Possibly one of the more confusing pieces of wedding planning isn't really for the wedding day, but actually the day before. Rehearsal Dinners are meant to be relaxing, fun, and casual, but there's not much information on the whats and whys of the actual event. So to clarify, I've written a list of commonly asked questions regarding the rehearsal so you can take the pressure off and focus on planning a night to enjoy pre-wedding.
1. Who To Invite:
This list is up to you! This will be your opportunity to spend some personal time with the people you want to the most. Whether you decide to keep the list intimate, or invite a small crowd, you'll want to keep in mind that these guests should be ones you are looking to spend some extra time with, as you might not be able to chat with everyone on the day of your wedding.
2. Where Should It Be:
The best part about rehearsal dinners is that there are no real rules. If you want to have it at the venue, have it at the venue. If you want it in your home. Have it in your home. Favorite restaurant? Make a reservation. The only thing to keep in mind is cost associated with renting the space and how many people you plan to accommodate. Once you have the list, much like with your wedding venue, you can start narrowing down what is going to be the best place to host your rehearsal.
3. Do You Need Invitations:
If you're expecting to fill a ballroom of people, then yes, you will want invitations. Especially if your list is mostly out of town guests. Invitations are a great way to set the atmosphere of the event as well. You can have your invitation designer create a separate invite for the dinner that will still fit in with the suite if you're keeping the event as formal as the wedding. If your list is mostly close friends and family and you're wanting a very casual dinner, a detailed email will suffice.
4. What Happens:
No matter if you decide to keep it low-key or if you decide to make an event out of the evening, there will be a few key things that happen at every rehearsal. First and foremost, you'll be chatting with your guests. Like I mentioned above, you might not have the opportunity to chat with everyone who attends the wedding. So with those you decide to invite, you'll be able to spend a little more time with them catching up and talking about the big day!
During the dinner you will also have the option to gift your bridesmaids and groomsmen if you so choose. Some couples decide to exclusively do this on the wedding day, however for the sake of time and ease, there is an option to exchange these gifts the day before. This works especially well when your gifts will be used at the beginning of the wedding day, such as: bridesmaids robes or matching socks for the groomsmen.
Once dinner has wrapped up and dessert is being served, it's time for the toasts. Since it is the day before the wedding, it's suggested those who toast during the dinner should keep it brief. After all, they should be doing the big "You're made for each other" speech on the actual wedding day. Typically these speeches are left to the parents, the best man, the maid of honor, and then finally the bride and groom to each other.
Lastly, before the night is over, make sure to check in with everyone on last minute details. Make sure everyone knows where to be, when to be there, what to bring, etc. This will also be the last opportunity to exchange contact information. Designate a person of contact for the bride and the groom, as they will be way too busy to answer any last minute questions the day of.