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Wedding Planning Tip #4 - Rehearsal Dinners

The 5 steps to fun & Fabulous

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“Twas the night before ‘I do’”… with the main event just around the corner, it is time to relax and celebrate! After the ceremony rehearsal, most couples choose to spend some quality time with close family and friends during a rehearsal dinner. The details of how you do this – who, what, when, where- are up to you. Below are five steps to help you pull it all fabulously together.


1. Choose your party
The first step is to decide what kind of gathering you wish to have (rustic, minimal chic, elegant, etc). Most couples stick with something a little less formal since you will all be dressed to the nines the next day. But really, you can do anything you like that feeds the crowd and allows for a little mingling: a pig roast, a potluck, dinner at a restaurant, a cocktail and appetizer cruise, a picnic in the park or a cookout in your backyard. Brainstorm with your sweetie and your sweetie’s parents, if they are involved and choose your ideal party.

2. Clarify who is paying
Historically, the groom’s parents picked up the tab for the rehearsal dinner; however, you can no longer make that assumption. So – as with all wedding elements – it’s critical to clear up front exactly who is paying for what. And never, ever assume.

3. Make the guest list
Anyone involved in the ceremony, and therefore, at the ceremony rehearsal, would, of course, be invited. This includes attendants, parents and other immediate family, readers and so on. It is also customary to include any out-of-town guests, as they will have traveled some distance for your wedding. It also gives them the chance to meet more people before the wedding itself’ you would not want them hanging out in their hotel room alone in an unfamiliar city.


4. Make them mingle
One of the main purposes of the rehearsal dinner is for the two families to get to know each other better and enjoy each other’s company. So, whatever you and your groom can do to help with that, the better. Consider strategically planned seating with place cards or name tags with brief descriptions like “Mary Jones, Bride’s College Roommate,” and any other needed introductions. The rehearsal dinner is also an ideal time to give your attendants their gifts.
5. Fine-tune the toasts
Traditionally, the groom’s father toasts first at the rehearsal dinner, however, traditions continue to evolve and change! The rehearsal dinner is a more relaxed, informal atmosphere so you can decide together, along with your families, who would like to speak an in what order. Often, the groom’s father will say a few words, followed by the bride’s father and then the bride and groom. Groomsmen, bridesmaids, mothers, and other guests may also want to make a toast.
See more: 
Rehearsal Dinner Seating Chart
Make the money talk easier
Plan the perfect rehearsal dinner in 9 simple steps

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