Your rehearsal dinner should be a time where bride’s family and groom’s family begin to bond. Planning the rehearsal dinner takes some work, but it is a great way for the two families to enjoy a meal together.
Traditionally, immediately following the rehearsal of the wedding ceremony is the rehearsal dinner. This means that the guest list for dinner must include everyone involved in the rehearsal of the wedding ceremony. In most cases it is also customary to invite the spouses and significant others of those in attendance. The officiant that is marrying you and your soon to be spouse should also be invited to the rehearsal dinner, along with their spouse or significant other. Any children that are participating in the wedding should also be welcome at the rehearsal dinner.
As far as where to hold it, that is largely the decision of the party or parties paying for it. Traditionally the groom’s parents pay for the rehearsal dinner but these days you can choose to pay for it yourself or split it between the bride’s and groom’s parents.
Depending on the number of the guests invited to the rehearsal it is often best to hold it in a restaurant. The restaurant can be casual, fancy or somewhere in between but the rule is that the rehearsal dinner should never be more elaborate than the wedding itself will be. Most restaurants have party rooms that you can rent for a rehearsal dinner.
The type of restaurant you choose should take into consideration the preferences of the invited guests. If you have vegetarians or vegans on your guest list you will want to book a restaurant that offers dishes they will eat as well as dishes the other guests will want.
Cuisine for a rehearsal dinner should also be chosen based on guest preferences. For example, if none or few of your guests eat Mexican food avoid having it at a restaurant that only serves that particular cuisine. While your rehearsal dinner should reflect what you like as a couple it is inconsiderate not to take your guests into consideration when choosing the restaurant.
To avoid this you can choose to have a backyard cookout for your rehearsal dinner. This keeps it super casual and means that you can serve the food you and your guests want the most and save money in the process.
Regardless of what you plan for your rehearsal dinner you will want to send out invitations to all of your guests. Unless you really want to, there is no need to purchase or make paper invitations and mail them out. Phone calls or online event invites are also an option; just make sure you still keep track of your RSVPs so you know who and how many to expect.
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