Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Welcome Dinner (or fun time to catch up with people)

Photo credit: MAT

The entire concept of a Rehearsal Dinner was foreign to S, and what I really wanted was to be able to spend time with family and friends who had traveled from various places around the world (including Norway!) to attend the wedding, so we ended up doing a low-key drop-in Welcome Dinner instead. Our Welcome Dinner included all the people who would normally be at a Rehearsal Dinner (people involved in the wedding ceremony and family), plus all the out-of-town people. We had it in a location at the same venue where the wedding would happen, so that helped people figure out how to get to the wedding location the day before. And we did it as a drop-in dinner before the rehearsal to allow more flexibility for local friends and family to come after work. The casual drop-in atmosphere took off the pressure of having some formal Rehearsal Dinner, and it allowed us to enjoy chatting with all the people who were there. Our families got to meet for the first time and it allowed our out-of-town guests to begin getting to know each other before the wedding.

Photo credit: S
I ordered food from a local grocery store, as S's sister and brother-in-law had done for dinner the night before their wedding a month ago. My parents and I decided to order sandwich trays, Greek and garden salads, and fruit and veggie trays, and my bridesmaid M made cookies. We were glad to be able to offer a variety of healthy-ish foods and were able to feed about 30 people economically. And it met my real goal of just being able to spend a little more time with people and enjoy having so many loved ones around us during the weekend. :)

But there was a little stress to get from the concept to the executed dinner. When I went to the major grocery store chain to order the food the day before the Welcome Dinner, I was informed that I should have ordered it the week before. (Oops! Who knew it took so long to prepare to make a couple trays of sandwiches and salads???) But the awesome woman who was helping us must have seen that I was on the verge of tears as I was trying to figure out a back-up plan involving lots of pizza, and she went to talk to the people in the kitchen about what from my ideal list they could do for us in such short notice. Amazingly, she came back, sans the bloody butcher apron she had been wearing during Part 1 of our conversation, and told us that they could do ALL of it for us! I was so thankful and it worked out wonderfully! My dad went to pick up the food the next day in unfamiliar-to-him Qu├ębec City (hooray for GPS!) and we used some of the real dishes we had rented for the weekend. (Hmm...maybe I should later post about the choice to rent real dishes versus the other options we considered?)

Photo credit: MAT (but the bad photo editing to protect privacy is mine!)

Using leftover mailing labels from our invitations, I made name tags for everyone using our floral swirl motif and fonts. (I cut down our large mailing labels to normal name tag size after printing them.) And we delivered the last of the Out-of-Town Bags at the Welcome Dinner. I ate (well, a little anyways) and table-hopped. It was wonderful to see friends I hadn't seen in YEARS and who live literally around the world. And so nice to have family and friends from various locations and stages of life meeting each other and getting to know each other. An amazing gift. I highly recommend a Welcome Dinner that includes family, wedding party, and out-of-towners.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for neglecting to mention that I put the cookies out without asking and that they were really for the wedding!