PRE-WEDDING PARTY: The Rehearsal Dinner

PRE-WEDDING PARTY: The Rehearsal Dinner

What a journey so far? From the engagement party, bridal shower, the bachelorette party, couple's wedding shower and the bridesmaid luncheon. All leading to the big day. But before we get there, we still have couple more parties that you can add to your wedding journey.

So, what's next?

The Rehearsal Dinner, of course.

The rehearsal dinner is a fun opportunity for the two families to spend time together before the wedding day in a not-so-frenzied setting. A rehearsal dinner is usually held after the wedding rehearsal and the night before the wedding ceremony. Who should be invited?

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Members of the wedding party, immediate family, wedding officiate and parents of flower girls and ring bearers, if not yours, junior bridesmaids and groomsmen. This is definitely an event you should consider formal invitations with RSVP cards with "plus-one" option.

Dinner Party, Bride and Groom, Wedding Night

Who's paying?

Who Host: Traditionally, the groom's family organizes and pays for this pre-wedding celebration, but as you have probably noticed with all the pre-wedding events, the bride-to-be and groom can definitely take matters into their own hands and host. Another option is to have both set of parents share the cost and responsibilities. 

When: In keeping with traditions, the rehearsal dinner is held the night before the wedding. So, if the  wedding is on a Saturday, the dinner would be held Friday night starting no later than 7:00 p.m. This way, you allow your guests time to get off work and to get ready. But you use good judgment when planning anything before your wedding day. A hungover bride or groom is not a pretty look and not to mention, you feel like crap. My advice (and since people rarely adhere to time) start early and finish early and more importantly keep the night moving along. A rehearsal dinner should not end at 10:00 p.m. or 11:00 p.m..

PRE-WEDDING PARTY: The Rehearsal Dinner

Gift-giving and speeches are perfectly acceptable at a rehearsal dinner along with family traditions and any special moments to be shared. The bride and groom may opt to present the parents with gifts. Choosing a theme for the evening may be fun, but not required

There are a few things to incorporate into the night: 

  • Meet and Greet - Get to know each other, your new families and future in-laws.
  • Catch up with loved ones and share fun old stories.
  • Gift Exchanges
  • More laughs and maybe some tear of joys.
  • A toast thanking everyone for coming along the journey (usually before dessert is served)
  • Some brides and grooms also use the occasion to present each other with special wedding gifts or surprises.
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Before the night ends, take a few minutes (like churches making their Sunday announcements) for last-minute reminders or instructions. Double-check that everyone in the wedding party knows exactly when and where to meet the next day. Confirm all pick up times and transportation if you have any out-of-state guests, but we'll cover more of that with our next pre-wedding party. 

PRE-WEDDING PARTY: The Rehearsal Dinner

Where you decide to host is up to you. Again, I suggest checking out your favorite local restaurant which may have a private dining area for events. Hosting at home is all fun and games until you have to clean-up. So don't do it!

Did you miss any of the previous 5 Pre-Wedding Parties? Click on the link to catch up.

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Coming Up Next: Welcome Party

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Welcome! First thank you for taking the time to stop by my little corner of this world. This is the place to be if you're a bride-to-be, hostess, wedding & event planner or anyone who loves the art of entertaining. You can expect to find great posts from industry professionals, as well as my own designs and all the tools you need to plan your perfect event. You can always reach me via email at Don't forget to subscribe and share this blog around.

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