A Chinatown Rehearsal Dinner

Waiter serving Peking duck at Dim Sum Go Go

The Perfect Compromise for an Adults-Only Wedding

It has been a busy week: 4 weddings, 1 rehearsal dinner, and 1 non-profit event all since last Tuesday. Needless to say, I needed a day off from blogging. But I am back, and with plenty of photos to share! Let’s start with Genny and Blaine’s fun Chinatown rehearsal dinner at Dim Sum Go Go. The lesson from their event is pretty simple: dim sum is a great way to get families together before the big day.

Woman handing little boy to man at a Chinatown rehearsal dinner
Genny handing a little family member to Blaine

Organized by Blaine’s parents, the dinner was a wonderful nod to Genny’s Chinese family heritage. The wedding party took over the entire second floor with seating organized with all of Blaine’s family together, Genny’s family together and then friends and bridal party at a separate table. Having eaten dim sum here myself, I can vouch that the food at Dim Sum Go Go is delicious. And while I don’t normally eat during a short event such as this, owner (and family member) Veronica was kind enough to sneak me a Peking duck sandwich. It was scrumptious, and I will be back for more.


Dim Sum Sum Defined

Woman putting bamboo steamer on table in front of family at a Chinatown rehearsal dinnerIn case you are unfamiliar with the concept, dim sum is defined as a style of Chinese cuisine prepared as small portions, usually in steamer baskets. Dim sum is very popular on the weekends for brunch, especially here in New York. While the dishes served during Genny and Blaine’s rehearsal dinner were set directly on the table, in normal dim sum service, a waiter drives a small cart filled with dishes from table to table. You decide what dishes you want, and pay per dish. Dim sum is the perfect way to sample lots of different food. Even better is when you can share your items with other people at your table.

This was the concept at Genny and Blaine’s rehearsal dinner: small dishes served family style, with everyone getting to try multiple courses. As you know, I am a huge fan of participatory events, and dim sum hits the spot in that it gets everyone in on the action of eating. This gives each guest an easy way to meet her or his neighbor at the table just by sharing a dish. Indeed, even if you are not Chinese, dim sum is a terrific option to get your family and friends to meet one another before the wedding. If not dim sum, then try family style serving so that everyone has to reach out and get to know one another just by passing the bread basket.


Kids at the Rehearsal Dinner, Adults Only at the Wedding

Little girl licking bowls at a Chinatown rehearsal dinnerOne other lesson from this Chinatown rehearsal dinner was that this event was designated as family time with the entire family (including kids), while the wedding was an adults-only affair. There are mixed views on having a wedding with only adults invited. On the one hand, an adults-only wedding allows the parents to have a night free and they get to truly enjoy themselves. On the other hand, if you have friends or family with kids who can’t get a sitter, then they may have to sit out your wedding. Only you can make that decision for your own wedding, but you do have options. If you are going to go the adults-only route and are hosting a wedding with out-of-town parents arriving who might not know a local babysitter, then look into a babysitter service for the evening. I did a simple Google search and came across a dozen names of such agencies.

From a photography perspective, I am of two minds on the adults-only wedding concept. On the one hand, kids are precious little photo ops and their cute antics make for some fantastic photos. But on the other hand, rowdy kids can also serve as a distraction, especially during the ceremony. Genny and Blaine’s rehearsal dinner was the perfect compromise. I caught lots of cute moments with the kids, but the wedding the next day allowed me to focus on the adults and no one wailed during the vows. And as you can see with the little one who fell asleep at the table during the rehearsal dinner, I’m not sure she would have lasted the entire wedding.

Enjoy the photos and have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

Want to see what happened next after their Chinatown rehearsal dinner?  Check out all the details of Genny and Blaine’s delightful Housing Works Bookstore Cafe wedding in this link.

Interested in scheduling your own Chinatown rehearsal dinner?  Drop me a line and let’s talk about setting up a shoot.

If you would like to see more images from my engagement portfolio, then please visit my website — KellyWilliamsPhotographer.com.

Wide shot of Chinatown
View of Chinatown from Dim Sum Go Go

Woman holding glass of wine at a Chinatown rehearsal dinner Grandmother helping little boy at a Chinatown rehearsal dinner Little girl laying on table at a Chinatown rehearsal dinner Little boy wearing bow tie and eating at a Chinatown rehearsal dinnerMother feeding egg roll to little boy at a Chinatown rehearsal dinnerLittle boy trying to give food to his father at a Chinatown rehearsal dinnerFather feeding soup to little boy at a Chinatown rehearsal dinnerTwo woman talking at table at a Chinatown rehearsal dinnerBride and woman looking at cell phone at a Chinatown rehearsal dinnerLittle girl and legs of adults at a Chinatown rehearsal dinnerMan at table talking to other guestsLittle boy drinking with father and little brother Two little boys watching woman at tableMan standing with arms outstretched at a Chinatown rehearsal dinnerLittle girl eating with chopsticks at a Chinatown rehearsal dinnerWoman at table with little boy in her lapOlder woman and man passing plate of foodClose up on plate of beef and vegetablesTable with plate of noodles and other foodWoman passing plate of food to other guestsFather holding up little boyCouple chatting with other guests at a Chinatown rehearsal dinnerLittle girl asleep at table at a Chinatown rehearsal dinnerClose up on hand pouring glass of red wine

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