Settling Rehearsal Dinner Confusion

If you are confused about rehearsal dinners, who to invite, who not to invite, and all the etiquette surrounding them, you are not alone.  Like most wedding customs, rehearsal dinners come with its old traditions (in particular, who pays for them) and that seems to be ever changing as brides and grooms take more financial responsibility for the big day(s).  No matter what kind of wedding you have planned, if you have a wedding party, you should be planning a rehearsal dinner too . 

As the name implies, the rehearsal dinner usually takes place the day before the wedding, immediately following your actual wedding rehearsal.  While it may just seem as yet another wedding expense, the rehearsal dinner provides an opportunity for you and your groom to spend time with your wedding party before your big day.  While your wedding day itself will fly by, you probably won’t have quality time with your bridal party other than pictures and dinner.  It also serves as a thank you for everyone involved in your wedding

The details…

Hosting
Traditionally, the rehearsal dinner is hosted by the groom’s parents.  Over the years, that has changed a little bit, and it may be hosted by the bride’s parents, another family member, or the couple themselves.

Location
Who ever is hosting this event really gets to choose, but it can be at a centrally-located restauran, someone’s home or backyard.

Who’s Invited?
If someone is at your rehersal beacuse they have a role in your wedding, they absolutely should be invited to the rehearsal dinner.  This includes all members of the wedding party (best man, maid of honor, groomsmen, ushers, bridesmaids, junior groomsmen and bridesmaids, flower girls), anyone doing any sort of reading in your wedding, anyone passing out programs, the officient, and the parents of you and your groom.  If budget allows, it is also highly recommended that you also invite the spouses or significant others of the members of the bridal party, the parents of the junior members of the wedding party, and any close relatives or friends. 

Other activities
The rehearsal dinner also provides an opportunity for the host to toast the couple and upcoming wedding and for the you and your and groom to say a few words of thanks to all the people in attendance for being a part of your special day.  It is also a chance for the bride and groom to present thank you gifts to parents and the wedding party.

Most important – relax!  The rehearsal dinner is supposed to be a chance to relax in a casual atmosphere before your big day with the people that mean most to you.

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