board to make your day everything that you have dreamt it to be. You've crossed almost everything off your list except for those two "little" items that always seem to be the last considered, yet very important – your rehearsal dinner and farewell brunch.
Enter the Welcome Reception / Rehearsal Dinner Hybrid and its oh-so-popular cousin, the Farewell Brunch. With these two events quickly becoming monumental "bookends" in the grand scheme of the wedding weekend, and not wanting them to take away from the glamour, elegance and pomp of the wedding day itself, we have provided some fun, casual concepts for making your events ones to be remembered.
The Backyard Barbecue – Being in the mountains makes one think of hiking, camping, biking and exploring; so why not host the classic outdoor enthusiast backyard barbecue with just a touch of elegance for your rehearsal dinner and welcome reception? Consider "Kebob-a-Que" menus, local "Beer Can Chicken" creations, Smoked Ribs complete with bibs and wet-naps, and tie it all up with ooey-gooey S'mores. Add in lawn games such as Texas horseshoes or cornhole, entice your guests with prizes, and you've created an evening of fun, good ol' fashioned competition and camaraderie between guests! Your rehearsal dinner and welcome reception should be the perfect kick-off to a weekend spent celebrating with all your friends and family! Check out Vail Cascade Resort & Spa and The Resort at Squaw Creek!
A Taste of Relaxation – Resort locales provide your guests with an escape from the norm, a mini-vacation away from the grind. Typically secluded with all you could need at your fingertips, these venues encourage your guests to sit back, unwind, put their feet up and enjoy. So why not create a relaxed "tasting menu" to enhance that mind-set. Scattered stations, each paired with a local beer or wine, will encourage conversation and help the frazzled traveler to take a breath and show off the best of what the resort has to offer. Sliders and micro brews, risotto and Pinot Noir, Bite Sized Morsels and Port; the ideal way to say, "thanks for coming, we're so happy you're here; rest, relax, enjoy." Visit Stowe Mountain Lodge, Suncadia Resort, Lansdowne Resort, and Sunriver Resort!
Shucking Tradition – You've chosen the sun and surf for your wedding weekend; what better way to commence the festivities than to encourage your guests to kick-off their shoes, roll-up their pants and wiggle their toes in the sand with a rehearsal dinner beachfront Clam Bake or Oyster Shucking Party? Food that allows you the freedom to eat with your fingers, wear a bib, and let the pleasures of the ocean melt in your mouth will force your guests to throw caution to the wind and really get to know each other before the big day even arrives! Wild Dunes Resort, L'Auberge Del Mar, Paradise Point and Terranea Resort will provide the wet-naps!
Tapas, Bites & Morsels – City weddings exude class, smarts and sophistication. Treat your guests to a chic evening of the city's best bites with tapas, hors d'oeuvres and scrumptious morsels available at their fingertips. A rad jazz trio, elegant stations and waiters passing out sexy canapés allow guests to mix n' mingle with a drink in hand, catch up with old friends, give impromptu toasts or roasts, and create an air of sass and panache that sets the mood for the remainder of the weekend. Pay a visit to the Embassy Row Hotel, Motif Seattle Hotel, Eden Roc Miami Beach and Hotel Derek in Houston, TX!
The Farewell Brunch
After being wined and dined for two days, hiking, relaxing, taking in the city's sites and then dancing their feet off – by the morning after the wedding your guests are going to be in desperate need of a recovery cocktail, grease and a strong Cup o' Joe before jumping in the car for a few hours, hopping a plane home, or simply returning to reality. The Farewell Brunch should be a time to say a final farewell to your guests, thank them for coming one last time and reminisce about the past two days. Treat them to some of your favorites, healthy treats to get them back on track, or the Sunday morning comfort foods we all recall from childhood. Early flights for some? Create a "for the road" box of treats for guests departing early, filled with some of necessities of a morning following "the best night ever" – or leave them a fun note the night before encouraging them to enjoy breakfast in bed "on you!"