Planning a wedding comes with a long to-do list. From flower arrangements and venues to invitations and everything in between, brides and grooms have a lot on their plate. Add a rehearsal dinner to the mix and such an event can become just one more item on a never-ending to-do list.
Like a traditional wedding day, it is also a task that carries many demands of etiquette. If you’re ready to learn the ins and outs of rehearsal dinner, read on to learn exactly what you need to know.
Who is invited?
Your rehearsal dinner is an opportunity to make plans for your big day and let your wedding party know what your role is. It is also a fun and exciting prelude to your wedding day. But let your guest list get out of hand, and your rehearsal dinner budget can quickly compete with your wedding budget.
Instead, make sure you understand who should be invited and who shouldn’t. Those that should be a part of your rehearsal dinner include:
Immediate family of the bride and groom Bridal party (as well as their loved ones) Wedding officiant
If you have guests traveling from out of town, or if you are planning a destination wedding and are meeting them in an exotic location, tradition calls for inviting the extended family and the rest of your guests to your rehearsal dinner as well.
Don’t leave your friends and family guessing if they are invited to your rehearsal dinner. Instead, include a card in your wedding invitations that provides all the information. Just be sure to add this note to invitees only.
When should I have it?
Did you know that more than 70 percent of all couples get married on Saturdays? If this is the case for your upcoming nuptials, traditionally your rehearsal dinner would be held the night before your big day. This ensures that everything is fresh in the mind of your bridal party.
However, weddings on Fridays, Sundays, and even other days of the week are becoming more and more popular. Your guests may already have to make arrangements to schedule time off from work or travel for your wedding. For that reason, it’s best to host your rehearsal dinner the weekend before your royal wedding. Of course, as with your guest list, this tradition will change if you opt for a destination wedding.
Where should I organize it?
Where you host your rehearsal dinner is entirely up to you, and perhaps the groom’s parents if you follow tradition and they pay the bill. If that’s the case, they can choose the venue and menu, which helps ease the burden on the couple as they plan the details of their wedding.
If you’re hosting your own rehearsal dinner or helping pick a venue, you need to decide on a style first. While a sit-down meal in a private area of a restaurant is often traditional, a backyard picnic or laid-back meal is also a great option. Not only can this help save some money, but it’s also a great opportunity for everyone to relax before the big day.
Planning the perfect rehearsal dinner
Don’t let your confusion get in the way of planning the perfect rehearsal dinner. From nailing down the guest list to picking the right place and date, finalizing the details of your rehearsal dinner is closer than you think!