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Planning your rehearsal dinner

toasts

Many couples organize a rehearsal dinner the evening before the wedding after the wedding rehearsal at the ceremony venue.

A rehearsal dinner is a great way to thank your friends and family for all their help thus far in organizing the wedding, and to relax together before the big day ahead. Gifts for attendants are usually given at the rehearsal dinner, as are gifts between the bride and groom. This is also the perfect opportunity for personal toasts from the couple, their parents and the wedding party.

This event does not have to even be a dinner, it could be a lunch or brunch, depending on the time of the rehearsal.

The rehearsal dinner is typically paid for by the groom’s parents but this is not set in stone. All drinks are paid for by the hosts. Some couples factor in the cost of the rehearsal dinner into their wedding budget. Many couples who are on a tight budget forgo the idea of a grand rehearsal dinner in a restaurant and organize a barbecue at their home, or a potluck.

If you are holding your rehearsal dinner in a restaurant or hotel, negotiate a group cost for a set menu. You may also wish to host a brunch for guests the day after the wedding, so book this venue at the same time. You may get a special deal if you book both at the same venue.

Shortly after mailing out the wedding invitations, mail out the invitations for the rehearsal dinner.

Who should we invite?

You should invite your immediate families, the wedding party and their spouses and children if they have traveled to attend the wedding, any children in the wedding party and their parents, the wedding officiant and his or her spouse.

Do not feel obligated to invite out-of-town guests to the rehearsal dinner but it might be a nice gesture, especially if they do not know anyone else who will be at the wedding.

One suggestion if you have a lot of out-of-town guests is to have a rehearsal lunch or early rehearsal dinner and then invite everybody to meet for drinks at a pub (include a note in your invitations stating the exact time and location).

Whatever you decide, it is great to spend the evening before your wedding in the company of your closest friends and family to thank them for making the whole day possible.

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