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Destination Rehearsal Dinner Ideas

Words by Courtney Cox
Photos courtesy of Jennifer Yarbro Photography

Opting for a destination wedding affords you endless options when it comes to customizing your event. You can stick with all the traditional to-dos, pick and choose what has the most meaning to you and your partner, or even create some new traditions of your own. The bottom line is, you and your guests will be on vacation together and they will likely be game for anything. We’ve found that more and more couples are taking advantage of getting away with their loved ones and planning detailed, organized events beyond W-Day. From elaborately themed welcome parties to a post-wedding send-off brunch, being a guest at a destination wedding has some serious perks.

As an example of a pre-wedding event done with a little extra imagination, check out the following pages of Kristen and Jeffery’s rehearsal dinner. Their event designer and planner, Todd Fiscus, also weighs-in on what made it extraordinary.

Kristen and Jeffery wanted their Antigua and Barbuda destination wedding weekend to be packed full of joyous occasions. In addition to their beautiful wedding (see pg. 114), the couple hosted a chic, island-inspired rehearsal dinner. They worked with the planning and design team at Todd Events to create a festive atmosphere and a style that was infused throughout the weekend’s events. For the rehearsal dinner, the couple decided on shades of orange for the florals and décor. “The beautiful orchids hanging from the ceiling looked like flames of candles hanging upside-down,” says the bride. “It was surreal.”

You might already have a style in mind for your wedding, but what about the other events? We asked the event and design planning team behind Kristen and Jeffery’s destination wedding and rehearsal dinner to share their insight. “We try not to create a theme, but a subtle through line,” says Todd Fiscus of Todd Events. “Something that allows the experience to be connected and [helps guests] ‘make sense’ of what they are experiencing. Details should be so well connected that the experience envelops the guest.”

If your goal is to create a wedding weekend your guests will never forget, finding the right balance of free time and planned events is key. “It’s not just about parties, it’s about all the time in between,” says Todd. “We try not to over schedule a weekend and leave plenty of time for these experiences.” Aside from crafting a style story and deciding on your number of events, another key to success for pre and post-wedding events is a strong relationship with your wedding planner or event designer.

Planning a wedding from afar can be tough, so it’s important you have someone on the ground you can trust. In fact, Todd Fiscus stressed the importance of a strong planner-couple relationship when we asked him how other couples can pull-off an amazing wedding weekend. “The relationship [quality] that works the best for me is trust,” says Todd. “I can guarantee that feeling of trust makes [my team] stronger, more attentive and [we] do better work because that trust is a gift. A client/planner relationship that is built on fear of failure or worry is never good. Planners start to second-guess their gut, and after 20 years of creating these occasions, I demand more from myself than my client could ever ask.”

Whether you opt to keep things simple and focus on your wedding day or go all-out and plan additional events, keep the heart of the matter at hand. It’s important to craft a destination wedding that not only reflects your personality as a couple, but takes your guests’ experience into account.

Vendors: Photographer: Jennifer Yarbro Photography, Planning, Design & Décor: Todd Events, Venue: The Pool Grille at Jumby Bay Island in St. John’s, Antigua, Linens: La Tavola Linen, Rentals: Pink Mongoose Events, Bride’s Dress: Romona Keveza from Joan Pillow Bridal Salon, Bride’s Vegan Shoes: Parisxox, Dinner Music: Foreplay, DJ: DJ Lucy Wrubel

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