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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Planning Your Reheasal Dinner

Sometimes, in the hustle and bustle of planning your wedding, the rehearsal dinner may get lost in the shuffle. The time following your wedding rehearsal is a great way to kick-off your wedding celebration. It’s also an opportunity for the bride and groom’s families to start getting to know each other (if they don’t already), and for friends to share this special time with you!

Who should be invited?
Your entire bridal party, immediate family, and close friends should be invited. If your budget allows, consider inviting out-of-town guests as well (it’s a great way to thank them for traveling to your wedding while at the same time, giving them something to do the night before your wedding). This event is more intimate than your wedding reception, so don’t worry about not having a large guest list.

Who should host it?
Traditionally, the groom’s parents host (i.e., pay for) the rehearsal dinner. But who says you have to stick with tradition? As couples are waiting later to get married, they are sometimes paying for everything themselves. If family members plan to contribute to your wedding, this should be worked out early on in the planning process.

What should I do?
Besides eat? :-) As I said earlier, this is a great time for people to fellowship and to get to know each other. One way to have people interact with each other is to plan the seating so that people sit next to someone they haven’t met before. You can also play a game or do an icebreaker that will get people moving and talking. Check out this blog article for some icebreaker ideas! http://blog.ourweddingday.com/Wedding-Rehearsal-Dinner-Get--Know-You-Games-8793210

Your rehearsal dinner is also a great time to present your bridal party with gifts of appreciation. Although you don’t have to spend a lot, you should give something to thank your bridesmaids and groomsmen for being a part of your wedding. After all, they bought a dress or rented a tuxedo, gave you a bridal shower or bachelor party, and will be spending the entire wedding day with you!

Finally, this is a great time for family members and friends to extend their well wishes. You have probably limited the number of speakers at your wedding reception, so you can use this time for others to speak (if they want to).

Should I have a theme?
Themed events are a great way to show your personality! Are you and your fiance’ planning to travel to the Caribbean for your honeymoon? An island-themed dinner (including island attire) is a great idea! Or, are you and your future husband very formal and enjoy dining at 5-star restaurants? Then plan your rehearsal dinner to be a dressy affair!

How long should my rehearsal dinner last?
Your rehearsal dinner is a pre-celebration, but remember, the big day is less than 24 hours away! You want to have fun at your dinner, but don’t wear yourself out! Make it an early evening so you can get the rest you need. I advise my brides to not have a bachelorette party the night before the wedding. Do you want your wedding pictures to show a bride with bloodshot eyes an dark circles under them?

Your Planning Assignment
Be intentional in planning your rehearsal dinner. Incorporate your likes, preferences and personality in this event. If you want something nice but don’t have time to plan it, consider engaging a wedding or event planner to assist!

Happy Planning!

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