9 Tips For Planning a Better Wedding Rehearsal Dinner
Over the years, rehearsal dinners have evolved from intimate occasions to full-blown events. That said, you don't have to go overboard to plan a memorable gathering. Here are some tips for planning a unique and stress-free rehearsal dinner for your wedding.
- Decide who will host. Traditional rehearsal dinner etiquette dictated that the groom's parents would pay for the event. These days, however, anything goes. If all four parents have agreed to pay for the wedding, you and your fiancé may want to think about paying for the rehearsal dinner.
- Think about keeping things casual. More and more brides and grooms are keeping their rehearsal dinners relaxed and low-key. This could mean an outdoor party or leisurely get-together at home. If your wedding will be especially formal, your guests may appreciate not having to dress up for your rehearsal dinner.
- Plan ahead. Even if your rehearsal will be a casual affair, you should provide invitations that tell guests what to wear and how to RSVP. Inexpensive rehearsal dinner favors, such as save-the-date magnets or personalized candies, can help serve as reminders of the occasion.
- Make things unique. Think about choosing a unique location, such as a beer garden, bowling alley or even a community park for a casual barbecue. You can also thank guests by providing rehearsal dinner gifts, such as custom wine totes, and personalized wine glasses.
- Make a reasonable guest list. A typical rehearsal-dinner guest list will include close family members and anyone participating in the ceremony, along with their dates or spouses. You should also consider inviting any guests who traveled from out of town. If your guest list has grown a bit long, you can cut down on costs by serving hors d'oeuvres, desserts and cocktails instead of a full meal.
- Time things right. Most rehearsal dinners are held the evening before the wedding; however, more and more couples are holding their rehearsals two nights before the big day, so guests have more time to relax and recuperate before the ceremony and reception.
- Give gifts to the wedding party. The rehearsal dinner is a great time to provide gifts to parents and members of the wedding party, to thank them for their time, love, generosity and support. Personalized wine sets and flasks are popular choices among many brides and grooms.
- Keep things fun. After working so hard to plan the perfect wedding, you and your fiancé deserve a relaxing evening with friends and loved ones. Try not to stress about every detail or obsess over unexpected hiccups. Your wedding will be a lot more enjoyable if your guests are allowed to relax before the ceremony.
- Make last-minute reminders. Before your rehearsal dinner ends, take a moment to slip in any friendly reminders and announcements about the wedding day. Make sure everyone in the wedding party knows exactly what items they should bring and when you expect them to arrive. If your audience is large, remind them about pickup times and any transportation arrangements you may have made to help get them to and from the ceremony.
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