Rehearsal Dinners: Who
Amy Henderson Indiana
Traditionally the responsibility of the
groom’s family, rehearsal dinners today are often hosted by the bride
and groom, and reflect their interests and individuality. A rehearsal
dinner can be as casual or formal as you want to make it, and some
couples may even choose to skip this event. Having a rehearsal dinner
is a nice way to spend some time with your bridal party and families
before the big day. Also, if you are giving your attendants thank you
gifts, those are usually passed out at the rehearsal dinner.
The rehearsal dinner is generally held immediately following the
wedding rehearsal, one to two nights prior to the main event. If your
wedding is going to be a civil or smaller ceremony, a rehearsal may
not even be necessary. However, nothing says you can’t have a
rehearsal dinner without a rehearsal! There are as many options for
rehearsal dinners as there are couples getting married. Your only
limit is your imagination (and maybe the budget!).
First step is to decide who is going to ‘host’ the dinner. If the
groom’s family is in a position to do so, and expresses an interest,
by all means, let them. This may be your only chance to hand over the
planning of a wedding related event to someone else. If your future
in-laws ask your input because they aren’t familiar with the city in
which you are to be wed, give them plenty of options as far as price
range and formality. However, if your fiance’s parents are unable to
host, for whatever the reason, then it falls to you and your groom to
plan and execute the dinner, should you decide to have one.
Often, couples who are having a formal, elegant reception will opt for
a casual rehearsal dinner. If a home with a large backyard is
available, a cook-out with volleyball, croquet, horseshoes and
badminton would be a fun way to kick off the wedding weekend. If
weather doesn’t allow, talk to a local favorite eatery about having
your rehearsal dinner in part of their dining room. If your wedding is
being held in your church, often you can hold your rehearsal dinner in
a hall or dining area, and have party subs or pizzas delivered.
Opinions vary on who is to be invited to the rehearsal dinner.
Obviously, all attendants are invited, and their spouses. Inviting the
officiant and his or her spouse is also recommended, unless you are
having a civil ceremony. Traditional etiquette also states that out of
town guests should be invited, but depending on your situation, you
could end up having two receptions! If you cannot invite all out of
town guests, that is perfectly fine, just make recommendations to them
for dinner options in your area so they aren’t left to their own
devices in a strange city. You may choose to limit the rehearsal
dinner to your families, including aunts, uncles and grandparents. The
budget for the rehearsal dinner will help you decide who is invited
outside of your immediate families and attendants.
Once you’ve decided on hosts, location, menu and guest list, all that
is left is to have the dinner itself. Wrap up the dinner relatively
early, so everyone can get a good night’s rest before the big day.
Breathe deep, you’ve made it to the night before your wedding!