Rehearsal Dinner

Top 10 Rehearsal Dinner Trends

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017 | Filed under: Rehearsal Dinner, Rehearsal Planning | author: By Keith Sly,    

Fine DiningTraditionally many couples hold a rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding. In a relaxed atmosphere, the bride and groom can spend quality time reflecting on moments culminating to their big day while happily surrounded by close family and friends. Once customary for the groom’s family to organize and host this soiree, today however, couples host themselves or opt for both sets of parents to host this special night.

The rehearsal dinner now breaks free of its traditional setting and rituals. From upscale dining and custom cocktails to sophisticated décor, The Manor proposes these top 10 rehearsal dinner trends to inspire couples and show guests a touch of your loving devotion for one another. Here’s a toast to planning your special celebratory rehearsal dinner. Read more…

Wedding Guests with Special Dietary Needs

Thursday, November 29th, 2012 | Filed under: Party Planning, reception planning, Rehearsal Dinner, Wedding Cocktail Party, wedding dinner party, wedding menu, wedding planning | author: By Keith Sly,    
Special Dietary Needs

Wedding Menu

When thinking about your wedding menu – for your cocktail party, your wedding reception dinner, and your wedding cake and desserts, be sure to keep in mind your guests’ special dietary requirements.

It’s now become far more prevalent for our New Jersey and New York City wedding couples to customize their wedding catering choices with a large selection of food items that their gluten-free and vegetarian guests can enjoy. Brides and grooms have read horror stories on wedding websites, wedding blogs and wedding message boards about weddings at which dietary-restricted guests could only pick on a small number of foods. They certainly don’t want that for their own wedding guests, nor do we. Read more…

Carving Station Trends

Thursday, November 15th, 2012 | Filed under: Party Planning, reception planning, Rehearsal Dinner, Wedding Cocktail Party, wedding dinner party, wedding menu, wedding planning, wedding receptions | author: By Keith Sly,    
Carving Station Trends

Carving Station

Your wedding cocktail party menu is one part of your Big Day that guests look forward to the most, and they have great expectations that the food will be excellent, the presentation elaborate, and the choices plentiful. Since guests travel so far to attend weddings, it’s smart to talk with your wedding caterer about creating a cocktail party menu that will surprise and delight your friend and family. Read more…

Wedding Rehearsal Planning

Monday, July 18th, 2011 | Filed under: dream wedding, Party Planning, reception planning, Rehearsal Dinner | author: By Keith Sly,    

Your wedding rehearsal brings the focus to the most important part of your wedding day: your wedding ceremony. You and each of your ceremony participants will embark upon a detailed run-through of your ceremony elements, led with experience and efficiency by your wedding planner, your wedding officiant, or our banquet manager for your garden wedding or ballroom wedding here at our West Orange, New Jersey wedding venue.

I say efficiency because it’s a hallmark of today’s wedding rehearsal — especially for our time-conscious New Jersey, New York City and Long Island wedding couples – for the rehearsal to run smoothly and quickly, instructing all and putting everyone at ease about the elements of the wedding ceremony. So to that end, and to help you plan a quick, efficient, and enjoyable wedding rehearsal, here is your primer on what should be practiced at your rehearsal, and what may be skipped for time, and also for that all-important surprise factor on the wedding day:

What’s Practiced:

  • Where the ladies and the men will each gather and await the start of the ceremony.
  • Ushers escorting guests to their seats, including a familiarization with the path of our wedding gardens and the layout of our wedding ceremony room.
  • The lineups for the bridesmaids and the groomsmen, including how they will walk, stand and pair up in duos or trios for the recessional.
  • The processional walking spacing and walking speed for all.
  • Special instructions for child attendants, teaching them how and where to walk.
  • The wedding ceremony elements:
  • The officiant will confirm how the bride wishes for her parent or parents to give their consent, if she wishes to include the ‘giving away’ portion of the wedding ceremony. We’ve found moments like these to be enlightening ones for the bride and groom, places where the wedding rehearsal allows them to tailor the nuances of their ceremony wording.
  • The steps of the religious, spiritual or secular wedding ceremony, including the bride’s and groom’s moving to another location for a ritual, plus the maid of honor’s necessary arranging of the bride’s train.
  • The readings, giving participants the chance to run through the wording, and also learn from the banquet manager or officiant which podium or microphone to approach.
  • The presentation of religious, spiritual or cultural elements.
  • The wedding vows (optional – some couples wish to run through classic or traditional vows, and some wish to keep them a surprise until the wedding day.)
  • The exchange of rings, acted out, without the actual rings.
  • The kiss.
  • The presentation of the bride and groom to all in attendance as a married couple.
  • The recessional, including how the bride and groom will walk back down the aisle together, bridal party members’ walking in the processional, and the process by which groomsmen will return to the front row to indicate parents’ turn in the recessional.
  • The receiving line order, if the couple wishes to have a receiving line at this point.

