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The Wednesday Blog

Tips for Planning Your Rehearsal Dinner

The couple is about to kiss each other. In the background are guests mingling with each other in the rehearsal dinner. Editorial image by Jenny Fu Studio

What is a rehearsal dinner? The day before the wedding, there’s usually a ceremony rehearsal. Then, the couple hosts a dinner afterward as a courtesy to their families and the wedding party. It’s also a perfect time for the couple to socialize with everyone as the wedding day can get a little bit out of control. So if you’re planning to host a rehearsal dinner, here are some tips for you:

Sending Invites

It would be best if you informed your guests of the event one to one and a half months prior. But who should you invite? Since the purpose of this event is to rehearse for your wedding ceremony, you should invite the wedding party, readers and ushers, and your family. A rehearsal dinner is an intimate affair, so your guest list for rehearsal dinner shouldn’t be very long.

A table is filled with framed photos, flowers, and fairy lights for a rehearsal dinner. Editorial image by Jenny Fu Studio

Who Should Pay

It has been a tradition that the groom’s family host and pay for the rehearsal dinner. But times have changed! Sometimes, the groom and bride’s family split the bill. Sometimes, it’s the couples themselves who pay for it, especially when their families are the ones who will take care of the wedding.

The guests are seated in a pretty outdoor set-up. Editorial rehearsal dinner image by Jenny Fu Studio

Create a Cool Theme

It’s fun to choose a cool theme for your rehearsal dinner. It can be something unique or special to you both. Examples are fun pizza or taco night, bonfire with s’mores, or a night with your favorite food truck. The possibilities are endless.

Choose a Unique Location

Choose a location close to your hearts as a couple, so your rehearsal dinner is something to remember. Remember, though, that it’s best to have the rehearsal at the actual ceremony venue so everything will go smoothly at the wedding. And then, for the rehearsal dinner, choose a location close to your ceremony venue or hotel. You can go to your favorite restaurant near the area or even your backyard (if it’s near the venue)!

Black and white image of the bride and groom happily standing close to each other in front of their guests. Editorial rehearsal dinner image by Jenny Fu Studio.

Hand out Gifts to the Wedding Party

Giving gifts to your wedding party is a great way to thank them for supporting your wedding. It’s also customary to hand out gifts to your wedding party during this time, especially if the gift is something you’d like them to wear on your wedding day.

The two long tables are filled with gift bags for guests. Editorial image by Jenny Fu Studio

Keep the Speeches Rolling

You can use the time to thank the wedding party and your family for all their efforts and time celebrating you. Also, you may want to give them some last-minute reminders for the next day’s big event. Lastly, the rehearsal dinner is the perfect time for your dear friends to throw in some speeches/ stories about you as a couple. So just let them pass the mic and embrace all good humor. After all, everyone should be having fun!

A lady is in front of a microphone facing the guests at a rehearsal dinner. Editorial image by Jenny Fu Studio