A rehearsal dinner is an informal dinner that is planned after the wedding rehearsal. It gives the family members of both parties to get together and get better acquainted. It also gives the wedding couple the chance to thank all those who have extended their help and provided assistance for their wedding preparations. Traditionally the groom’s family hosts a rehearsal dinner, though nowadays anyone can host a rehearsal dinner. The couple can include that as part of their wedding preparation expenses or the parents of both parties can share in the cost of the rehearsal dinner. Follow some of the tips below to help you plan a rehearsal dinner.
- Send out printed invitations for the rehearsal dinner a few days after you have mailed out the wedding invitations. Include your out-of-town guests in the list of invitees, as well as the members of both families, the bridal party, those who will participate in the wedding ceremony, close friends and relatives and those who have helped plan the wedding.
- The mothers of the bride and groom can take charge of the rehearsal dinner. This will give them more chances to get together and learn about each other better. Secure a booking for the rehearsal dinner in a venue closest to the church so that transportation will not be a problem. You can also make dinner reservations in a restaurant or a hotel function room.
- Extend the wedding theme to the rehearsal dinner or do the complete opposite. You can check with the bride and groom about favorite haunts and favorite places and food to eat. You can have the decoration and the menu to reflect their favorites, such as traces of Italy by decorating the venue with things Italian and choose Italian food for the menu. Or your can opt to showcase local delicacies that most of the guests will savor. Depending on the budget, you can choose a buffet dinner with several food selections or have a more formal sit down and plated dinner affair. There are no set rules when it comes to rehearsal dinners. Make sure that there is enough wine or champagne for the traditional tosses from family members and close friends.
- Ensure that the dinner will finish early as you all need to be fresh for the wedding day. Keep the conversation light and smooth flowing. Keep tosses and speeches short and limit the activities, such as games, so that you can end early. Give the couple a few minutes to thank all the people that are there. Assign someone, the maid of honor or the best man to act as host for the evening. The maid of honor or the bridegroom may prepare a short slideshow or a video presentation that chronicles the early days of the couple together.
Ensure that you plan a simple rehearsal dinner that will give a chance for people to mingle freely and amiably. It should allow them to relax and mellow down after several hectic weeks of preparation. The rehearsal dinner should also allow everyone to spend time together prior to a very demanding wedding day.