What’s Not Practiced:

Again, at their wedding rehearsal, many of our local brides and grooms appreciate speeding things along, so that no one gets restless, and so that they can get to the fine restaurant dining experience of their rehearsal dinner on time. So these are the elements that are most often not practiced at the rehearsal:

  • The officiant performing the entirety of readings to be used in the ceremony.
  • The entirety of wedding vows. A trend we’re seeing in wedding rehearsals here at our West Orange, New Jersey wedding venue is couples practicing the traditional beginning of their wedding vows – “to have and to hold, etc.” – but keeping their personalized ending sections private for now, as a surprise to their intended, as well as to all present.
  • Religious elements, such as the receiving of Mass.
  • Musical performances, or cultural performances.
  • The bride and groom’s departure to the wedding limousine.

Trust in the experience of our banquet manager or your special events expert as your group enacts the steps at your wedding rehearsal and you’ll find that you have a greater sense of comfort about your wedding day, fewer nerves distracting you, and a wonderful ability to take in all of the beautiful details and meaningful elements of your New Jersey wedding.


Michael Mahle, Director of Communications, Pleasantdale Château

Wedding Rehearsal Attendance

Thursday, March 10th, 2011 | Filed under: Rehearsal Dinner, wedding planning, wedding receptions | author: By Keith Sly,    

As New Jersey’s top wedding venues, the Pleasantdale Chateau, The Manor
and the Ram’s Head Inn have been home to countless wedding rehearsals, and we’ve seen the glowing bride and groom prepare for the biggest day of their lives. Who’s invited to attend this very important practice run? We have the wedding etiquette-approved list of who needs to be there…and who isn’t.

First, obviously, the bride and groom need to be present, so that they can not just learn what will happen during each section of the wedding ceremony, but so that they can co-create the personalized ceremony of their dreams. Today’s bride and groom have a voice at their wedding rehearsal, sometimes switching the order of ceremony elements, re-pairing bridesmaids and groomsmen and otherwise designing the most important part of their wedding day.

Next, the bridal party members, and their guests, are invited to the rehearsal dinner. Bridesmaids and groomsmen need to learn where they’ll wait, how they’ll walk down the aisle, what they’ll do during special moments of the ceremony, and how they’ll participate in the recessional. The maid of honor will learn when she’ll need to adjust the bride’s train, hold her flowers, and otherwise be at her service. Why the bridal party guests? According to wedding etiquette, it’s proper to invite them to the rehearsal dinner, so it just works out conveniently to let them attend the wedding rehearsal itself.

Child bridal party attendants, flowergirls and ringbearers, are also invited, along with their parents, so that the little ones can practice how they’ll walk and where they’ll stand, so that they’re comfortable and confident in what’s expected of them.

The wedding planner is invited, if you’ve hired one, and may be the person in charge of instructing everyone on each element of the ceremony. The officiant and his or her guest will obviously be there as well, to guide the proceedings and to work with the bride and groom in adjusting any wording, the vows, or other special portions of the ceremony.

Musical performers may also be invited to the wedding rehearsal, although that’s not a Must. Your musicians may require that they attend the rehearsal, so that they can learn the cues of when they’re playing during each portion of the ceremony, so ask your musical experts what their rehearsal policies are, and what you may have to pay them to attend.

Ceremony participants, such as those performing readings or cultural rites, are smartly invited to the wedding rehearsal, so that they too learn when they’ll be expected to stand up and walk to the microphone, and so that they can practice speaking their material on-site.

Parents and grandparents are also invited to the rehearsal, as a special event to witness, as are additional special family members. The smaller the circle of people at the wedding rehearsal, the more efficient the practice session will be, and the sooner you can all get to your lovely rehearsal dinner.

Thank you!
Rolf Shick, Banquet Manager, The Manor

To make an appointment with a banquet manager, please contact us at 973-731-3100.