As your wedding date inches closer, don’t forget to plan for another celebration happening around the same time—your rehearsal dinner! This event is more casual and provides close friends and family with a chance to connect and enjoy each other’s company before the big day. Find out how to plan for your dinner.
The Budget for the Rehearsal Dinner
Okay, we know it’s awkward to have the “money talk”—but it’s also necessary to nail down who’s responsible for throwing this dinner and what kind of budget you have. Many modern couples are handling the cost themselves. Sometimes both families split the expense. It doesn’t matter who pays or how you divvy up the cost, but you do need to know your budget.
The Guest List for the Rehearsal Dinner
Usually, the wedding party and any immediate family members participate in the rehearsal dinner. However, if you have special guests from out of town that you’d like to include, you can do so. That way, you’ll have more time to spend with beloved family and friends that you don’t get to see very often.
It’s not necessary to send out invitations to the rehearsal dinner. Word of mouth, a quick email, or a Facebook event should be sufficient to let everyone know when and where it’s happening.
The Timing of the Rehearsal Dinner
It’s traditional to have the rehearsal dinner immediately after the wedding rehearsal. During the wedding rehearsal, everyone involved in the wedding does a run-through of their roles, responsibilities, movements, and speaking parts. It’s easy for everyone to move from that practice session into a time of food, fun, and good conversation.
The Toasts at the Rehearsal Dinner
Another popular rehearsal dinner tradition is the toasting of the couple. The family or couple hosting the dinner should toast the pair who are getting married, and then the spouses-to-be would toast their hosts, family members, and the wedding party.
Others at the dinner may have toasts to give as well, so try to initiate this part of the evening fairly early, before anyone has had too much to drink and attempts an unintelligible or embarrassing toast.
If you like, you can use this opportunity to dole out wedding party gifts and presents for your parents. Bring out the gifts directly after the toast or while you’re thanking your parents and friends.
The Expectations for the Rehearsal Dinner
Although many couples still opt for a dinner, others choose to turn tradition on its head and find unusual ways to congregate after the rehearsal. If your rehearsal takes place in the morning or early afternoon, why not do brunch before or after it?
What about bringing everyone on a brewery or winery tour after the wedding rehearsal? Or perhaps a low-key game night with snacks, a backyard barbeque, bowling night at a local bowling alley, or some other activity is more your style than the traditional wedding rehearsal dinner.
No matter how you choose to gather with your close family and wedding party members, remember that the event specialists at Nanina’s in the Park are here for you. We’ve hosted countless parties and weddings at our gorgeous estate, and we’re happy to pitch in with ideas, vendor suggestions, and more to help your wedding celebration be the best it can be.