Rehearsal Dinner Guide

Traditionally, a rehearsal dinner takes place the night before your wedding. This is a perfect time to gather with your wedding party, close friends, and family to intimately celebrate your upcoming nuptials. If you are planning to have a rehearsal dinner party, here are a few tips to get the preparation underway.

Who is the host?
It is customary for the groom’s family is plan, organize, and pay for the rehearsal dinner. Today, some couples choose to share the responsibility and host this event on their own. Whichever route you choose, the person that oversees the event will send invitations, book the venue, plan the food, and pay.

Where should it take place?
Some rehearsal dinners are formal and take place in a ballroom with a seated dinner included, while others take place in the backyard with barbeque. The possibilities are endless. First consider if you want a formal or informal event and recognize that the price will vary depending on the location and size of your party. If your wedding is formal, you may choose to keep the festivities in line with a proper setting.  If your wedding has a more causal and laid-back atmosphere, stick with a relaxed and warm party.

Who should be invited?
When organizing your rehearsal dinner guest list, begin with parents of the bride and groom along with immediate family members, the wedding party, and the officiant. Then it is time to branch out to spouses and potentially their children (depending on how large your event will be). Ring bearers, flower girls, and junior bride’s maids should be included and, depending on their age, possibly their parents. Once this list is finalized, reach out to close friends or out of town guests that you want to be a part of this intimate gathering too.

For unique rehearsal dinner ideas, click here.

Unique Rehearsal Dinner Ideas

Rehearsal dinners are coordinated for a purpose. Tradition states that the groom’s family plans and covers the cost of this event. Held the evening before your wedding and following a brief practice of your wedding ceremony, this dinner allows time for the wedding party, close friends, and family to celebrate the couple in an intimate setting. There is more time to toast, share stories or videos, and wish the couple a lifetime of happiness prior to the big event. If you are searching for unique ideas for your rehearsal dinner, here are a few that will inspire.

Host a backyard barbeque. For a casual atmosphere, consider a backyard barbeque. Whether the dinner is potluck or catered, this environment will keep things easy going and stress-free so the couple can unwind from months of hectic planning.

Enjoy a night of fine dining. Some couples prefer a more upscale rehearsal dinner. If you want to dress up and enjoy a luxurious night out at a popular restaurant, this is the time to do it!

Host a cocktail party. Set up like a wedding, some couple like the idea of serving fancy appetizers, cocktails, and even a sit-down dinner or buffet. If you really want to splurge, hire someone to provide background music to enhance the celebration.

Create a theme. Sure, everyone is gathered for one central purpose, but spruce up the excitement and serve your guest with a theme in mind. Provide food, cocktails, and décor that match your motif.

Add in the extras. Outside of dinner and toasting, add an element of fun that everyone can enjoy. Bring in a photo booth and save the pictures for your album, hire a magician to entertain the crowd, or even play some silly games that involve everyone there. The sky is the limit!