Planning your Rehearsal Dinner
Traditionally, one or two days or nights prior to a wedding, a rehearsal of the wedding ceremony takes place. The rehearsal gives the wedding couple, their attendants and family members and friends taking part in the actual ceremony, a chance to familiarize themselves with their special roles. A rehearsal dinner customarily follows the ceremony rehearsal. The rehearsal dinner provides the perfect setting for the two families to relax, enjoy each others’ company and get to know each other a little better before the wedding day, when they are likely to be pulled in multiple directions at the same time.
Although the ceremony rehearsal generally only involves the wedding party and immediate families (and their spouses/significant others), the rehearsal dinner also may include out-of-town guests, close relatives and friends. The dinner party can be as formal or as casual as you want it to be and the invitations should reflect the tone of the event. ‘Rehearsal dinner’ has become the general term but, it doesn’t even have to be ‘dinner’ – anything goes! Cocktails & hors d’oevres, brunch, lunch, backyard BBQ or a formal sit-down dinner, are all perfectly acceptable choices.
As far as invitations go, more formal invitations can be sent along with the wedding invitation or in a separate mailing. For smaller, more intimate or casual gatherings, it’s okay to send equally more casual invitations, E-vites or even the old fashioned way – making personal phone calls to your guest list. As a general rule, your rehearsal dinner guests should be made aware of the dinner either at the same time or just after the actual wedding invitations are sent out. This gives everyone the opportunity to have plenty of time for travel planning and also gives the rehearsal dinner host(s) enough time to receive RSVPs and plan for the venue and menu.
Enjoy every minute!