The rehearsal dinner helps you warm up to wedding weekend. It gets you in the wedding mode and starts getting you excited. Essentially, it kicks off the weekend. But, don’t forget, it is something that needs to be planned ahead of time. So, we are answering all of your rehearsal dinner planning questions!
Who do I invite?
You want to start putting together a guest list before you get too far into the planning process. The standard group of invitees would be wedding party and their significant others or plus ones for the wedding. Then, of course, parents, grandparents and anyone else who's involvedin the rehearsal. So, if you have a flower girl or a ring bearer (and their parents), or if you have readers or ushers who are at the rehearsal, you should definitely include them.
From there, you can decide how many more people you want to invite. Do you want to invite all extended family or all out-of-town guests? Just make sure you're being fair to both sides.If you set the rule, make sure you apply that rule to both sides of the family.
Typically, the groom's parents are the host of this event. If it's not them, it could be the bride’s parents, the couple or even another close family member. Whoever it may be, make sure you include them in all planning aspects, as they are the ones footing the bill, after all.
What’s the style?
Your wedding style and the rehearsal dinner style do not have to be the same. One can be super formal, one can be super casual. One can be rustic and one can be glamorous. Just make sure you talk with the hosts to get their input, too.
Where should it be?
First and foremost, think about budget. Make sure whatever venues you are looking at fit your budget. Then, make sure wherever you look fits your guest count. It doesn’t get much worse than finding a place you love and then realizing that it is either (a.) out of budget or (b.) too small.
Maybe there was a wedding venue you loved but was a little too small for you guest count, but maybe it would fit your rehearsal dinner guest count perfectly!
Aside from the cost and size to consider, the options for locations are really endless. From restaurants to country clubs or breweries to backyards, any venue can be suitable for a rehearsal dinner.
Once you’ve decided your style, it will be easier to start narrowing down your options. If you opt for casual then a brewery or backyard would be great. Whereas, if you opt for more elegant, a country club or restaurant would be better suited.
What vendors do I need?
A lot of times, you can hire the team that you've hired for wedding day as an add-onto your rehearsal. Some vendors to consider would be a photographer, videographer, florist, event planner and baker.
If you plan to do toasts at your rehearsal dinner (a popular trend right now!), it would definitely make sense to have a photographer and videographer on-site to capture them.
If you're having a really over-the-top rehearsal dinner, it's great to have a planner and a florist who can help bring your vision and design together.
A baker on the other hand is probably the most commonly used vendor at a rehearsal dinner because a lot of brides get their groom a groom’s cake which almost always comes from a baker.
Usually you get the best package price if you go with the same vendor you're using on wedding day.
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Photo Courtesy of Traine.