Rehearsal Dinner Do’s and Don’ts

  • Ross
  • October 29, 2011 1:15 pm
  • Weddings

Rehearsal Dinner Do's and Don'tsAll too often brides and grooms don’t put much thought into their rehearsal dinner. The wedding day is their biggest concern, and with good reason, and the dinner gets little planning. They book a restaurant, pick a menu, and forget about it until the night of the rehearsal arrives. It’s better to think through the event as you would your wedding day.

Plan the activities that need to happen, and estimate the timing of the evening. If you’ll have toasts, find out who plans to give a toast and appoint one person to start it off, usually the father of the groom. The toast should happen near the end of the meal after most of the dinner noise has abated. If you plan to show a video or have some other entertainment, be sure to plan for the timing of this as well.

Don’t make the rehearsal dinner so formal that it upstages the wedding. While you want the theme and formality of the dinner to complement your wedding, remember that the wedding ceremony is the big event. Plan your dinner to be a nice side, not the main course.

Don’t let the toasts drag on for so long that your guests are tired and falling asleep on the table. Sure, hearing nice wishes for the bride and groom are wonderful, but limiting toasts to a few key people will keep things on track. Your rehearsal dinner shouldn’t go on so late that you and your guests are exhausted the next day.

Don’t serve the same foods you’ll  be serving at the wedding reception. Two meals including filet and salmon is too much, not matter how much you like them. Choose a menu that will please everyone, and provide a number of main entre choices.

Don’t let rehearsal dinner guests get too tipsy. Toasting can often lead to too much drinking, even for people who usually don’t drink much at all. Offer lots of water at the table. You want your wedding party fresh faced and not hung over on your wedding day.

Don’t book your dinner in the middle of a crowded restaurant and expect your toasts to be heard. Reserve a private room if you intend to have toasts. If it’s a large room or a large group of people, consider a microphone.

If you have many out of town guests involved in your rehearsal dinner, consider transportation for them to and from the restaurant. Consider providing rides for anyone who has come in for the event.

Thinking through your rehearsal dinner ahead of time will make the whole event go more smoothly and allow your guests to enjoy themselves. A short timeline for the event is helpful for the restaurant as well as the key participants. This helps your toasters know when they’ll be expected to on stage, and prevents the event from dragging out all night. Don’t forget that the big event is still to come, so don’t spend all of your energy the night before.


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