5 steps to planning your rehearsal dinner
Rehearsal dinners are a great opportunity to kick off the wedding festivities and shouldn’t add more stress than necessary to the wedding-planning experience! Traditionally, rehearsal dinners were more of a formal event, but couples have more recently ditched that mentality and choose to use the rehearsal dinner as a more casual, relaxed and fun way to gather with close friends and family before the big day. Rehearsal dinners are also a great opportunity for both sides of the family to get to know each other!
As always, we are here to help your entire wedding run smoothly from start to finish, so let’s get into the 5 steps to planning your rehearsal dinner!
STEP 1: DECIDE ON A HOST
Depending on how you have paid for the wedding will likely determine who is going to host and cover the costs of the rehearsal dinner. If the bride’s side of the family helped to pay for the wedding, the grooms side may cover costs for the rehearsal dinner. Some couples also choose share costs between families for all events, or choose to pay for it themselves. Either way, the host should be responsible for giving any initial toasts before dinner to kick off the festivities.
STEP 2: DECIDE ON A LOCATION AND DATE
Typically, rehearsal dinners are held the night before the wedding. If it permits within your schedule and is accommodating to your guests, some couples also choose to have the dinner two nights before the wedding, which allows for a day in between to relax and prepare the final duties for the big day.
The location of your rehearsal dinner should reflect your personality and vibe as a couple. If you like keeping things more casual, an outdoor BBQ is a fun choice. Other popular ideas include breweries and restaurants which make for easy cleanup and service, hotels, and halls.
STEP 3: CHOOSE YOUR FOOD
Your food choice will likely reflect the location you choose for your rehearsal dinner. If you’re doing an outdoor dinner/BBQ style, you can keep the dinner as simple as burgers, tacos or pizza! If you choose to go with a restaurant or brewery, a set dinner from the menu is a great option. There are so many awesome food companies out there now too that will cater. If you are vegan, Copper Branch or Freshii make wonderful options for catering, and if you have no dietary restrictions, sushi or Chinese food can also be tasty choices. In addition to the dinner, the rehearsal dinner is usually the time that the groom’s cake is served. This should be pre-ordered well in advance of the date of the rehearsal dinner.
STEP 4: CREATE YOUR GUEST LIST AND INVITES
Typically, immediate family and the members of the wedding party are the ones who are a part of the guest list for rehearsal dinners. You may also want to consider inviting guests who have travelled far distances to make it to your wedding as a thank-you. Invites can be kept pretty casual with an e-vite, DIY invitations by mail, or by personally reaching out to each guest via phone or email to confirm attendees.
STEP 5: PLAN A TIME DURING DINNER TO GIVE OUT YOUR WEDDING PARTY GIFTS AND TOASTS.
Gifts to the wedding party are a thoughtful way to say thank you for being apart of the entire process, from dress/tux shopping, jack-and-jills, bachelor/bachelorette parties, and bridal showers. This gift exchange is a great moment for you to connect with your closest family and friends before the major festivities begin.
If you want to read our blog on gift ideas for your wedding party, chick HERE (INSERT PREVIOUS BLOG LINK).
In addition to thanking your wedding parties, speeches and toasts are also a fun part of the rehearsal dinners. These can be kept brief, but typically the toasts begin with the groom’s family toasting his future daughter-in-law and her family, followed by the groom toasting to his future wife. Next up is the brides family, toasting to their son-in-law and his family.
To conclude, it is never a bad idea to make any final announcements or reminders about events of the wedding to family and most importantly to the members of the wedding party.
XO Marissa from NV Bridal Société