HOW TO HOST A HAMPTONS STYLE WEDDING REHEARSAL DINNER
Back before my blogging days, my stepson Adam got married to lovely Alissa.
Alissa is from Southampton, New York. Yes, that’s one of those toney towns that make up what is referred to as “The Hamptons”. Although my Spanish grandparents immigrated to Long Island, New York, as a left coast native, I had actually never been to The Hamptons until Alissa came into our lives.
As parents of the groom we were excited to have the opportunity to host a wedding rehearsal dinner in the Hamptons, so off we went to New York for our first introduction to Alissa’s mother and her beautiful and charming hometown of Southampton. With my husband Brad and our son Adam in tow, the three women went on a mission to find both a rehearsal dinner venue and a rental home in which our family would reside during the week of the wedding.
Before the trip I had torn out an article from Southern Living Magazine about a garden party hosted by tastemaker Danielle Rollins. After seeing the inspirational photos of her lovely event, we all agreed a similar party would be perfect for our Hamptons style wedding rehearsal dinner. All we needed was the perfect rental home that would allow us to host a party during our stay.
After a day of visiting a number of homes found on VRBO.com we decided on this wonderful abode, just blocks from Alissa’s family home and the wedding venue. You can see lots more of the home in my previous post here.
The shingled residence was located at the end of a long driveway, with expansive grounds that provided plenty of room for parking and partying…
and also provided a playground for the resident family of deer.
With months until the big day, we returned home and I set about preparing for the party, all the while using Danielle Rollins’ soiree as my inspiration. I loved everything about her tablescape, from the black and white buffalo checked tablecloth, to the green water glasses, to the bamboo flatware, to the herb-filled terra cotta pots that served as centerpieces.
I also loved her idea for dual purpose party favors/place cards: miniature pots with seed packets so guests could grow their own herb gardens at home.
One of my mottos in life is, “To be copied is the finest flattery,” and I hope Danielle Rollins shares the same sentiments, because I pretty well copied most of her ideas. So, once back home in California I went shopping for black and white fabric to be used both for decorations and tablecloths.
I cut 4 different patterns of fabric into triangles and sewed them onto twine, alternating the patterns as I went to form yards and yards of flag bunting.
I also sewed a dozen black and white checked tablecloths…
and 50 white cloth napkins.
And I designed and manufactured these candelabras that would decorate the dining tables. I can manufacture some for your event too!
I decided it would be preferable to simply buy what we needed for the party instead of renting everything. Then after the party I could gift all the goodies to my kids. So as I ordered the dishes, and serving platters, and chafing dishes, and flatware, and glassware, etc., etc., I had everything shipped to my son’s offices in Washington, DC where it was piled into a spare office. The week of the wedding my son managed to get it all into his SUV and drove it to the Southampton rental home where we began preparations for the wedding rehearsal dinner.
As I always say, it takes a village to put on an event of this magnitude, so I employed the help of family and friends to pull it all together. The boxes were unpacked and we set about washing the new dishes and glassware.
The chairs and tables that I had rented were delivered.
Julia, mother-in-law of my oldest son, Nathan, was put to work folding the napkins…
while my friend Lisa prepared the table that would accommodate the hors d’oeuvres.
She also set up a self-serve cocktail bar in the living room.
The names of the bride and groom and their wedding date were printed on little flags that I attached to cocktail picks.
I strung the words, “Live, Love & Laugh” on black rickrack and used it to decorate the cocktail table.
And this message, “Happily Ever After Starts Now” was strung on the window nearby.
I hung another banner with the names of the bride and groom from the fireplace mantel…
and yet another from a mirror in the family room. The free printable letters are available from Martha Stewart here.
Another family member was sent to a nearby nursery where ornamental kale was purchased to fill terra cotta pots that would become our centerpieces.
As I set the tables…
my daughter-in-law worked out the seating cart.
I ordered small framed chalkboards from Save On Crafts that we put to good use as both decor and signage. Here we displayed a lovely wedding prayer by Robert Louis Stevenson.
And we sent this lovely message to the bride and groom. Do read it, it’s a beautiful sentiment and is so true.
The buffet table was prepared and we used another chalkboard to display the menu items.
And we placed one on the dessert table as well.
One of the bride’s favorite restaurants, La Parmigiana, catered our rehearsal dinner. An institution in Southampton, my now daughter-in-law grew up eating here, knows the owners and wanted them to be a part of this important day in her life. The food was delicious, and since I didn’t take photos once the party began, regrettably I can’t share any food photos with you.
We also decorated the exterior of the home. Remember the flag buntings I sewed? Well, they decorated the front porch.
And to illuminate the long driveway we lined it with lanterns hanging from shepherd’s hooks.
Lanterns also illuminated the front steps.
As evening approached we lit candles…
and awaited the arrival of our guests.
It was a glorious evening and I cherish the memories of this very special day.
So there you have it: HOW TO HOST A HAMPTONS STYLE WEDDING REHEARSAL DINNER
STEAL THE LOOK: Click on the items below for links to all my party resources.
- Appetizer Plates – Crate & Barrel
- Dinner Plates – Crate & Barrel
- Bamboo Flatware – Horchow
- Wine Glasses – Crate & Barrel
- Lanterns – Save On Crafts
- Shepherd’s Hooks – Save On Crafts
- White Pillar Candles – Save On Crafts
- Glass Votive Candle Holders – Save On Crafts
- Chalkboards – Save On Crafts
- Party Rentals – Classic Party Rentals
- Chafing Dishes – WEBRestaurant
- Terra Cotta Pots – Arizona Pottery
- Jumbo Wooden Popsicle Sticks – Save On Crafts
- Beverage Tubs – Crate & Barrel
This is not a sponsored post, I just like sharing my resources.
PS – We hated to leave all those kale plants behind so guess what: We tossed them in olive oil, salt & pepper and made kale chips!
Thanks for dropping in! Do please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!
- If you’d like to read After Orange County every time a new article is posted, please “Subscribe” to the blog using the Subscription Box above.
- If you enjoyed this post, please help me spread the word by sharing it on your Facebook Page. You can “Like” my Facebook Page here.
- If you enjoyed the photos, please “Pin Them” on your Pinterest page. You can follow my Pinterest Page here.
- Do you Tweet? Please follow my Twitter Page here.
- Follow my blog on BlogLovin.com
All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Unless otherwise credited, all photos are the original property of Celia Becker @ www.AfterOrangeCounty.com and may not be reproduced without specific permission.