Wedding Rehearsal Dinner 101

Whether you have only the wedding party, or out-of-town guests as well; you will need to know what to expect, or the do’s and don’ts of a wedding rehearsal dinner. Everyone has their own way of doing things, so the dinner and expectations can change depending on the couple. However; the basics will usually remain the same. No matter what season the wedding takes place, this guide will get you through anything where you need to know about  the dinner, the night before the wedding. The rehearsal dinner is a smaller affair; this does not mean that the event does not come with its own set of rules to follow so things go smoothly.


Everyone who will take part in the wedding ceremony, including any children, should be invited to the meal generally  following the rehearsal at the wedding venue. Additional guests could include any plus one of the members of the Bridal party or the officiant. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other family and friends, especially if they’re coming in from out of town, can  be added to the list to help kick off your wedding weekend.


Following the wedding rehearsal at the ceremony location, the guests will dine at a venue of your choosing. Make sure the venue suits you, and your intendeds taste ; nothing says the meal has to be formal. If you prefer a more formal venue, consider a restaurant you love, or a hotel dining room that could accommodate the size of your party. You as the host set the dress code, and you should communicate it to the bridal party and guests well before the dinner. If you are going as a guest, be sure to check the attire required for the rehearsal meal. .


While some couples limit the number of formal toasts at the wedding reception, a great way to include others is to allow them to make a toast at the rehearsal dinner. This is a nice way to make sure everyone who has a special place in the couple’s heart can make a toast, and it will cut down on what is said at the wedding reception. Typically, at this event, the toast will start with the couple, and then others propose a toast as they wish.


The rehearsal dinner is a great way for the Bride and Groom  to give gifts to your bridal party. Even if you do not give the gifts to your bridal party at the event, find the time to thank your bridal party for all they have done for you.


While sending out a written invitation to those in the ceremony is unnecessary, it is a good idea to send one to any additional guests.  An ideal time to do this is usually right after you send out your wedding invitations. While these do not have to be as grand or formal as your wedding invitations, they should reflect the colors and tones of your overall wedding theme or aesthetic.

Wedding Rehearsal Dinners are a more relaxed occasion. However; this does not mean that it should not be without protocol. While the Bride and Groom have ultimate control and can run the event in any way they would like, consider this as a guide to  wedding rehearsal dinner traditions. For more help with wedding planning and all things wedding style, check out our bridal collection.

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