Rehearsal Dinners

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What's a Rehearsal Dinner & Why Do You Need One?

You can plan your entire wedding without giving much thought to the wedding rehearsal dinner. While your wedding is the big event, your rehearsal dinner is a time for both families to interact in a less frantic environment.

But more importantly it's a time to rehearse the wedding ceremony. During your rehearsal dinner, you'll want to have one person in charge (a wedding planner, event coordinator, or family member), as well as deciding the order of the processional. It's important for the wedding party to memorize who will be in front and behind them, as well as their cue. You can also iron out who will be holding the wedding rings, and where everyone is supposed to meet after the ceremony. This organization will ease the stress during the actual wedding day.

Once all the nitty gritty details are in order, the rehearsal dinner is also a time for toasts from other family and wedding party members who might not have a chance to say a few words in front of all the wedding guests. Gifts can also be given during the rehearsal dinner.

The rehearsal dinner tends to be held on the Friday night before a Saturday wedding. If you're wedding is on a Sunday, there is a little more leeway in deciding what time to have the rehearsal dinner.

Where Should a Rehearsal Dinner Take Place & When to Book?

A rehearsal dinner can be held wherever you want. Anywhere from a backyard, to the beach, to a formal restaurant, the decision is completely up to you! If you're booking a venue for your rehearsal dinner, we suggest starting your search six months prior to your big day. Once you've decided on a location, you'll need to inform your guests. You can do this either with paper invitations or email invitations. Pro-tip: send rehearsal dinner invites separately from the actual wedding invitations, which should go out 6-8 weeks before the big day. Set your RSVP date for a few weeks before the dinner so you can notify the venue of a guest count.

If you're having a lot of out-of-town guests, make sure your rehearsal dinner venue or location is close their hotel.

Who's Invited to the Rehearsal Dinner?

Typically, the guest list to your rehearsal dinner will include both immediate families as well as all the members of the wedding party. It can be as formal or intimate as you want. Some people only invite close family members and their wedding parties, while other invite all out-of-town guests. For destination weddings, it's customary to invite all the wedding guests to thank them for traveling for your big day.