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Tips and Etiquette for Organizing a Rehearsal Dinner

rehearsal dinner

The rehearsal dinner of many engaged couples have developed into full-fledged wedding events in recent years. However, there is no need to worry about the logistics of preparing your own event. There are fewer than twenty-four hours left until you and your significant other ties the knot, and with your friends and family on their way, now is the ideal moment to throw a party in celebration of the wedding occasion. However, as you plan, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. When it comes to the planning of your event, you will have a lot of leeways to be creative in everything from the creation of a seating chart to the selection of an interesting location to the formulation of a cuisine. There is no limit to the number of ways in which you can customize your party, no matter how huge or little it is.

The parents of the groom would host the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding, as this was the customary practice. However, contemporary couples are beginning to make these pre-wedding festivities their own, much like they are doing with many other aspects of wedding traditions. It’s not uncommon for the agendas of rehearsal dinners to be much more relaxed or even more personal. The manner in which you choose to plan it is entirely up to you. We posed some questions on proper etiquette to wedding planners in order to receive some useful advice on how to organize a rehearsal dinner.

When will the rehearsal dinner be held?

Rehearsal dinners are typically held on the evening before a traditional Saturday wedding, right after the ceremony. Even though there isn’t a formal rehearsal, many couples still choose to celebrate with a meal or get-together. Dinners might be held the Thursday, Friday, or Saturday before the wedding for the increasingly popular Sunday or Friday weddings. Plan the timing of the event so that everyone who will be there won’t have a late night (aside from the bride and groom, of course). The main event is still to come, after all.

Steps to Prepare a Rehearsal Dinner

Planning a rehearsal dinner for a wedding? The planning process has been divided into the following steps:

  1. Choose the host first

The rehearsal supper is often hosted by the parents of the groom. However, nowadays, anything goes. You and your partner might wish to pay for the rehearsal dinner if both sets of parents are splitting the expense of the wedding. To find the finest answer for your predicament, consult your partner and your parents.

  1. Pick a joyful theme

Use a theme for your rehearsal dinner as a fun way to start the wedding weekend. You might theme the celebration around your cultural heritage or highlight the venue of the wedding.


  1. Chose a special spot

You certainly have options, whether you decide to go to a beloved family restaurant or a location that holds special meaning for the couple. “One of our most cherished rituals consists of going to the homes of friends and family for a casual meal before the wedding.. Or, if the location of your wedding is a hotel, think about areas within the hotel that are less common for weddings. In a delightful bar, along the hotel’s pool, or even in a spacious guest suite with a view.

  1. Compile the visitor list

The guest list for the rehearsal dinner normally consists of immediate family members, anyone officiating the wedding ceremony, and their spouses or dates. Additionally, inviting out-of-town friends to the celebrations is polite. If your guest list ends up being lengthy, you can cut costs by merely providing cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and desserts rather than a full meal.

  1. Menu planning is a crucial step in the process

Whether you’re having the rehearsal dinner at a restaurant or a banquet venue (where you’ll require catering), prepare the menu early on. When in doubt, serve local favorites to out-of-town guests. Who doesn’t adore Chicago pizza, Cajun, Tex-Mex, or Maine lobster? They’ll devour it.

  1. Handle last-minute reminders

Before dinner ends, announce the nuptials. Double-check that everyone at the wedding party knows what to bring and when to arrive. If you have a large audience, remind attendees about the next day’s activities and transportation pick-up times and places.

  1. Donate presents to the wedding party

The traditional period for presenting wedding party gifts is during the rehearsal supper (particularly items to wear). Give your parents whatever presents you have and thank them for all the love, guidance, and support they have given you throughout your life.


  1. Enjoy yourself

After putting in so much work together to prepare for your wedding, you and your future spouse have earned some time off to spend with your respective families and friends. Make sure to have some relaxing activities planned for the rehearsal dinner.


Frequently asked questions

What is supposed to happen at a rehearsal dinner?

Usually, at supper, the fathers of the bride and groom make speeches. Any member of the wedding party might share significant recollections during speeches at rehearsal dinners. To take part in the storytelling, you may also invite additional visitors.


Who normally plans the rehearsal dinner?

Since the bride’s family traditionally foots the bill for the wedding, the groom’s parents typically host the rehearsal dinner. However, given the laxer requirements of today, additional family members, close friends, or even the couple themselves can organize and fund the celebration.

Do you give favors at a rehearsal dinner?

The bride, groom, and the rest of the bridal party need to be prepared for the wedding day, thus, a rehearsal dinner is a crucial evening. And don’t forget to mention the significance of the rehearsal dinner favors.

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