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Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette - Rehearsal Dinner Timeline

Forklift & Palate restaurant in Lancaster
by Forklift & Palate on September 20, 2018

When you're planning your wedding, you have a lot of decisions to make. You have to set the date, pick a venue, choose who will be in the wedding party and the rehearsal dinner.

Forklift & Palate restaurant in Lancaster

You want your wedding to go as smoothly as possible, so the rehearsal and the dinner that follows is an important and traditional part of the wedding planning process. It doesn't have to be stressful, though. To take some of the pressure off, here are some tips for rehearsal dinner etiquette.

Who's Invited?

You don't have to invite everyone who's invited to your wedding to your rehearsal dinner. But, everyone who has a role in your wedding ceremony should be invited — that means the bridal party and groomsmen, the flower girl and ring bearer and their parents, the officiant and all of these people's partners. Additionally, many brides and grooms also invite close friends and family as well as guests who are arriving the day before the wedding from out of town.

Your rehearsal dinner guest list shouldn't be huge, but you should make sure you don't forget to invite anyone else who is important to the wedding.

When Is It Held?

Typically, the rehearsal dinner is held the night before the wedding. The day before the wedding, everyone participating in the ceremony practices what their jobs are during the actual ceremony. This helps the ceremony go perfectly on the day of the wedding. The rehearsal dinner is held after the practice run to give everyone in attendance a chance to relax and get together before the busy next day.

Who's in Charge of Hosting?

Traditionally, it's the groom's parents who host the rehearsal dinner since the bride's family covers the wedding costs. However, with changing times, there's more variance in who hosts the rehearsal dinner. Both families of the couple getting married can share the costs of the rehearsal dinner, other relatives can host the event or the couple can plan and pay for it themselves.

If someone other than the couple hosts the dinner, however, they should always consult with the couple to ensure it's something they'll enjoy. The rehearsal dinner isn't meant to be a surprise event.

Invitations

While most of the people on your rehearsal dinner's guest list can probably guess that they're invited, you should still send out official invitations. A good rule of thumb is that your invitation to the rehearsal dinner should not be as formal as the invitation to the wedding itself.

If you used a professional service to create your wedding invitations, there are a lot of services online where you can create your own invitations from templates. Using one of these websites, you can create very nice but less formal invitations for your rehearsal dinner.

Giving Gifts to the Wedding Party

This isn't a requirement, but some couples choose to give gifts to the members of their wedding party at their rehearsal dinner. These gifts can be really anything — monogrammed canvas bags, mini home-spa items, matching T-shirts and more. Even if you don't plan on giving gifts to your wedding party, you can still say a few words of appreciation to them during the dinner.

If you're looking for a venue for your rehearsal dinner, Forklift & Palate has a number of private party options — no matter the size of your guest list or your requirements for the menu. Let us help you make your wedding rehearsal dinner one to remember.

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