Wedding Planning 101: Rehearsal + Dinner

I’ve been in so many wedding parties and when it was my time to shine, the one thing I didn’t really think about was the rehearsal dinner. There have been many questions concerning this topic and I wanted to give some advice to those future brides and grooms.

Best Friends Rehearsal Dinner

When is the rehearsal dinner held?

Normally, the church rehearsal + dinner is held the night before the wedding. But, it also depends on the circumstances. I have attended a rehearsal one week before the wedding, another one was two days before the wedding, so it is really up to the bride and groom. I would make sure you talk with all parties involved to try and coordinate the best time.

Who is invited to the rehearsal dinner?

The parents and siblings of the bride and groom, the bridal party and their spouses and anyone who is participating in the ceremony. Some people invite out of town guests, but ultimately you must discuss with whoever is hosting the event.

Who hosts the rehearsal dinner?

It has been told to me by many brides that the groom’s parents should host the rehearsal dinner. But, we are in a new age where many things are split down the middle, so it really depends on your situation. My husband’s parents hosted our rehearsal dinner at a restaurant that was within walking distance of our church. It was the perfect location.

What should I bring to the church rehearsal?

We had our rehearsal the night before, so the church allowed us to bring our church programs, unity candle and basket of wands for the big day. We also had to bring our birth certificates and the marriage license. All of this is important. It is also one less thing you need to worry about on the day of the wedding.

Why do we need to “rehearse”?

Believe me, you need to rehearse. There are many moving parts the day of and you want to make sure you, and everyone involved, knows their role. Make sure you bring the order of procession with you to the rehearsal. This is imperative. More than likely, you will not be there when everyone is lining up to walk down the aisle, so everyone needs to know where they stand. Who is walking down the aisle first? Will the groomsmen already be at the alter? Who is going to escort Grandma down the aisle? You want to make sure this is all settled before the big day, otherwise, poor Grandma is walking down the aisle alone.

What should I bring to the dinner?

If you are giving gifts to your bridal party, church readers and parents, this is the time to give out those presents. We had made bags for everyone and we distributed them at the dinner.

Girls Rehearsal

Do I have to wear white at the rehearsal dinner?

I chuckled when someone asked me this question. Throughout the entire wedding process (engagement party, bridal shower, bachelorette, etc.) the bride always is seen wearing white of some sort. Why? Does the bride HAVE to wear white at every single occasion? I guess some feel like they do, but I only wore a white dress to my engagement party and on my wedding day. If you find the perfect white dress, then go for it! But if not, don’t stress about it. You are only wearing that dress for a couple of hours anyways.

Should I give a speech at the dinner?

It would be nice for the bride and groom to thank all of those who helped make their wedding possible. I have also seen the parents of the bride and groom say some kind words as well.

What do I do after the dinner is over?

GO HOME! Get to bed as soon as possible! You have a long day ahead of you and you want to make sure you are well-rested.


Did I miss anything? Leave some helpful advice for those future brides and grooms in the comments! 

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