Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette

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. From special rehearsal dinner napkins and custom invitation options, to advice on rehearsal dinner invitation wording— is your expert rehearsal dinner planning resource.

Rehearsal Dinner Invitations

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 and they probably already have enough dates, times and details to remember. They'll appreciate a paper invitation.
If you send paper rehearsal dinner invites, send them with 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 bride and groom 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.

Related Resources:

Essential Wedding Planning Checklist
When to send Save the Dates, Wedding Invitations & Thank You Cards
Wedding Reception Timeline
How to Address Wedding Invitations
Wedding Invitation Wording
Wedding Reception Seating Etiquette
Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette
Wedding Ceremony Program Wording
Ordering Guideline

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