A Rehearsal Dinner How-To

Got a case of the pre-wedding jitters?  You’re not alone!  Every bride and groom get a bit nervous before their big day – What if you forget the rings?  What if the flower girl was really too young and she ends up crying through the entire ceremony?  Or worse yet, what if you forget your vows?!  Take a breath and relax because everything will go just fine – and a wedding rehearsal is most definitely in order!

After you rehearse your wedding ceremony, you’ll likely invite your wedding party to a rehearsal dinner for one last dinner together before you tie the knot.  It’s a great way to relax the evening before your big day and go over any last minute details with your wedding party.  If you’ve never attended or hosted a rehearsal dinner before, you might not know exactly where to start, or what events are to be held at the rehearsal dinner.  Our below tips will help you set an elegant and appropriate rehearsal dinner scene, and we’ve also included an inspirational collage for you to grab ideas off of, too!

Who should host the rehearsal dinner? The rehearsal dinner is traditionally hosted by the parents of the groom, as the bride’s family is traditionally hosting the entire wedding event.

Who should be invited to the rehearsal dinner? Traditionally, the bride and groom’s wedding party is invited to the rehearsal dinner – think bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls/ring bearers, parents of the bride and groom and any other immediate family members.  Some families may also decide to invite out of town guests that will be attending the wedding the following day.  This is a wonderful gesture if it is in your budget, as it provides the guests with a meal as soon as they get into town, and it also shows them your appreciation for their travels.

When should the rehearsal dinner be held? A rehearsal dinner is typically held after the ceremony rehearsal, the day before the wedding.  When setting a time for your rehearsal dinner, be sure to give your guests time to finish the ceremony rehearsal and travel to the rehearsal dinner site.  About thirty minutes between the end of the rehearsal and the beginning of dinner is appropriate.

When do I send out invitations?  What should the invitations look like? You will want to send out your rehearsal dinner invitations approximately 2-3 weeks before the rehearsal dinner.  Most members of your bridal party will assume there will be a rehearsal dinner, thus if you are a bit short on invitation time, do not stress.  Your rehearsal dinner invitations should be an indication of the event you are hosting, regarding formality and theme.  Many couples will base their rehearsal dinner theme off of the location of where the dinner is being held, be it at the beach, an Italian restaurant, an Asian bistro or a backyard barbecue.  Remember that your rehearsal dinner and rehearsal dinner invitation should not upstage your wedding, nor does it have to match the formality or theme of your wedding day.

Should anyone give a speech at the rehearsal dinner? Typically the father of the bride and the father of the groom will give a speech at your rehearsal dinner.  The speeches are typically done between the early meal courses, as not to prolong the event, as everyone will need plenty of sleep before the big day.  The content of the speeches will generally be wishing the bride and groom the best of luck in their marriage together, as well as thanking everyone for their help in making the wedding a success, and thanking the out of town guests for their travels.

Are gifts given at the rehearsal dinner? Bridesmaids gifts and groomsmen gifts are typically presented to the wedding party at the rehearsal dinner by the bride and groom, possibly along with a short speech thanking them for all of their support and help throughout the wedding planning.  The bride and groom may also give gifts to their parents at the rehearsal dinner.

Now that you know exactly what is expected of you at the rehearsal dinner, take a look at the collage below, which features an elegant beach themed rehearsal dinner using our brand new circular invitation, Practice Makes Perfect.  It’s one of my favorites from our last release, which features a clean charcoal background with a pale blue banner and striped background.  I paired this chic invitation with seashell place cards to help direct your guests to their table, which is decorated with a pale blue table runner with formal silverware and pale blue wooden candle holders.  Provide your guests with a sweet treat with white chocolate seashell and pale blue chocolate cupcakes.  If you’ll be relaxing on the sand after the rehearsal, check out the contemporary wine bottle and wine glass holders which keep your fine wine from getting sandy!

shell placecards ~ seaside cupcakes ~ dress ~ earrings ~ bracelet ~ sandals ~ suitcuff links ~ tie ~ shoes ~ wine ~ table


Tags: bridal ideas, how to plan a rehearsal dinner, Rehearsal Dinner, rehearsal dinner how-to, Rehearsal Dinner Ideas, Rehearsal Dinner Invitations, Rehearsal Dinner Themes, wedding ideas

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