Ultimate Guide for the Rehearsal Dinner

Ultimate Guide for the Rehearsal Dinner

The rehearsal dinner is not typically the first thing most people think of when they think of planning a wedding. Yet the rehearsal dinner can be a crucial part of the way a couple sets the tone for their wedding. There are tried-and-true ways for couples to welcome their guests and to thank them for participating in their special day.

Often the rehearsal dinner provides a more casual, intimate setting for family and friends to visit before the madness begins. Rehearsal dinners can show a different side of the couple from the wedding reception. Here are some tips for planning a rehearsal dinner that guests will appreciate and enjoy.

At Adagio Djay Entertainment, we care about your wedding, every part of it. Whether you are looking at your first dance, finding the best music, rehearsal dinner, or anything else, we can guide you and take some of the stress away. Let us partner with you as you plan your wedding.

Decorated table with aromatic lavender plants ready for a wedding

Decide Who is Responsible for the Rehearsal Dinner

Traditionally, the rehearsal dinner has been the responsibility of the groom’s family. However, in the 21st century, couples can decide for themselves how their rehearsal dinner will look. With every other aspect of wedding planning, couples should decide ahead of time is responsible for the rehearsal dinner.

Do not feel hamstrung by tradition. Whatever works best for a couple, and the families are the best way to divide responsibility. Remember, the rehearsal dinner exists to provide a low-key way for the two families and the wedding party to socialize.

Assemble a Guest List

A rehearsal dinner guest list should include members of both couples’ immediate families. Add members of the wedding party (i.e., bridesmaids and groomsmen) to your guest list, as well. Be sure to ask the parents of any children in your wedding, such as the ring bearer and flower girl.

Couples need to decide whether they want to invite the children themselves. If the children are well-behaved or are close family members, couples should give serious consideration to including them. If yours is a destination wedding, keep in mind that child care may be an issue for many guests.

How you want to handle the invites is up to you. As a general rule, the invitation style should match the event’s tone; a more formal function should have traditional invitations. Evites or inserts in the wedding invitations could suffice for more laid-back dinners.

Decide on the Vibe

Do you want your rehearsal dinner to be formal? Would you like a casual affair?

A good guideline when planning your rehearsal dinner is to think of it as a sneak-peek for your wedding. If the wedding is a more formal one, then a formal rehearsal dinner may be the way to go. On the other hand, a backyard cookout may be a welcome chance for guests to cut loose. Depending on your situation, you may find heavy appetizers and cocktails may work better than a sit-down meal.

As with the guest list, things change a little if you are having a destination wedding. Guests who have traveled far for your wedding may not know the area or have anything to do. Consider treating your rehearsal dinner as a big welcome party for your out-of-town guests!

Serving wedding table flowers. Bureau for newlyweds

Turn Your Celebration into a Theme Party

More couples are opting for more casual rehearsal dinners. The best part about the casual rehearsal dinner is it gives couples some room to get creative. Couples can use the rehearsal dinner to express their personalities if their families hold the purse strings for the wedding.

The sky’s the limit when you have a theme for your rehearsal dinner. Coordinate with the designated host (if it’s not you and your future spouse) to make sure they’re on board. You want to avoid asking someone to pay for a party they aren’t thrilled about.

If your wedding reception is more formal, you can take advantage of the rehearsal dinner to express yourselves. Showcase regional cuisine, host icebreaker games, or have a theme food bar (i.e., tacos, ice cream, donuts, bruschetta, etc.).

Tell your story at the rehearsal dinner with a theme inspired by your first date or favorite sports team. You could also pick a motif that reflects your family backgrounds, featuring traditions that may not appear in your wedding. Your theme could also match your wedding theme, as well.

For example, your wedding ceremony may be a religious one that leaves little room for improvisation or customization. Of course, you can always incorporate wedding traditions from you or your spouse’s cultures at the wedding reception. However, the more intimate setting of the rehearsal dinner may be the place to honor your families and their traditions.

Pick a Venue

Deciding on a rehearsal dinner venue can feel like a hassle when you are already choosing among wedding venues. Because of the more subdued nature of the rehearsal dinner, you don’t need to make a venue decision right away. 

If you send out your rehearsal dinner invitations with your wedding invitations, you can say, “location to be determined.” 

Take into account where you will have your wedding rehearsal. Recently-arrived guests may not want to spend a lot of time shuttling yet another place after rushing to the rehearsal.

Restaurants are popular rehearsal dinner settings because of their all-inclusive nature. Hosting a backyard barbecue is more intimate, but it also requires set-up and clean-up. You may also want to cater your rehearsal dinner if you decide to host it outdoors or at someone’s home.

table at rehearsal dinner

Adagio Djay Entertainment For Your Wedding Needs

Planning a wedding can be stressful, but the rehearsal dinner doesn’t have to be. Your rehearsal dinner should be a fun, low-stress opportunity to decompress with the people closest to you. 

Another way to take off some of the wedding planning anxiety? Adagio Djay Entertainment. Our services include live music, wedding disc jockeys, mood lighting, dance instruction – even invitations and videography.

Our ceremony packages remove the uncertainty that comes with coordinating the perfect wedding. 

Contact Adagio Djay Entertainment to find out what we can do for you. Every couple deserves the wedding of their dreams. With your big day in good hands, you can enjoy the evening before at your rehearsal dinner, worry-free.

  • As Seen On:
  • kare-11-white
  • tcl-white
  • gma-white
  • logo-hln-white
  • channel5