Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Planning Ideas For a Perfect Celebration

Shabby chic decorated table

The wedding rehearsal dinner is an opportunity for the bride and groom to gather the entire wedding party and thank them for their involvement. We’ve put together some wedding rehearsal dinner planning ideas — from the custom rehearsal dinner invitations to the toasts — for a perfect celebration. Use rehearsal dinner planning tips and tricks to plan an unforgettable celebration!

Rehearsal Dinner Invitations

Set the tone for the night with gorgeous rehearsal dinner invitations. Create unique invitations from scratch, or add custom wording and photos to one of PurpleTrail’s design templates. Your guests will love receiving invitations with custom wording and photos! After you find the invitations you’re looking for, fill your invites with the perfect wording! Use our Rehearsal Dinner Invitation Wording article as your rehearsal dinner invitation wording inspiration.

Modern Geometric Glitz rehearsal dinner invitation by PurpleTrail.

Rehearsal Dinner Planning Ideas

Although current practices have evolved, traditionally, the groom’s family pays for the expense of the dinner and the mother of the groom is responsible for the rehearsal dinner planning. It seems now the trend is for the bride and the groom to coordinate the dinner and cover the cost themselves. There are a two main factors contributing to this changing trend of wedding rehearsal dinner planning:

  • The average age people are choosing to get married is rising and typically couples who marry at a later age are typically more financially established, therefore capable of financing the rehearsal dinner themselves.
  • Couples wish to ensure the wedding rehearsal dinner is reflective of their personalities and tastes. Therefore, they do not wish to relinquish their role in rehearsal dinner planning.

It is perfectly appropriate to discuss with both families about who will take on the financial and planning responsibilities of the rehearsal dinner.

Rehearsal Dinner Basics

Regardless of who is funding the dinner, couples should use this as an opportunity to unwind and enjoy friends and family who are supporting their union. A wedding rehearsal dinner does not need to be formal. The basic premise of the event is to do a run through of the wedding day at the facility to make sure everyone knows their places and cues. The rehearsal dinner should be a place for everyone involved to enjoy each other’s company without worrying about a specific agenda.

Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Guests

It is not uncommon to extend a rehearsal dinner invite to guests who have traveled to be at the couple’s union. However, if inviting extra people places the host under financial burden, the couple is by no means obligated to invite anyone outside of family and the wedding party. If you are inviting an extended group, choosing to serve light appetizers and cocktails instead of a sit down dinner is a way to keep the cost down.

Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Locations

The location of the event can really be at any type of venue. A restaurant, a park, a private residence, all of these are traditional places to host the dinner. If planning a theme rehearsal dinner, it should be in complete opposite of the wedding. For instance, if holding a formal, black tie evening wedding, host an early evening dinner with a picnic, fare menu. (Read More on Rehearsal Dinner Centerpiece Ideas)

Rehearsal Dinner Toasts

The bride and groom should above all look at the rehearsal dinner as time to extend their gratitude. The couple traditionally makes a toast to the family and friends to thank them for their involvement and commitment to supporting their love. It is also tradition that the parents of the bride and groom each make a toast to the couple wishing them well and expressing words of wisdom as they begin the journey into married life. The dinner is the time when gifts can be presented to each member of the wedding party as well as the parents if desired.

Rehearsal dinner planning may seem overwhelming since the rules are not clearly defined. The positive side to this is having flexibility in planning. From the invitation list to the activities, the couple is under no obligation to adhere to any strict guidelines in planning their rehearsal dinner. The only long standing rule is when planning your rehearsal dinner use it as an opportunity to thank loved ones for their continued support.

Use these ideas to make your wedding rehearsal dinner planning enjoyable and the celebration memorable!

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