Planning the Rehearsal Dinner
The Purpose of the wedding rehearsal dinner is to bring your closest friends and family together for a sort of pre-celebration. You have completed all of the planning and preparation and now you have made it to the big event! This is a time to enjoy everyone’s company and celebrate the marriage that is to come!
The Host has traditionally been the parents of the groom, since the financial supporter of the wedding has typically been the parents of the bride. However, in today’s day weddings are becoming more and more less traditional. If the bride and groom’s parents decide to split the cost of the wedding than maybe the bride and groom may pay for and host the rehearsal dinner. Maybe you have a wealthy uncle who adores you and wants to step up as the host. Whoever you decide to host the wedding rehearsal dinner, it is important to give them plenty of time to plan and prepare for the event in order to keep it as easy and stress-free as possible. Remember to leave the planning up to them to show your trust and appreciation, but don’t be afraid to chip in your opinion on the overall experience you wish to have…after all, it is all about you!
The Guest Listtypically consists of the wedding party, the bride and groom’s immediate family and grandparents, the parents of any children in the wedding party, and everyone’s dates. It is also common practice to invite the officiant as a courtesy as well as his or her spouse. This traditional guest list allows you to keep the wedding rehearsal dinner as an intimate experience to celebrate the coming of the big day with your closest friends and family that have been by your side all the way.
The Timing of a wedding rehearsal dinner is usually pretty standard. Most couples plan their wedding rehearsal the evening before their wedding and dinner immediate following. If this is the course you choose it is smart to plan the rehearsal at 5:30 so attendees can have time to leave work and get to the venue. Dinner usually follows afterwards at 7pm. Although this is the traditional time to host a rehearsal dinner for a Saturday wedding, some people choose to have the rehearsal dinner 2 nights before the wedding (in case you will be up late and possibly needing a day of recovery). Others even choose to have a casual breakfast or brunch rehearsal the day of. Just remember, you want your wedding day to be as flawless as possible so planning ahead to decide the easiest time and day for your rehearsal dinner can make things run a lot smoother when the wedding day comes.
The Location of your rehearsal dinner depends on your personal preference. Decide whether you want a small or a large rehearsal dinner, do you want it to be big and welcoming or close and intimate? Maybe you want a casual dinner or maybe you want a formal dining experience. If you want to have a casual rehearsal dinner you can consider hosting a barbeque in your backyard or a clambake at the beach! If you want something more fancy and elegant you can rent out a dining hall at your favorite restaurant, this is very popular for rehearsal dinners. Once you decide these key factors you can determine the perfect location.
The Theme of your wedding rehearsal dinner can be anything you want! Some people keep the theme consistent with their wedding day by using the same colors and atmosphere, if you do this make sure you don’t overshadow what your actual wedding day will be like! Another possible idea for a theme is to play up your culture. Consider having a Hawaiian Luau or a Latin Fiesta, these themed dinners always entertain! Another great idea for a theme is to go off of you and your spouse’s dating history. Where was your first date? Your favorite place to dine out together? Where did he pop the question? Choosing one of these locations often makes the evening more sentimental and allows you to share something meaningful with your guests. Whatever the theme is you want to make sure it is in line with the atmosphere you’re looking for and that all of your guests are informed so they know how to dress and what to expect!