How to Plan a Rehearsal Dinner

The rehearsal dinner is often hosted either the night before or week of the wedding. Couples bring together their families and wedding party along with a planner or any other relevant people to go over the flow of the wedding day. Many couples run through the ceremony quickly and make sure that the music sounds good, the timing is right, and everyone knows where they’re going.

Yes, it’s one more thing that needs to be planned! But, don’t worry – rehearsal dinners can be low-key and easy.  It’s a great time to get everyone together in a relaxed environment and get excited for the big day. If you have out of town family or wedding party members, this is also an amazing chance for everyone to get to know each other better.

So, what do you do for a rehearsal dinner? Let us help!

Where do we do it?

Not all couples can get into their venue the night before their wedding and other couples don’t have time to get to the venue, or won’t have everyone in town in time. Don’t stress! Many couples face this same issue and find workarounds if they can’t use the venue as the rehearsal.

The good news is that all you have to do is lightly practice the flow of the ceremony. This can be done anywhere! Of course, it’s great to host it at the venue if possible but you can do it anywhere that you can hear your officiant talk.

If you want to have it at the venue, ask way in advance – the sooner the better. If you can ask before you even book the date, that’s even better.

What do we do?

First, you practice going over some of the ceremony without going to deep into the details and spoiling your vows. Your officiant or whomever is running the ceremony will take you through what to expect, where to stand, and all of that fun stuff so no one stumbles or feels unsure. Take this time to get rid of the pre-wedding jitters and ask tons of questions so you know what to expect.

You may also want to plan a few toasts for the event, and thank everyone for coming, helping, and being a part of your big day. This intimate setting is great to get all of your appreciation out into the open. Use this time to talk to the out of town guests and mingle with your closest loved ones.

Before everyone leaves, take a second to go over the details of the big day and answer any questions anyone might have.

Who hosts?

If you’re one for tradition, the groom’s family used to host. However, this day and age, the couple often hosts their self or both sets of parents split it. It really depends on the formality of the dinner and the budget. Some families feel really strongly about having a formal sit-down dinner while other families have no idea what a rehearsal dinner is.

What to do for dinner?

It’s really up to you! If you can get into your venue, you can ask the venue to provide some light catering. Depending on the venue, they may also allow you to bring in your own food for a potluck or something of the sort. Booking a private room at a restaurant is another popular option, or reserving a long table (depending on guest count).

Other couples sometimes go back to a family members place, or host at their own home. Some choose to hire a caterer for this, while others just order pizza and hang out. The formality of the party is 100% up to the couple and the hosts. Sometimes dinner is fully paid for, while others ask guests to pay. There is no right or wrong way to do it.

Don’t stress it!

A rehearsal dinner is not a big deal – we promise. Some couples don’t even choose to have one. Your rehearsal dinner should be a nice time for you and your family. It’s a time to come together one last time before the whirlwind of wedding. Enjoy it, do what feels right, and take it all in.

Written By Brad Dalli from Dalli Digital