31 Mar

Rehearsal Dinner Basics

Once the wedding planning is well under way and the rehearsal day approaching, it will be time to consider where to have the rehearsal dinner. Typically, the rehearsal dinner is organized by the groom’s family or jointly by the couple. Here are a few quick tips to getting the rehearsal dinner off of the ground:

  • Schedule your rehearsal and rehearsal dinner one to two days before the wedding.
  • Choose a space close to your wedding ceremony and reception venue.
  • Your wedding style doesn’t need to dictate your rehearsal dinner – infuse it with your personality and favorite things!
  • Encourage your guests to mix, mingle, and kick off the celebrations right away with a stations party or buffet.
  • Don’t forget- rehearsal dinners are parties too and invitations will be needed.

Why host a rehearsal dinner?

The rehearsal dinner is a great time for both sides of the couples’ families to get together and spend time together in a relaxed setting before the wedding day. This is also an excellent opportunity to welcome out-of-town guests to town for your special occasion. Wedding days can be hectic and it may be difficult to see everyone that is invited and spend quality time with them. The rehearsal dinner is a great opportunity for this.

Who to invite?

The rehearsal dinner guest list should, at the very least, include the immediate family of the couple, wedding party, and the wedding party’s spouses or significant others. Turning the rehearsal dinner into a welcome party is also another option, as we have briefly mentioned. If you have friends and family that have traveled far to celebrate with you, extending an invitation to the rehearsal dinner is a lovely thank-you gesture for their extra effort.

What does a rehearsal dinner look like?

Since weddings tend to be formal, the rehearsal dinner is an opportunity to create a casual and relaxed atmosphere. This get-together is essentially a sneak peek into the weekend ahead and the food, beverage and atmosphere of the evening can reflect that. Many couples opt for buffets and station parties or cocktail receptions. Ultimately, the rehearsal dinner set up will depend on number of guests and budget.

Are invitation necessary?

Absolutely! You’ll want people to RSVP so that you’ll have a headcount for your caterer, and you’ll want to also know if there are any special diets or food allergies. When sending invitations for the rehearsal dinner, send them out shortly after your wedding invitations. This will help your guests keep their schedules straight and if anyone needs to make travel arrangements, they can make them based around when they need to arrive for the weekend festivities.

What happens at a rehearsal dinner?

Rehearsal dinners are truly unique events. Every couple chooses to do them differently and sometimes they include components one would expect to see at the wedding itself, such as the toasts. Many rehearsal dinners usually include some type of meet and greet among guests, toasts, a welcome, and last minute reminders that are important for the weekend – such as telling the wedding party where they need to be and when.



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