Traditionally the rehearsal dinner is the night before the wedding. Although, some couples are beginning to have their rehearsal dinner a couple nights before the wedding. This allows the couple to be prepared, relaxed and get ready for the big day! The rehearsal dinner is a time for both families to get to know one another.

Who hosts the rehearsal dinner? Normally the groom’s family organizes and pays for the affair but the couple may opt to pay for it themselves. When it comes down to the nitty gritty, it is up to the couple on how they want to handle the rehearsal dinner. The rehearsal dinner can be a formal dinner or it can be a casual get together at a local restaurant or a backyard BBQ.

The guests invited to the rehearsal dinner should be the immediate family, the wedding party including their significant others, the officiant and out-of-town guests.  Make sure you have sent out invitations for the rehearsal dinner shortly after the wedding invitations. If you are having a small get together that is not very formal, a phone call or email invitation may be appropriate.

The rehearsal dinner is a time to welcome guests and enjoy their presence while both families are together before the big day. The bride and groom at this time present their bridesmaids and grooms with their bridal party gifts and thank them for being by their side throughout the wedding planning process. Usually, you will thank your parents and provide them with special gifts, as well. A toast may be said to thank everyone for joining them in celebrating their big day. You may also want to remind the bridal party what the times and schedules are for the wedding, for example what time the appointments are for hair & make up, where and when to be for pre and post ceremony photos, what the location of the salon is, etc.  Consider creating an itinerary for the day so that there’s no confusion for anyone!

The rehearsal dinner is a great opportunity to celebrate the couple’s new life together in a setting more intimate than the actual wedding.  Enjoy this special time!


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