The day before the wedding includes one of the most important components of your special day, the dress rehearsal dinner. Many newlywed couples say that the rehearsal dinner was their favorite part of the wedding weekend. It’s a time to celebrate and relax with close family and friends before the excitement of the big day. So here are a few tips to help your dress rehearsal dinner run smoothly.
1. The rehearsal dinner is usually the night before the big day. Most people get married on a Saturday so dress rehearsals tend to fall on a Friday evening and the dinner takes place after the ceremony run-through. You can choose to have yours whenever it suits you, but just make sure you have it at a time that suits everyone.
2. Traditionally, the groom’s parents plan and pay for the rehearsal dinner. In the wedding world today, that is not always the case. Couples tend to cover the cost themselves or split it between both sets of parents, so really the choice is yours.
3. Don’t leave anyone out. When it comes to who is invited to the rehearsal dinner, the list is longer than you think. All of the wedding party, including their spouses or dates, need to be invited. If you are having flower girls or ring bearers, their parents need to be included. All parents, stepparents, and grandparents of the bride and groom need to be on the list and any siblings that are not included in the wedding party. Once again, you can’t forget to include all their spouses or dates. It is courtesy to invite the officiant and his/her spouse to join the festivities.
4. Make it clear how formal you want the dinner to be. The formality of the rehearsal dinner is up to you and your hosts. Invitations to the dinner should give the guests an idea of how formal it will be. It should not exceed the formality of the actual wedding.
5. Keep the location simple. Appropriate places include a private room in a restaurant, someone’s backyard, or even a local hot spot like a pizza parlor or bar and grill, especially if you want something super casual. Be creative with your rehearsal dinner. It can be anywhere you want and anything goes as long as you and your guests are relaxed, comfortable, and having a good time.
6. Distribute the gifts. This is the appropriate time for you and your groom to present the thank you gifts to your wedding party. If you have gifts for your parents, you can choose to give them now or on the wedding day. It’s totally up to you!
I hope these tips help your rehearsal dinner run smoothly and that you enjoy every moment of it. Just remember, it’s your rehearsal dinner and you can decide how and when to do it. Best of luck to you!!