The rehearsal dinner is a tradition that brings close family and the wedding party together prior to the wedding day. This event is centered around celebrating the joining of two families, and is also an opportunity to make important announcements and rehearse the ceremony. It should never compete with the wedding reception; however, it should be an elegant celebration with formal dining. We have a few tips to help you plan the rehearsal dinner.
Timeline for the Rehearsal Dinner
The rehearsal dinner is usually a formal event with a formal dinner, desserts, cocktails and some important speeches. After the cocktails are served, the groom’s father will begin the speeches with a special toast to his son and future daughter-in-law. The mother of the groom usually delivers a speech of her own. The groom follows with a heartfelt toast to his bride and a special thank you to his parents and the guests. It is also an opportunity for the bride to make a toast and thank the hosts and her guests in attendance. Toasting ceremonies are attention grabbers and set the stage for the next event. You may choose to distribute wedding party gifts. It is also the opportunity for the bride and groom to present their wedding gifts to each other. After the last toast is made and gifts are given, it is a good time for announcements.
This is the time to make announcements about the wedding day. It is the perfect opportunity to focus on questions and answers, especially when it comes to the wedding party. Make sure the wedding party is aware of where they need to go, what they need to bring, and all the details to be organized for the wedding day. Make general announcements for guests about planned wedding day activities, and details related to transportation, such as locations and times for transportation.
Invitations for the Rehearsal Dinner
At a minimum, the guest list for your rehearsal dinner should include immediate family, the wedding party and their significant other. It is common courtesy to invite the officiant and their significant other to the rehearsal dinner. If you are planning a larger function, transform the dinner into a welcome celebration and include family or friends that traveled a distance to be present on your wedding day. It is a personal decision to allow your guests to bring children to the rehearsal dinner, and will probably rely heavily on the atmosphere of your chosen venue. If the budget demands it, stick to an exclusive group, and plan a smaller dessert party or cocktails with the out of town guests on a different night prior to the wedding day to show appreciation. Book a venue early, and send out invitations to the rehearsal dinner shortly after the wedding invitations. Do not forget to add the dress code to the invitations.
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