What You Need to Know About Your Rehearsal Dinner

Weddings come with a whirl of different preparations, obligations and activities. You have invitations to write and photo shoots to coordinate. You have to consider dress shopping, wedding venues and catering options. You also have to plan events outside of your wedding day, like the rehearsal dinner. And compared to the actual wedding day, your rehearsal dinner may seem like unnecessary stress.

That being said, you can use your rehearsal dinner as a little respite, as a chance to relax and spend some informal time with your closest loved ones before you tie the knot. Read below to learn more about planning the ultimate rehearsal dinner for your wedding.

Misconceptions About Rehearsal Dinners

1. Only Your Immediate Family Can Come
You may want a traditional rehearsal dinner with a traditional guest list, and that's okay. However, you don't have to go that route. You can have a rehearsal dinner that includes your closest friends or even your coworkers. Your guest list may even be limited to the people who will directly
take place in your wedding, like your groomsmen, bridesmaids, ring bearers and parents. Bottom line: invite the people who will help you relax the night or week before your nuptials.

2. The Groom's Family Has to Pay for the Dinner
Traditionally, the groom's family pays for the rehearsal dinner. However, you don't have to go the traditional route if you don't want to; the bride's family can fund the dinner.

3. The Dinner Has to Be as Formal as the Wedding
As mentioned above, you don't have to have a formal rehearsal dinner at all. You can make the event as simple as a picnic or as formal as a banquet. You don't have to spend a lot of money or prepare any particularly fancy activities.

4. The Dinner Has to Actually Be a Dinner
You don't have to serve food at your rehearsal dinner. You could even make the event nothing more than a rehearsal and spend an hour or so going through the ceremony with the officiator and other necessary parties. Or you could simply serve drinks and canapés. What you do is up to you.

5. The Dinner Has to Include Toasts
Again, if you want a simple, untraditional rehearsal dinner, don't be afraid to ask for one. You don't have to leave time for toasts if you simply want to have an intimate conversation with the attendees. Your loved ones will likely have time for their toasts at the wedding dinner the next day.

Ways to Make the Most of Your Rehearsal Dinner
When it comes to your rehearsal dinner, you need to follow a couple rules. First, you must make the event personal. Do what makes you feel the most comfortable and special and don't be afraid to be creative. Second, you should make it interactive. Everyone there should have a part to play, whether they help you rehearse, participate in games or make conversation with you during the dinner.

As long as you follow those rules, you should have a great time at your rehearsal dinner. Make it a murder mystery party, a barbecue, a potluck or a game night. Make it something fun that will help you relax before your big day and everything will go well. And if you make it a traditional dinner, ease the planning process by choosing a caterer for your event.

You've taken the first steps toward creating the perfect rehearsal dinner, but you still have a few more details to take care of. See our other blog posts for more tips about catering choices and wedding planning.

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