Your Perfect Rehearsal Dinner: Tips and Answers to Questions

wedding rehearsal dinner

The big day is just around the corner. The last thing you need to make is a wedding rehearsal dinner organizing where you and your families get together for one last night before you become husband and wife.

Is it a formal enough event, a regular family dinner, or a chill-out party? Read the guide to answer all the questions about what a rehearsal day is, who pays for rehearsal dinner,

who attends rehearsal dinner, and 7+ popular questions (with answers, of course). Moreover, you will get to know ten tips at the end of the article to create your best memorable rehearsal luncheon.

rehearsal dinner

Answering the most popular rehearsal party questions

What is a rehearsal dinner?

Traditional rehearsal dinner is a particular lunchtime held by the young couple and their families on the night before the wedding (more often on a Friday if the wedding is planned for the weekend). Today, however, there is little trace of formality. The dinner can be held two days ahead of the wedding (so you will have time to recover before the big day). The costs are discussed individually within each family. The evening may not be held at all if you wish. 

The primary purpose of rehearsal lunch is to get rid of the pre-wedding days' hustle and bustle and spend the evening with your nearest and dearest before the momentous day. It's a time for heartfelt conversations, reminiscing, and releasing emotional tension before the nuptials.

Who arranges the rehearsal dinner?

According to wedding rehearsal dinner traditions, the groom’s family is responsible for all the expenses and wedding organization. More often today, young people are honoring tradition rather than following it. They do things the modern way. So as far as organization and costs are concerned, all options are good and appropriate: you can throw it on your parents’ shoulders (if you, almost newlyweds, have organized the wedding feast), or you can take care of all the costs if your budget allows or simply divide the whole amount between the two families. In general, nowadays, it doesn't really matter who pays for what at dinners.

Who to invite?

As for the guest list, it’s as varied as the budget. At least parents and closest relatives should be present. The list may be extended to include relatives from other cities coming to your wedding in advance. In general, the budget you have allocated for the party, the venue, and the party's formality needs to be taken into account.

Note: compared with a wedding day, it is not necessary to send in invitations in case of pre-wedding dinner, it is enough to inform about the dinner by phone or chat, but do it three to four weeks in advance (especially if relatives from distant cities are to be present).

What is it supposed to look like?

You can opt for a simple garden party or arrange a banquet in a lovely restaurant. Again, it all depends on your budget and your wedding scale. The main thing to bear in mind is that the most meaningful event is yet to come, so don’t make your rehearsal dinner program more magnificent than the marriage day.

ProTip: whether you have chosen a restaurant or the countryside for the evening, you need to consider where you will be hosting your invitees. Choose places closer to the hotels where your guests are staying or closer to the city where your wedding will be held, because it is not a significant event that you and your guests need to reach for hours. It's best not to keep the party going all night because you need to relax, recuperate and “be in your prime” before the wedding!

In what style should the dinner be held?

It’s the perfect time to implement the whole range of your desires and ideas. Many couples prefer to “warm up” their guests before the wedding and set the same tone for dinner as will be at their wedding (all in rustic style, for example). Most people see it as a relaxed family gathering so that you can do without the dancing and the music. Or you could go out into the countryside, have a barbecue, play badminton on a sunny evening or guitar before the bonfire. 

the rehearsal dinner

7 Steps before having your loveliest rehearsal dinner

  1. Decide who is responsible for what

Before planning the menu, the number of guests and the venue decide on a budget and responsible persons for paying for the dinner. So the best solution is for both families to get together and discuss the matter.

  1. Make a guest list

It's advisable to create an accurate list of those who will definitely be present at the pre-wedding party. So give your guests advance notice so that you know who will be attending in any case.

  1. Determine the style

If you desire to stick to the wedding style, choose the menu, decor, and venue according to the type of the primary wedding day. But it’s possible to keep it neutral and not have to worry about decorations and other things if you pick out to spend the evening near water in the countryside or the backyard of your house.

  1. Decide the dinner location

It's time to make reservations if you decide to have dinner at a resto. And if you choose to go out in nature, make sure other people don't occupy the place on a Friday night. In general, it's advisable to either book a venue in advance or choose one that is sure to be available.

  1. Choose the menu

Think about the dishes, make reservations at a restaurant beforehand, or make a list of snacks for the outdoor evening. Don’t forget about sweets for the children (if they will be there) and consider the preferences of your guests, as it will be the nearest and dearest, so it’s time to find out who’s vegetarian, for example:)

  1. Point out the time

Usually, the party starts after the ceremony rehearsal and takes place on Friday in the evening (around 5-6 p.m) before the wedding day. But it's possible to do it two days early to get even more rest before the big day. If your guests are coming from out of town and can’t arrive in time for dinner, it can be held as breakfast on the wedding day. Why not? In this case, everyone will be gathered together!

  1. Prepare gifts

This pre-wedding evening is also a chance to say nice things to the lovely people and to thank them for being there for you. You can choose any gift you like: it can be a gift to each individually or a common gift for parents. 

wedding rehearsal dinner traditions

Final thoughts

In addition to gifts, don't forget to prepare a good mood, set yourself up for relaxation, put aside all the problems you had during the wedding preparations, focus on your loved people and prepare yourself mentally for your essential day —  the day of your marriage birth.

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