Planning a Rehearsal Dinner


9 Steps to Planning a Rehearsal Dinner

From the casual affair to a full-blown event, the planning a rehearsal dinner is a special part of your wedding. Less formal than the actual ceremony and reception, the rehearsal dinner gives your wedding party and families the opportunity to spend some time together, in the quiet before the storm.

Here’s how to plan the rehearsal diner:

  • Choose a host. The groom’s parents have generally been responsible for paying for the rehearsal dinner, while the bride’s parents took care of the wedding. Today, however, there’s no set way to pay for the occasion. Sometimes both the bride’s and groom’s parents split the cost of the entire event down the middle, or the bride and groom pay for the rehearsal dinner. Do what works for you and your families.
  • Dial it back. A casual dinner is often ideal, as it provides a relaxed atmosphere before what can be a very stressful day. In addition, the low-key affair won’t upstage the wedding  –  or you in your dress!
  • Choose a theme.  You don’t have to go for broke with decorations and so forth. You can establish a theme simply by choosing what kind of occasion to have. Consider a country hoedown with square dancing and fried chicken, an outdoor barbecue, a night at the baseball stadium, or a seafood fest.
  • Pick the venue. You can bring a unique flair to the pre-wedding dinner simply holding the event in a surprising location, like a bowling alley. Or go with your favorite restaurant.
  • Come up with the guest list. Include everyone in the wedding party, as well as family members you’re close with  –  and be sure to include spouses and/or a “plus 1.” If the list of guests is long, consider holding a rehearsal hors d’oeuvres-and-cocktail event to reduce the cost.
  • Set the date. The rehearsal dinner is usually held on the night before the wedding, often a Friday night. If your guests will be in town, you can hold the dinner two nights before the wedding, which gives you some breathing room between events.
  • Choose presenters. You’ll need a designated host to kick off the dinner, and be sure to choose the people you’d like to give a toast. You can also opt to open the floor to anyone who wants to say a few words.
  • Present gifts. This dinner is usually the time when the bride and groom present special gifts to the bridesmaids and groomsmen. You can also give your parents presents at this time.
  • Set the stage. Before the evening ends, take the opportunity to remind guests about procedures and schedules for the wedding day. Make sure everyone knows what they’re supposed to be doing, transportation details, and when to arrive at the ceremony location.

If you’re planning a rehearsal dinner and looking for an amazing location, contact the HideAway Country Inn. We offer wedding ceremony and reception packages, as well as honeymoon packages, too. Just give us a call at (419)-562-3013!


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