Planning the Perfect Rehearsal Dinner

January 27, 2012 at 11:23 pm Leave a comment

One of the most important events for an engaged couple before their wedding day is the rehearsal dinner. The rehearsal dinner usually takes place after the ceremony rehearsal on the eve of your wedding day. The main purpose of a rehearsal dinner is to serve as a thank you to all the people involved with the planning of your wedding and to celebrate your impending nuptials. Read on for tips for planning the perfect rehearsal dinner.

Make a Guest List
Proper etiquette and general politeness suggests that all persons participating in the ceremony rehearsal should be invited to the dinner afterwards. This includes the bride, groom, both sets of parents, both sets of grandparents, siblings and their spouses or a guest, the officiant and a guest or spouse, all wedding party members and a guest or spouse including the flower girl, who gets invited with her parents. Not mandatory but considerate is inviting all out-of-town guests and very close friends and relatives not taking part in the ceremony.

Select a Location
Choose a venue that reflects your personal style and the theme of your wedding and is also within your budget. Locations can be almost everywhere, from a catered backyard barbeque to an elegant dinner at a fine restaurant. Be sure to include some time for the guests to mix and mingle before the dinner but keep the evening short and end it early to ensure everyone is well-rested for your wedding day.

Who Pays?
Decide who will host the rehearsal dinner in advance. Some wedding traditions suggest that the groom’s family pay for the rehearsal dinner if the bride’s family is paying for the wedding. If this is the case, invite your future mother-in-law to help with the planning. However, if you and your future spouse are paying for your own wedding, you might want to consider paying for the rehearsal dinner as well. It is not considered in bad taste to ask both sets of parents to help host and pay for the rehearsal dinner.

Invitations
Send invitations for the rehearsal dinner after you have mailed your wedding invitations. Allow a minimum of two to four weeks before your wedding date to give time for all your guests to respond with an RSVP and arrange their schedules. Your invitations may be simple handwritten notes or elaborate embossed stationary masterpieces or something in-between, the choice is up to you.

Toasts & Gifts
One of the most important aspects of the rehearsal dinner is the toast given by the bride and groom to show their appreciation to everyone who has contributed or participated in their wedding. It is customary for the toast to occur during dinner after the main course has been served. The parents of the bride and groom are usually the first to be toasted followed by more toasts of appreciation and a short speech expressing your gratitude to everyone involved with your wedding.
If you have not already done so, the rehearsal dinner provides an excellent opportunity to give thank-you gifts to all of your wedding attendants. You may also present gifts to persons integral to the planning of your wedding as an expression of your appreciation. Present your gifts during dinner but typically after the toasts have occurred.
If you are planning a wedding in the near future or need ideas and help planning your nuptials, consider attending the Great Bridal Expo to fulfill your wedding need. For ticket and schedule information, click here.

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