Do You Need to Have a Rehearsal Dinner?
Updated: May 6
If wedding planning feels like a full-time job right now, worry not, because the rehearsal dinner is a vital tool in helping you feel less overwhelmed. Think of it as a piece of choreography that will help you and the rest of your bridal party feel prepared for the big day. It’s like a mini wedding/informal party, all rolled into one. The main purpose of the dinner is to say a heartfelt thank you to each and every person who is involved with organizing the big day.
Most couples tend to select the night before their wedding for the rehearsal, but we suggest that you plan the dinner for a few days before the big day to avoid feeling rushed and stressed. One of the most important components of the rehearsal is ensuring that everyone is in the loop about what they are supposed to be doing and when. We urge you to keep track of everything with spreadsheets.They are easy to use after you get the hang of it. Logistics and organization are everything! The rehearsal also covers instructions about transportation, practicing any readings or vows, as well as giving thank you gifts. For example, you want to make sure that you get your cousins to greet your guests at the doors and help them to find their table. Delegating is key;)
Some of your older family members may enjoy knowing EXACTLY what to expect during the celebration. This is when the rehearsal dinner comes in handy to helping them know what exactly will happen and when.
You can get as dressed up as what you want or as casual for this dinner. Just make sure you let your loved ones know the dress code ahead of time so they don’t feel out of place.The rehearsal dinner allows everyone to spend time together before the wedding day in a slightly less hectic setting. Take advantage of the relaxed atmosphere during this dinner. Say thank you and make a few toasts after dessert. After all, the primary goal is to relieve some pre-wedding tension with a relaxed meal. Remember that both of your families and friends may not have been introduced as yet. Think of it as a good icebreaker that will make everyone feel comfortable, without upstaging your big day.
Although it is traditional for the groom’s side to pay for this dinner, you could even host the dinner yourselves if you prefer. The people who you should invite include the two wedding parties, immediate family as well your friends who are helping you with your wedding preparations. It is a nice gesture to invite any family or friends so they know how much you appreciate the effort their travels took. You could either have this dinner at your own home or at restaurant depending on budget constraints. Do not feel pressured to spend a lot on making this event perfect, the whole point is to just show appreciation for your loved ones and also enjoy each other. Just make amazing memories.
Menik Senanayake is a writer and blogger living in Toronto, Canada. She’s a polyglot who ironically prefers the company of animals over people.You can read her travel stories at lavenderlune.org and follow her on Instagram here.