Rehearsal Dinner Must-Knows!

The rehearsal dinner is more than just practice. Here is a list of everything you need to know about this pre-wedding get together.


What is it? Normally, the rehearsal dinner is held the night before the wedding, often on a Friday. Since the rehearsal dinner is a celebration of its own, some couples host their dinner a few nights before so they can give the wedding party some time to relax before the big day! Of course, you are more than welcome to completely skip the rehearsal dinner altogether if there is no way to fit it in.

What is it for? The dinner gives the two families a chance to spend time together in a less hectic environment before the wedding. Try to take advantage of this relaxing night, and enjoy your friends and family! The overall goal of the rehearsal dinner is to get everyone ready for the upcoming wedding.

Who hosts it? Traditionally, the groom’s family takes care of the rehearsal dinner—but of course, every couple is different! If both families want to help plan it, that is more than acceptable. However, if the parents are hosting, try to hand over as much responsibility as you can—let them handle it!

Who do I invite? Normally, the guest list is immediate family members, wedding party members and their spouses or significant others. It is a polite gesture to invite the officiant and his or her spouse to the dinner.

What does it look like? It is completely up to you! It can be casual or formal—however, do not let it upstage the wedding! This dinner is meant to be a sneak-peek of your wedding, not the climax!

Where to have it?  Again, completely up to you! Couples host rehearsals dinners anywhere from a hotel ballroom to a backyard! Feel free to serve a buffet and hors d’oeuvres (and cocktails, of course!). Be sure to specify to your guests what they should expect so they can dress appropriately.

When to send invites? Try to get these invites out shortly after your wedding invitations to help with the guests scheduling and get their travel plans in order.

What happens at the dinner?

Meet and Greet: This is your chance to welcome everyone to your big weekend! Catch up, walk around and have fun with your future-in-laws!

Gift Exchange: Some brides use this as their chance to hand out bridal gifts, but be sure to do it subtly. No matter what, you want to make sure you thank everyone in the wedding party for their support.

Last-Minute Reminders:  While you have everyone from your wedding party gathered, this is the perfect chance to give them a few reminders about the big day! Make sure before the dinner is over that you have gone over exactly where to go the next day, what to bring, and when they are expected to arrive. 

For more advice, feel free to give us a call or send us an email! We look forward to making your next event SPARK-tacular!

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