Rehearsal Dinners

As your wedding day approaches, you have so many events to plan and look forward to.  One of these events will be your rehearsal dinner.  This is held the night before your wedding along with a ceremony rehearsal.  Your dinner takes the couple, the family, and the wedding party from planning mode to wedding weekend celebration mode!  We want you to have the perfect rehearsal dinner to start off your wedding weekend.  Below are some commonly asked questions and our suggestions.


Commonly Asked Questions

Who is invited?

Your guest list is completely up to you and your fiancé! You can keep the gathering to your family, parents, wedding party and their plus ones or if you are having out of town guests arrive early, then you can extend the invite to them.  There is no exact list on who needs to be at the rehearsal dinner, it is all personal preference and what your budget will allow.


When does the rehearsal dinner take place?

Your rehearsal dinner will take place the night before your wedding.  Typically, you will run through your ceremony rehearsal first with your officiant and/or your wedding coordinator.  Location depends on if you will be getting married in a church or at your venue.  Dinner will then follow either at a restaurant, the same venue as your wedding, or even your house!


Are invitations required?

They are not necessary if you are keeping your dinner small and quaint.  If you decide to invite a larger crowd, then it would be a nice idea to send invites out, so everyone has all the details and you can request an RSVP. Some bride and grooms will even send an invite through social media to make sure all guests have the information they need and can be updated immediately if things change.


When should invitations be sent?

If you decide to send invitations out, then we suggest that your guests receive them 4 weeks prior to the dinner.  This way they receive them after the wedding invitations, but it gives your guests enough time to respond.


What happens at the rehearsal dinner?

Besides the obvious of eating food and mingling, an array of different things can take place at the rehearsal dinner. This is a nice time for anyone who wants to make a speech (mom & dad, other bridal party members, etc.) or for the bride and groom to say thank you. The bride and groom can use this time to hand out gifts to their bridal party or family members.  Many times, these gifts consist of something for everyone to use the day of the wedding, whether it be jewelry, personalized cup, or some funny socks. Finally, the rehearsal dinner is an excellent time to run over a timeline for the next morning. This remind the girls know where and when they are getting their hair done, what time the guys need to arrive at the church, and so much more!


Who pays for the rehearsal dinner?

Traditionally, if the bride’s parents are paying for the wedding then the groom’s parents are responsible for the rehearsal dinner.  Nowadays a lot of brides and grooms are either taking care of it themselves or splitting it with their parents. The rehearsal dinner is a great way to get the in-laws involved in planning, as well as lessen the stress on the couple. At the end of the day, it all comes down to how you decide to work out payment with both sides of the family.



The bride and groom, their families and friends have spent months or even years planning the big day. The rehearsal dinner is just as important, but it is also a good time to just relax with the people who mean the most to you. Don’t sweat the small stuff and enjoy every minute of it. At the end of the day, every couple is different and there are no requirements for the rehearsal dinner. Whether it’s a gourmet meal or a backyard BBQ, do what feels best for you. We hope these tips are beneficial for couples who have no idea where to start with planning the rehearsal dinner, but as always, our coordinators are here to help every step of the way!

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