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Planning your Rehearsal Dinner

4 Months Before your Wedding: Planning your Rehearsal Dinner

Wedding rehearsal dinners are a chance for the bride and groom to spend time with family members and valued guests before the wedding day. The bride and groom’s family can meet and socialize better before the big day. Ideally, it comes after the rehearsal ceremony. The rehearsal dinner can either be formal or casual depending on your preference.

To have a successful rehearsal dinner, you need to ask yourself a few questions. Once you get the answers, you can start planning. Here are the basics things you should know.

Who will be the Host?

Traditionally, the wedding rehearsal dinner was hosted by the groom’s parents. However, either party can host or you can just make it a combined affair. The bride and groom can also host the rehearsal dinner so it is not just up to the parents.

Where and When will the Dinner be Held?

Most rehearsal dinners can be held at restaurants. If the wedding is near either of your homes, you can have it at home. The bride and groom get to decide the venue that suits their budget. If the parents are taking care of most of the expenses, then they can choose the venue for the rehearsal dinner. The couple can make the decision based on their budget and location. Whether you want to have the rehearsal dinner at a restaurant or at home, the choice is all yours.

The rehearsal dinner can be held a week to the wedding. It comes after the wedding rehearsal so you can streamline everything and make any changes to the wedding.

Theme Your Rehearsal Dinner

Just like your wedding, your rehearsal dinner can also have a theme. Most couples have the rehearsal diner theme march the wedding theme. If you’re having a beach wedding, you can try a Luau themed dinner, the options are endless! A barbeque is a great, informal and casual way for your guests to get to know each other, as an outdoor setting lets people wind-down and relax, and when people are comfortable is when they are the most open and personable. Another option that may be interesting is potluck! Having all of your guests bring a little piece of home cooking really makes them feel part of the ‘family’, and in addition to this, people love to talk about themselves. Talking about the dish they brought, how they made it, and all the other little details are great conversation topics.


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Have a Guest List

Having an idea of how many people will be attending your rehearsal dinner is important. It is also just as important to have the relationships matched as well as you can. Having a ton of friends come from the groom’s side, while a bunch of families come from the bride’s side is acceptable but doesn’t really fit the purpose of the rehearsal dinner. Try to match the relationships, for example, have a few cousins, few uncles, aunts, and friends from each side for ‘optimal’ mingling. If you want a small function, you can limit it to close friends, the bridal party and parents from both sides.

Determine Whether You Want a Formal Dinner or a Casual One!

Having a formal rehearsal dinner is appealing but can be a little hard on some of your guests, especially if you are inviting guests who will bring their children to the rehearsal. Some people do not have a large amount of formalwear and breaking out different combinations for 2-3 nights can be difficult. Consider keeping it casual, as people will be more open and themselves for your dinner.

Use the Dinner as an Opportunity to Give Last-Minute Reminders

You can ask your wedding planner if everything is set and make last-minute changes depending on when the rehearsal wedding is. You can also give your guests friendly reminders for anything you want them to know about your wedding. From the color and theme, rules, location, time, anything! If you’re not allowing children to your wedding, then make sure to give that reminder as well. As a friendly compromise for not allowing children, try asking your guests to bring their kids to the rehearsal dinner.

The wedding rehearsal dinner is an event where both families meet and mingle. You need to make it memorable as it is the last big gathering before your wedding.

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