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My Wedding Rehearsal Dinner and Must I Have One?

The rehearsal dinner is an informal or formal meal taking place after the wedding ceremony rehearsal the night before the wedding. You don't have to have one, but there are very few reasons not to. It's the perfect opportunity for everyone to get to know each other better. While eating dinner there will be informal toasts, roasting of the bride and groom, thank you's, lots of jokes, last minute communications before the big day and most importantly at the end of the evening it is the perfect time for the couple to thank all those who helped make their wedding possible.
Who plans it? And Who Pays?
Traditionally the groom's parents pay however some couples include the cost in their overall budget. Sometimes both parents host it together and share the cost. If you are following tradition, it is the Groom's mother that plans the event. Check with your mother-in-law to see if she is willing and able to do so. If she wants to, it's a good idea to let her. It gives her a larger role in the wedding. If this is not possible ask the Groom's father or discuss it with your family and come to a decision together.
How Much Is A Rehearsal Dinner?
The average cost of a formal rehearsal dinner is $35-$45 per guest. Or, you may have the event catered as an informal dinner at someone's home for around $18-$24 per person. Any of these choices will depend on the host's budget, location and food choices. Try keeping the alcohol to a minimum as you will want your family and friends at their best for your wedding the next day.
Where Do We Have Our Rehearsal Dinner?
The Wedding Rehearsal Dinner can be held anywhere. It can be a formal dinner at a high end restaurant, a fancy catered affair or a barbecue in the back yard at the hosts' home.  There are many other choices such as a cruise dinner on a luxury houseboat or a fancy catered event at a heritage site, winery, golf club, art gallery or museum.
Who Should Be Invited?
The parents of both the Bride & Groom should be in attendance, all members of the wedding party, and the wedding officiant. Depending on the host's budget inviting others is solely at the discretion of the host. This could include grandparents, siblings, and others.

Wedding Rehearsal Venue Ideas - Really any place that provides cover, allows or has great food and service.

  • Hotel
  • Private Residence
  • Resort
  • Reataurant
  • Theatre
  • Art Gallery
  • Museum
  • Winery
  • Houseboat
  • Golf Club
  • Orchard/Vinyard/Ranch
  • Heritage Site


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