A rehearsal dinner usually takes place the evening before the wedding day, as that allows the family of the bride and groom to come together for a convivial meal. It’s sort of a “get to know you” event, and it’s an important part of the wedding planning process.
Here are a few things you need to know about the rehearsal dinner:
You can do it whenever you want. It is USUALLY the night before the wedding, but you can plan the rehearsal dinner days, weeks, or months before the wedding. It’s not as formal an event as the wedding itself, and all you need is the families of the bride and groom, as well as the bridesmaids and groomsmen.
Keep it simple. Your rehearsal dinner should be a mildly formal event, but nowhere near as serious as the wedding itself. It’s a good time to relax and enjoy a pleasant meal as a family, so it’s important that you keep it simple and fun.
The groom’s parents cover the cost traditionally. Of course, this isn’t a hard and fast rule. Many couples prefer to pay for the rehearsal dinners instead of having their parents pay for it, or the parents of both the bride and groom will split the bill. The reason that tradition dictates that the groom’s parents pay for the rehearsal dinner is because the bride’s parents will often pay for the wedding.
Plan the rehearsal dinner anywhere you want. You’re not making it a super formal event, so you can hold the rehearsal dinner anywhere you want and it doesn’t need to be at a Melbourne wedding venue. Many people will book restaurants with a private room, but some prefer to hold the dinner in their own homes. Make the meal as simple or as fancy as you want, but remember that it’s all about coming together.
You must invite the right people. The invitations for the rehearsal dinner must go out to:
- The parents of the bride
- The parents of the groom
- Bridesmaids (and their dates)
- Groomsmen (and their dates)
- Flower girls/ring bearers and their parents
- Grandparents/stepparents of the bride and groom
- Siblings who are not included in the wedding party
- The officiate (and his/her spouse/partner)
If you are having guests come from out of town, it’s common practice to invite them to the rehearsal dinner as well. However, only those listed above are the ones who MUST attend.
Rehearsal Dinner Activities
First, start out by enjoying a delicious dinner, as simple or as fancy as you want.
Follow the meal with toasts, starting with the groom’s father, the best man, and anyone else who wishes to speak. The affianced couple can close the evening with a few toasts as well.
Hand out gifts to the wedding party (groomsmen and bridesmaids), especially if they are gifts of jewelry or accessories that you want them to wear on the day of your wedding.
You can follow the gift portion with the presentations, such as the original songs composed by your family members, special poems, or anything else that just won’t fit in the wedding. You can also play that slideshow or video presentation, as well as videos and pictures from the lives of the bride and groom.
We’re more than happy to help you plan and host your rehearsal dinner at our top-notch Melbourne wedding venue. Come on down to Red Scooter and see how we can make your wedding dreams come true!