Planning Your Rehearsal Dinner


Merry Christmas Eve and Happy Munchie Monday! Almost all newly engaged couples are looking for a way to celebrate the day before their wedding day with a rehearsal dinner. While it may not be a huge celebration, it’s a good way to gather everyone together and bask in the last moments you are a single woman with your family and friends. A common theme at all dinners is what you’re going to serve, how many people to serve, who to invite, and who pays for it.

Who’s Invited

While it’s not required you send out invitations it is highly recommended. Obviously you and your fiancee are invited but also everyone in your wedding party such as your bridesmaids, groomsman, flower girl, ring bearer, mother of the bride, etc. Both of your immediate families (siblings, parents, step-siblings, etc.) are going and maybe the officiant and his/her spouse. This depends on the size of your dinner. For a large dinner you may want to invite out-of-town guests and it is generally considered a nice gesture but if your venue does not allow for large parties, you can recommend a list of places in the area for them to dine.

When is it?

It doesn’t have to happen the evening before the wedding, you can choose to hold it a couple nights before the actual ceremony.

Who Pays?

The groom’s parents typically pay for the rehearsal dinner but don’t hesitate it your parents decide to chip in, it’s very common.

What to Serve

Generally, the dinner is different from your reception dinner menu so you can get creative with food choices and themes. This will also depend on if it’s a formal dinner versus an informal dinner. Here are a few common themes and food choices:

  • Formal
  • Pizza- hold it at a pizza parlor for a laid back casual feel
  • Mexican Fiesta- tacos, guac, margaritas, etc.
  • BBQ- grill everything
  • Make-Your-Own- taco bar, ice cream sundae bar, pizza bar, breakfast bar


If you plan on invited out-of-town guests, one that is easily accessible from their hotel or your house is highly recommended. Again, this will depend on how formal or informal the reception is. Plus, it doesn’t have to be in a restaurant. It could be at your house, your parents house, a backyard, on the beach, an arcade, it’s an endless list. Ask brides in your area for references of certain locations and friends and family for any recommendations.

The rehersal dinner is a great way to meet and greet your guests and a last celebration before the big day. You can relax before the big day and your guests can meet each other.

Happy Planning,