A rehearsal dinner is an informal dinner after a wedding rehearsal that traditionally takes place the night before the wedding. For Saturday weddings, this usually occurs about 7 PM to allow attendants sufficient time to arrive after work. More options are available for weddings that take place on a Sunday or on a holiday. This dinner gives the bride and grooms a chance to thank those who have helped them with their wedding planning and also gives the wedding party a chance to get to know one another.
The mother of the groom traditionally plans and hosts this celebration. Providing that you’re soon to be mother-in-law is willing and able to plan this event, it is a wonderful idea to allow her to do so even if her tastes differ from yours. In some situations, the parents of both the bride and groom share this responsibility by hosting it together.
Nowadays, many couples are including this cost into their overall wedding budget.
Guests to Invite
The guest list should at least include your immediate family, parents of children attendants, and members of the wedding party as well as their significant others. Including the children attendants themselves on this invite list is up to you. Although they may not come, the officiant and his/her significant other should also be invited.
How to Invite
Generally, a couple of days after the wedding invitations were sent out, invitations are sent. Depending on how elaborate this event is expected to be, invites can include formal invitations, DIY invites, an e-vite, or personal phone call. To have a head count, be sure to ask your invites to RSVP.
A nice restaurant or hotel ballroom are often chosen as the locations. However, some rehearsal dinners take place in more extravagant location or somewhere as simple as the backyard.
What Takes Place
In addition to eating, the couple thanks and toasts the wedding party and their family. Other toasts take place as well with the groom’s father going first. Bridal party gifts may be handed out at this event, although subtly. Some couples also use this time to exchange special wedding gifts with each other. Parent gifts are typically more private but can occur at the wedding rehearsal too.
This is an ideal time to inform for last-minute reminders. Ensure the wedding party knows where and when to arrive and what they are supposed to do.
Most importantly, relax and enjoy the time with your guests.