The Ann Arbor Wedding Blog

What is a rehearsal dinner? The rehearsal dinner is in honor of the bride and groom and their upcoming nuptials. If you are having a ceremony rehearsal the night before the wedding to make sure that everyone knows what to do on the big day, wedding etiquette dictates that you need to feed them.

Who hosts the rehearsal dinner? Traditionally, the rehearsal dinner is hosted by the groom's parents. However, that is no longer a strict rule as it is becoming more and more common for the bride and groom to host this pre-wedding event themselves. Co-hosting rehearsal dinners is also becoming very popular these days.

Who should be invited? Anyone who is involved in the ceremony should be invited. This includes your officiant, bridal party, spouses and significant others, possibly children, and parents and grandparents of the bride and groom. You may also wish to extend an invite to any out-of-town guests that have flown in for the special occasion.

Editor's Note: Below, check out a few lovely images from a recent rehearsal dinner coordinated by You're The Bride & featuring the beautiful sounds of harpist Denise Grupp-Verbon. Table numbers were designed by Cute Cut Creations.

Tips for a Successful Rehearsal Dinner

  • Choose a venue that has a separate room that can be rented out for parties to create an intimate feel for your guests. Wise Bride Tip: Nothing says intimate like a backyard BBQ!
  • Pick a theme. This will help streamline the decision making when it comes to colors, decor, and maybe even food choices.
  • Create a relaxed atmosphere by having hors d'oeuvres and a cocktail hour to start it off. This gives guests a chance to meet and mingle.
  • Choose a menu that is different from what will be served the next day at the reception.
  • Invitations are not required, but if you choose to have them, they should be less formal than your wedding invitations.
  • Introduce your guests to one another. You can choose any number of ice breakers or just have everyone mingle. This way, everyone will already know each other at the wedding.
  • Have a groom's cake; everyone loves cake.
  • Don't forget the toasts. The host should thank the guests for coming, say a toast to the bride and groom, and thank all the parents for their support.
  • Give gifts. It is common for the bride and groom to hand out gifts to the bridal party, especially if it is something like jewelry that they want them to wear for the wedding. Gifts are also given to parents and often the bride and groom will give each other gifts as well.
  • Don't forget any special announcements or information that you want your guests to know.
  • Lastly, don't drink too much and go to bed early.

But most importantly, have fun!

A big, heartfelt "thank you!" to Tracie Morris of You're The Bride & her talented intern Kimberly Renteria Dix for sharing their tips & suggestions for pulling off a fabulous rehearsal dinner!

Need more help with your rehearsal? Click here for five of our favorite rehearsal dinner ideas!

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