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Rehearsal Dinner? Host One Without Breaking the Bank!

Updated on December 10, 2015

Rehearsal Dinners Aren't What You Think They Are...

Wedding rehearsal dinners have gotten out of hand. Sometimes they turn into “mini-weddings” held the night before the event, and that’s not the idea.

The idea is that the bride and groom, with their bridal parties and immediate families, have a chance to relax and have a bite to eat after the rehearsal, hence the rehearsal dinner.  

Rehearsal Dinner Rules

Rehearsal dinners have guidelines to follow which keep them in perspective. Here are the rules to follow:

* Rehearsal dinners take place after the wedding rehearsal, normally the night before the wedding. They may be held at a restaurant, club, in a park, “at home”, or anywhere of the bride’s and groom’s choosing.

* It was once tradition that the groom’s parents hosted the rehearsal dinner (while the bride's hosted the wedding) but the rules have changed. The families together may host the rehearsal dinner, or even the bride and groom may do the honors.

* Rehearsal dinners should be informal, or casual chic affairs. They are not designed to be “mini-weddings”. I’ve actually had clients’ host “formal” rehearsal dinners. Hogwash!

* Rehearsal dinners are a time when the bride and groom extend gifts to the bridal party and hosts of the wedding. They may also exchange gifts with each other.

The Most Cost-Effective Rehearsal Dinner

The most cost-effective rehearsal dinners are ones hosted at the bride’s and groom’s home, or at the home of one of their family members. If hosting an “at-home” rehearsal dinner, have it catered. The last thing the bride and groom and their family members should be thinking about the night before the wedding is preparing and serving food and cleaning up.  

Click thumbnail to view full-size
This is NOT what a rehearsal dinner is supposed to look like!
This is NOT what a rehearsal dinner is supposed to look like!
This is NOT what a rehearsal dinner is supposed to look like! | Source

Who's Invited?

The following people are invited to the rehearsal dinner: Your immediate families including step-members and grandparents; your bridal party (include dates/and or spouses if the bridal-party members are from out of town. It would be tacky to leave their dates and/or spouses sit in a hotel room); the officiant and musicians if they’re NOT paid vendors; and the ring-bearer and flower-girl(s) and their parents.

Follow the above guideline to host your rehearsal dinner. If you decide to ask more guests than required that decision is up to you and your budget.


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    • suny51 profile image


      8 years ago

      just come and see my memories to witness it.

    • Deborah McCoy profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah McCoy 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Wow, Suny, that's great!!! I wish in this economy that we could do the same... LOL Thanks for the clarification.

    • suny51 profile image


      8 years ago

      deborah- I think u got me all wrong, i said we fill our banks to spend for this big day and we do it in a big way we love doing

    • profile image

      Deborah McCoy 

      8 years ago

      I'm so glad I could be of assistance. Sounds like you need some help over there :-). If rehearsal dinners break the bank, I can only imagine that your weddings put you in the poor house. LOL

    • suny51 profile image


      8 years ago

      Hi Deborah-You got to be here in India to see that we make banks to be broken for this purpose only.You have encouraged me to make it a subject for my future pages.Thanks.


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