Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette

19 Feb

Planning a rehearsal dinner is not as involved as planning the wedding itself. However, rehearsal dinners come with their own set of etiquette rules and planning needs. A wedding rehearsal dinner gives the bridal party time to walk through the ceremony and learn their roles. That timed walk down the aisle can be tricky! Traditionally this practice is followed by a meal shared with the couple's family and out-of-town guests. Plan the rehearsal dinner with ease, and kick off your wedding festivities without a hitch!

How Should Rehearsal Dinner Invitations Be Sent?

Rehearsal dinner invitations can be informal. Some hosts even opt to invite guests by email or phone. However, paper invitations are a thoughtful touch. Keep in mind, the rehearsal dinner attendees are your closest family and friends who are involved in many aspects of your wedding—they probably already have enough dates, times and details to remember and will appreciate a paper invitation that can easily be referenced for all the details. If you send paper rehearsal dinner invites, we suggest you send them with your wedding invitations or shortly after wedding invitations are mailed.

Sample rehearsal dinner invitation wording:
In anticipation of
Mary and David's marriage,
please join us at their rehearsal dinner
Friday, August 15, at 6 p.m.
Roof Top Café
308 Front Street
Key West, Florida
Rehearsal immediately preceding dinner
at Auborn House and Tropical Gardens.
Please RSVP to Chelsea at (555) 555-555.

Who Pays for the Rehearsal Dinner?

Traditionally the groom's parents foot the bill for the rehearsal dinner. However, this is a cost that can be shared or taken on by the bride's parents and/or the couple.

Who Should be Invited to the Rehearsal Dinner?

Who's invited to the rehearsal dinner can vary. It is up to the couple and the host of the event to decide if they will have an intimate dinner or a larger event including all out-of-town guests. Typically, anyone involved in the ceremony (the bridal party, flower girl, ring bearer, readers, officiant, etc.) should be invited to the rehearsal dinner. This includes the immediate family and grandparents as well. The spouses or significant others of the bridal party should also be invited to the rehearsal dinner.

Who Gives Toasts at the Rehearsal Dinner?

Rehearsal dinner toasts can be much more spur-of-the-moment than wedding reception toasts since the setting is generally more relaxed and intimate. The host (traditionally the groom's father) typically welcomes guests and offers a toast to the bride and groom. Then, any attendants and guests can share their memories and well wishes for the bride and groom to be throughout the rehearsal dinner.