The Skinny on Planning a Wedding Rehearsal Dinner

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Wedding Rehearsal DinnerIt doesn’t matter whether you are the mother of the bride, the matron of honor, or the happy couple themselves, planning a wedding is complicated.  There are so many important aspects to manage, from the venue to the attire to the entertainment and everything in between; it’s easy for some of the “lower priority” elements to get overlooked.  And one of the most commonly-overlooked parts of wedding planning is the rehearsal dinner. Thus, the purpose of this post is to provide some tips and tidbits to make sure your dinner is the best it can possibly be.

Yes the rehearsal dinner is not as important as other aspects of the wedding, but that doesn’t mean it’s totally irrelevant.  Conversely, it’s an excellent way for the happy couple’s close family members, as well as members of the wedding party, to get to know each other.   It’s also a great way to say thanks and show your appreciation to everyone for their participation.  As such, toasts will be made and gifts will be given out to the bridesmaids, groomsmen, etc.

The rehearsal dinner always follows the wedding rehearsal, which typically happens the night before the big day.  Traditionally, the groom’s parents would handle the planning and finances of the dinner, but in this day and age many of the old-fashioned wedding traditions are no longer followed.  Therefore this should be discussed beforehand with all the relevant parties so that everyone is on the same page and there is a clear delineation of responsibilities.

No matter who manages and/or pays for the dinner, it’s important to send invitations to all the invitees.  These do not need to be as formal as the actual wedding invitations, but they should clearly spell out the date, time and venue.  Basically everyone who participates in the wedding ceremony should be invited.

The actual dinner is usually at a restaurant, typically in a private area of the venue, and as such it’s important to reserve a room well in advance.  It’s also important to make sure the restaurant has decent food and has vegetarian options readily available.  An alternative to a restaurant would be a church, fire hall, or similar venue, but of course these options add the burden of managing the food separately.

As you can see, planning the rehearsal dinner is relatively easy in the grand scheme of things, but often this aspect of the wedding is forgotten until late in the game.  Obviously you don’t want to wait until the last minute to plan the dinner, so add it to your to-do list and get it planned early on in the process.  Trust me, you’ll be glad you did!

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