How to plan a wedding rehearsal dinner


How to plan a wedding rehearsal dinner

The rehearsal dinner is one element of wedding planning that can confuse the future bride and groom. Questions such as do we have to have a rehearsal dinner, what do we do at the rehearsal dinner, who pays for the rehearsal dinner, who is invited to the rehearsal dinner and do we have to invite out-of-town guests are planning questions remain unanswered many couples. While the rehearsal dinner may seem like another expense and another task that needs to be completed, it is essential to not skip out on this wonderful opportunity to get together with close friends and family members for a night of relaxation in a casual atmosphere before the wedding. This article is intended to answer some of the questions surrounding planning a rehearsal dinner and provide the couple with some necessary information to help them plan a successful rehearsal dinner. 

how to plan a wedding rehearsal dinner

While a rehearsal dinner is not necessary, it is an excellent opportunity to get together with close friends and family members to thank them all for their participation and assistance during the planning of the wedding and their involvement in the actual wedding itself. The rehearsal dinner gives the couple the chance to extend their thanks to everyone who has been involved with the wedding planning or who has supported them in their efforts. The rehearsal dinner can also be the opportunity to relax and unwind before the wedding. The couple can put aside their concerns over their upcoming nuptials and enjoy the time with family and friends. The rehearsal dinner has become a common tradition in weddings, but the couple is not obligated to host a rehearsal dinner if they choose not to. 

The typical activities involved in a rehearsal dinner include meeting at the site of the ceremony to run through the logistics of the ceremony and then gathering at a particular location, a restaurant, catering hall or even a friend's house, to enjoy a meal together. During the dinner, the couple usually takes the opportunity to thank all their guests for their love and support and may choose to honour their wedding party with gifts at this time. There are also usually a series of informal toasts at the rehearsal dinner. The couple's parents will also usually thank the guests and offer a toast to the couple. Any guests at the rehearsal dinner are also free to offer a toast or a few words of wisdom to the couple. While the wedding is shrouded in traditions and expectations, the rehearsal dinner is typically a relaxed atmosphere with no set agendas. 

If you don't have accurate wedding details, you might make the wrong choice on the subject. Don't let that happen: keep reading.

how to plan a wedding rehearsal dinner 

The subject of who pays for the rehearsal dinner is another confusing topic. Tradition holds that the groom's parents assume the financial responsibility for the rehearsal dinner. Still, more and more couples are opting to bear the burden of the rehearsal dinner. There are a couple of factors that are contributing to this changing trend. First, the medium ages of couples getting married are on the rise. Couples who marry later are typically more financially established and capable of affording to finance the rehearsal dinner themselves. In addition, paying for the rehearsal dinner is generally accompanied by the responsibility of planning the rehearsal dinner, and many couples are unwilling to relinquish the planning responsibilities. The couple wants to ensure that the rehearsal dinner reflects their personalities and tastes and therefore assumes all responsibility for planning it.

Although the original intent for the rehearsal dinner was to include those actively involved in the ceremony, the couple is free to invite any other guests that they choose to join them in the rehearsal dinner. The rehearsal dinner is an opportunity for the couple to thank everyone who has supported them throughout their wedding planning and relax and have a good time with friends and family outside of the formality that often surrounds a wedding. With this in mind, it is appropriate to invite anyone you want to share in this sentiment. The couple may also wish to include out-of-town guests in the rehearsal dinner to thank them for making the trip to be with them on their wedding day. While having out-of-town guests is a beautiful gesture, it is essential to understand that the couple is not obligated to do so. If it would be too financially cumbersome to include all the out-of-town guests, the couple could consider hosting a smaller event such as an evening of drinks and appetisers for this larger group. Although everyone participating in the ceremony should be included in the rehearsal dinner, the guest list is not restricted to these individuals. The couple can choose to include anyone they wish. 

how to plan a wedding rehearsal dinner

Planning a rehearsal dinner can seem daunting as the rules are not clearly defined, but this flexibility makes planning a rehearsal dinner such a fun challenge. From the invitation list to the activities, the couple is under no obligation to adhere to any strict guidelines in planning their rehearsal dinner. Although planning a rehearsal dinner is not obligatory, many couples opt to do so because it is an excellent opportunity to thank their loved ones for their continued support.

That's how things stand right now. Keep in mind that any subject can change over time, so keep up with the latest wedding news.



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Historically, the rehearsal dinner was a time for the bride's family to host a dinner for everyone in the wedding party the night before the big day. This tradition stems from a time when families lived far apart and travelled by horse and buggy, so the rehearsal was critical to help ensure that everyone knew what they were supposed to do on the wedding day. Nowadays, rehearsal dinners are often hosted by either the bride's or groom's parents, but anyone can technically host them. They are typically held at a nice restaurant or a home if there is enough space. The purpose of today's rehearsal dinner is mainly to get everyone together for food and conversation before the madness of the wedding day unfolds. 

The bridal party and their families typically attend the rehearsal dinner.

There isn't a definitive answer to this question since it can vary depending on the situation and the hosts' preferences. In some cases, the couple may choose to have their family and friends contribute to the dinner cost, while others may opt to cover the entire bill themselves. Whatever you decide, please be sure to let your guests know so there aren't any surprises.


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