Rehearsal Dinner Tips and Etiquette

Rehearsal Dinner Tips and Etiquette
A rehearsal dinner usually takes place the night before your wedding upon completing a detailed walk-through of your upcoming ceremony. Now that the planning stage is over, it’s finally time to relax and spend quality time with the wedding party and those closest to you.  Whether you choose to have your rehearsal dinner in the back yard or in a swanky restaurant, here’s what you need to know about rehearsal dinner etiquette.

Select a Venue
One of the nice things about planning the rehearsal dinner is that there are no rules. You can plan a classy four-course meal or keep things light and casual. The only thing you want to avoid is upstaging the wedding itself. Some couples like to stick with their wedding theme and ambiance, while others want to be completely unique. Once you find a location you like, call a few months in advance to secure the venue and allow time for a catering or menu selection if necessary. Some restaurants hold private rooms with a limited menu for small events such as this.

Who to Invite
The guest list for a rehearsal dinner should include the wedding party and immediate family along with their spouses. Some couples even like to include out of town guests or extended family members. The size of your guest list will vary based on budget, location, and the size of your wedding party. Anyone included on your list should receive an invitation to the rehearsal dinner that includes all necessary details for the event.

Enjoy the evening
Traditionally, intimate speeches are given at a rehearsal dinner and the host of the party will kick things off. This person will give a special shout out to the couple and thank everyone in attendance. Then the floor is open for the wedding party to share stories and give their blessing to the soon to be newlyweds. While it is difficult to do this at a wedding reception, the rehearsal dinner offers the perfect opportunity for them to speak. This is also a good time for the couple to share their gratitude to the wedding party and anyone who helped them along their journey.

If you are interested in unique rehearsal dinner ideas, click here.

How to Give Your Bridal Party an Honoring Toast

As you are getting ready for the big day, you have your maid of honor, bridesmaids, and parents to help you. They play an important role in your wedding. They’re there with you on your wedding day, too. They’re there to celebrate with you and support you as you say, “I do.” Think about a time during the rehearsal dinner or wedding when you can let them know how much they mean to you.  Maybe it’s easy to talk to them in front of a crowd, or maybe you’re not sure you can handle the idea. Planning ahead of time is really helpful. Here are some ideas on how to put together a toast that will make your bridesmaids feel honored.

A decent toast should last no more than about three to five minutes. First, introduce your bridesmaids to your guests and thank them for agreeing to be a part of the wedding party. Next, talk about why they are so special to you and why you appreciate having them in your life. Mention how long you have known them and then tell a personal story of your past together. Let them know you will be happy to look back at your wedding album and see photos of them standing by your side as you make one of the biggest commitments of your life.

When it is time to wrap up your toast, raise a glass and ask your guest to take a sip in honor of your girls!