Whether you are planning a lavish wedding weekend or aiming for a more low-key affair, one thing is certain: your celebration will kick off with a rehearsal dinner. It's the perfect prelude to your big day, full of fun, laughter, and togetherness. Curious about who takes the lead, who's on the guest list, and what the dress code for the dinner should be? No need to worry! We've got the answers to all your questions. Find them below.
What’s a Rehearsal Dinner?
A rehearsal dinner is a pre-wedding event that usually takes place after the wedding ceremony rehearsal, the day before the big celebration. It's the perfect opportunity for the bride and groom to relax, relive some jitters, and have fun with their closest friends and family. You can decide what kind of rehearsal dinner you want! Some couples have full-blown lavish events held in a separate venue, while others prefer to keep it more intimate and simple. There's no right or wrong answer, so go with what feels best for you and your partner.
Who Is in Charge of Hosting?
According to old-school etiquette, the groom’s parents plan and host the rehearsal dinner. But times have certainly changed, and today, more and more couples are taking on the challenge themselves. You can also assign planning to another family member or a close friend. Still, if you have a very specific idea of what you want your rehearsal dinner to look like, it may be best to take on the planning yourself. That way, you can ensure everything goes exactly as you want it.
How Long Should a Rehearsal Dinner Last?
It's important to remember that the next day is your wedding, so it's best to limit the rehearsal dinner to three hours max. After all, you don't want to feel exhausted on your special day! Just keep your rehearsal dinner short, sweet, and simple, with some great food, drinks, and good company. The main celebration is still ahead - save your energy for that!
Who to Invite?
Immediate family members and the wedding party should definitely top your rehearsal dinner guest list. It’s a nice gesture to invite some out-of-town guests and, if budget allows, your officiant and any ceremony readers. While your rehearsal dinner guest list doesn't have to be huge, make sure to include anyone important to the wedding. As for invitations, there are no hard-and-fast rules. If you want to keep your rehearsal dinner formal, send out your invitations via post. If having a more casual gathering, you can call your guests or send them online invitations.
What to Wear?
Of course, if you're rehearsing at a venue with a suggested dress code, you'll want to respect those guidelines. But otherwise, the dress code is totally up to you! You can set a particular theme or give your guests complete freedom to choose their attire. Just make sure to let them know well in advance! Brides may choose to wear white to their rehearsal dinner or opt for dresses in vibrant colors or prints. For female guests, anything from a sundress to an elegant blouse with a skirt or pants would be a perfect option. And for men, a nice pair of slacks and a button-down shirt are always a safe bet.
Are Gifts Required?
The rehearsal dinner is a wonderful occasion to thank your wedding party and parents for their love, guidance, and support. And what better way to express your gratitude than with a thoughtful gift? Some popular choices include robes, pajama sets, jewelry, watches, art pieces, stylish home decor items, and much more. As for the best timing for gift-giving, there's no better moment than during the heartfelt toasts.