If you have a wedding coming up, you’re likely going to be throwing a rehearsal dinner before it as well. The rehearsal dinner is a time for the bridal party, friends and family to get together, go over how things will run on the day of the wedding, and then have a nice dinner to celebrate in a more intimate setting. While not as much planning is required for a rehearsal dinner compared to the wedding, there are still things you need to do in order to make it perfect. Here are 10 steps you can follow to have the perfect rehearsal dinner.
Decide Who’s Hosting
First, you want to figure out who is throwing the party. Traditionally, the wedding is paid for by the bride’s family, while the rehearsal dinner is thrown by the groom’s. However, anything goes these days, so do whatever works for you. Once you’ve figured out who’s going to be paying for it, you can move onto planning the event.
Pick A Location
Next, you need to decide where to have the dinner. In many cases, a restaurant near the site of the wedding is chosen. You want a place that is going to fit the style of dinner you’re having (more on that soon), and also fits into the price range. Before you pick a place, consider having dinner there to test out the foot and make sure you like it.
Schedule A Time
Most rehearsal dinners are held the night before the wedding. This allows friends and family to gather in a more intimate setting to celebrate and go over details of the wedding. Once you’ve decided on a day to have the dinner, make sure the restaurant has that date reserved for you.
Compile A Guest List
Now, you need to decide who you’re inviting. In most cases, this will be the entire bridal party plus any of their immediate family, along with your own family and close friends. Unlike the wedding in which you are inviting everyone you know, the rehearsal dinner is just for those close to you, and who are involved in the wedding.
Casual or Formal?
More often these days, bride and grooms are choosing to have a more casual rehearsal dinner, saving the more formal occasion for the wedding. You can do whatever you’d like however, you just need to decide in advance. Make sure everyone attending knows the dress code, and that it matches up with the restaurant you’ve chosen.
Come Up With A Theme
Along with the dress code, you can also decide if your rehearsal dinner is going to have a theme. A theme can be a fun way to kick off the wedding weekend, and make your dinner unique. Some theme ideas could center around your cultural background, your shared interests, or the location of the wedding.
Prepare A Toast
At the rehearsal dinner, it is common for the bride and groom to say a few words. Essentially you are thanking everyone for being there, and for being a part of your wedding day. It doesn’t have to be too long, but it wouldn’t hurt to prepare a few words in advance. In addition, if your Maid of Honor and Best Man will not be making speeches at the wedding, they could do so at the rehearsal dinner instead – just be sure to work this out with them in advance.
After the toast, it’s also customary to give the members of the bridal party gifts. These are typically small keepsakes to thank them for being in the bridal party. If you’re unsure of what to get, here are some groomsmen gift ideas and some bridesmaids gift ideas.
Send Out Reminders
With the party all planned, now you just need to make sure everyone shows up. You’ll likely be going to the dinner right from the wedding rehearsal, but it’s still a good idea to make sure everyone invited remembers they need to be there.
Finally, make sure you have fun at your rehearsal dinner. Weddings, while fun, can also be pretty stressful. There is a lot going on, and you have a lot of people to talk to throughout the night. Sometimes they go by so fast, that you don’t get to take it all in or spend time with your close friends and family. Take the opportunity of the rehearsal dinner to relax and enjoy a nice dinner with those closest to you, before the hectic wedding day arrives.
By planning out ahead of time, you will ensure that your rehearsal dinner goes off without a hitch, and that you start your wedding weekend off right.