Traditionally, the groom's parents host the rehearsal dinner, since the bride's family customarily pays for the wedding. In some cases the bride and groom may plan the dinner instead. Close friends are also another option for dinner hosts. Whoever hosts the dinner must keep in mind the couple’s wedding theme, style and wishes.
Anyone who will be participating in the ceremony should attend the rehearsal. Confirm everyone involved knows their responsibilities. This includes the officiant, the wedding party, readers, parents, etc...Start from the beginning and establish the pace and timing all the way to the end.
Rehearsal dinners vary from formal to casual depending on the budget, guests and hosts. Choose a style that complements your wedding. Restaurants are popular locations for rehearsal dinners. Pick your favorite date spot or if you have guests arriving to the area for the first time, why not show them some of the local flavor?
Invite parents, siblings, the wedding party and their significant others, the officiant and possibly some out of town guests to the rehearsal dinner. Include children who are part of the wedding party (flower girl or ring bearer). Extend an invitation to the children of out-of-town guests as well. Written invitations are not required but may be sent following the wedding invitation. Rehearsal dinner invitations are not as formal as those for a wedding but can reflect its tone.
Most rehearsal dinners take place directly after the ceremony rehearsal. If you are choosing not to have a ceremony rehearsal, why not host a nice lunch or brunch instead? Keep in mind your guests may want some rest before the big day, try to keep the dinner early if possible.
Traditionally, this dinner is highlighted by toasts, toasts, and more toasts from the the host, the father of the bride and the couple themselves. The bride and groom are encouraged to make a speech thanking family and friends for their love and support throughout the years and during the wedding planning process. This is also the traditional time for them to present gifts to the members of the wedding party (and perhaps the parents)
Details and Personal Touches
The rehearsal dinner is a perfect time to add some personal touches to your event. Contact your venue to see if they have a location to play a slide show or display photo albums or framed pictures of the bride and groom is an option as well.
The centre of the dinner is for the wedding party and the two families to relax and enjoy each other's company, and to celebrate the bride and groom and the joining of two families. Sometimes, this will be the first time that the two families meet. It's important for the couple and their parents to make sure that everyone is introduced to each other.
The main focus is to celebrate the upcoming wedding in a personal, private and relaxed atmosphere.