Using place cards is a good idea to break the ice and help people meet each other. The bridal couple and their immediate families can sit at the head table or mingle with the guests. As the host, the groom's father makes the traditional toast to the happy couple. This is also the time when the couple usually presents their gifts to the wedding attendants.
The rehearsal dinner can be a buffet, formal dinner, pig pickin, whatever you like. Just remember to have fun and relax!