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Rehearsal Dinner 101

November 14th, 2014

Tips for Planning Your Rehearsal Dinner

Planning your rehearsal dinner can sometimes be as stressful as planning the wedding!  Often, the groom’s side of the family are really involved with planning the rehearsal dinner and, without knowing it, can cause added stress.  Who to invite, budget and location can all be points of contention.

The rehearsal dinner should really be an easy thing to plan and should not add to the bride and groom’s growing list of things to do.  Here’s a few guidelines to remember as you plan your rehearsal dinner:

  • This should be a fun dinner!  Whether it’s at a nice restaurant or your backyard, remember that this is just a pre-celebration to thank all the important people in your life who are helping celebrate your big day.
  • Invite everyone who is a part of the day (including readers, flowergirl and her family, wedding party and spouses, etc.).  After that, it’s completely up to whoever is footing the bill.
  • Let it go.  If someone is willing to research options, handle the communication or handle the entire planning process (i.e. groom’s mom) – let them!  Take all the help you can get.  Given the slim chance that your soon-to-be mother-in-law wants to take the reigns, hand them over.  Give your opinion, but let them make the decisions.  Trust me, you don’t need the rehearsal dinner on your plate.  If you plan to host at your house, definitely gather helpers!
  • Send invitations.  These can be as informal as an evite or as formal as matching your invitation suite with an additional insert or separate invitation, but you should send some sort of invitation and request that guests RSVP a couple weeks prior.
  • Here are some questions you (or your “helper”) should ask:
    • Where will guests park?  Will we pay for parking or will the guests?
    • Is an elevator available if the space is upstairs or downstairs?
    • How close are the restrooms?
    • How many servers will be assigned to our group?
    • Can we bring in our dessert?  Will the staff cut and serve it?  Is there an additional charge?
    • What is the minimum spend?
    • What bar packages can we use?
    • Will you provide a limited menu for guests to choose from?
    • What is the timeframe our group is given?  Make sure it fits with your specific rehearsal time.

Of course, a full service planner can help plan your rehearsal dinner – but if you don’t have one, follow these few guidelines to a successful rehearsal dinner!  As always….good luck and happy planning!

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