The rehearsal dinner is a way for the wedding party and families to spend some time together before the big day. This is particularly nice if the families are just getting acquanited. The dinner is the responsibility of the groom's parents unless you and the groom choose to pay for it. It is usually held right after the rehearsal unless the rehearsal is being held in the morning.
The dinner doesn't have to be fancy and it doesn't even have to be a dinner. Many couples opt for a BBQ or a picnic at a private home or in the fellowship hall of the church where the rehearsal is being held. If the rehearsal is in the morning, you might have a brunch or a lunch instead of a dinner.
Most dinners don't last too long. You won't want to be out too late the night before the wedding. Alcohol should be omitted or limited so that everyone is fresh the next day.
The only activity that usually occurs is giving of your gifts to your attendants. You can also give any last minute instructions to the wedding party that weren't given at the rehearsal.
Those who should attend are the wedding party, including the parents of the flower girl and ring bearer, and the immediate family members. It is a courtesy to invite the minister, wedding coordinator, and any relatives or close friends that have come from out of town for the wedding, and who would otherwise be alone for the evening.
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