The rehearsal dinner is a common wedding tradition typically held the evening before the wedding, after the rehearsal. The rehearsal dinner is a way to show gratitude towards those who have helped the wedding come together. It is also an opportunity for the bride and groom’s friends and families to get to know each other better before the big day.
The guest list should include all immediate family, as well as everyone in the wedding party and their dates. You may also want to include the children of the people in the wedding party, as well as the parents of the ring bearer and flower girl.
Where and When
While the rehearsal dinner can be hosted anywhere, many people choose to hold it at the hotel in which the wedding party is staying. That way, no one has to be concerned with travelling after the dinner. This is an especially good idea if the wedding party includes individuals that had to travel a long distance to attend the wedding. It is a nice gesture to also invite any friends or relatives who are traveling from far away to attend the wedding, as a “thank you” for making the trek. Be sure to check if the venue will provide the furnishings or if these will need to be rented, in order to make sure that you stay within budget.
Choosing a theme for the rehearsal dinner can be fun—and it doesn’t have to match the theme of the wedding. Leave that for the dinner on the wedding day. Many couples like to get creative with their rehearsal dinner theme and do something more eccentric, while others prefer to treat their guests to a fine dining experience. Either way, it is important to check that the restaurant hosting the rehearsal dinner will be able to provide this type of experience.
When planning the rehearsal dinner, choose a time that will be convenient for those attending. Typically, they tend to be later in the evening so those working during the day will have time to commute and attend the rehearsal before the dinner begins.
When sending out the invitations for the rehearsal dinner, they should be sent shortly after (or even with) the wedding invitations so that guests have ample time to plan. However, it is not vital to send an official invitation, you can just invite people over the phone or through email. Just be sure to set an RSVP date so that you have a head count to provide to the restaurant.
At the Dinner
At the rehearsal dinner, the bride and groom should make sure that they stop by each table and personally thank each guest for coming out. During the wedding, it may be hectic and the number of guests will make it more difficult to speak with everyone, so it is important to make the special guests of the rehearsal dinner feel especially appreciated. In the midst of all the wedding expenses, it is important for the bride and groom to take into account the amount of money that the guests have also spent on the wedding. Between gifts, plane tickets, hotel rentals, bridesmaid dresses and tux rentals, they have spent a pretty penny on someone else’s wedding, and it is important for the bride and groom to express their gratitude.
Beechwood Hotel would be happy to host your rehearsal dinner. We can accommodate both a small party at Ceres Bistro or host a large, 4-course meal in our ballroom. Contact us to learn more about hosting your wedding events at Beechwood Hotel, located conveniently in Worcester, MA.
Have you ever attended a rehearsal dinner? What did you like and dislike about how it was set up?