Wedding Planning Checklist: Section 5: Part 3

Your wedding details are all falling into place, and now it’s time to plan the wedding rehearsal and dinner. The rehearsal dinner is meant to be casual and fun, so you have the creative freedom to do what you like. Here are a few pointers to get you started.


• The rehearsal is usually planned for the day or evening before the wedding with a rehearsal dinner immediately following.

• You will want to invite the officiant, wedding party and both sets of parents to the rehearsal.

• Traditionally, the groom’s parents host/pay for the rehearsal dinner, but it’s perfectly acceptable for the bride’s parents or the couple to host.

• Since the rehearsal dinner is a rather small event, you can have your pick of free venues: a local park, your parents’ home, your home, etc.

• Anyone can be invited to the rehearsal dinner, but keep the guest list small to keep costs down.

• If your rehearsal dinner involves more guests than the rehearsal participants, we recommend mailing wedding rehearsal dinner invitations. You can create a rehearsal dinner invitation out of any wedding invitation on Ann’s with just a change of wording.

• Consider a potluck event or a buffet-style meal featuring inexpensive food that feeds many (pasta, tacos and stews are just a few ideas).

• If your rehearsal dinner is catered, be sure to send an invite with a respond card so you can get a head count for the caterer.

• Friends and family may toast the bride and groom. This typically happens after grace is said and before the meal begins.

• After toasts are given, the groom and/or bride should give a toast of thanks for any toasts given in their honor and for everyone’s attendance.

• Many couples choose to hand out the bridal party gifts and gifts for the parents at the rehearsal dinner, usually right after their toast of thanks.

• Make sure the evening ends somewhat early to allow you and your guests a full-night of sleep before the big day.


What would your perfect rehearsal dinner be? Grilling, bowling, favorite restaurant…