When it comes to your wedding weekend, the rehearsal dinner is arguably one of the most significant and important events to plan, coming a close second to the ceremony and reception itself, and at least level with setting off on the best cruise for a honeymoon.

A rehearsal dinner is a chance for you to get together with your wedding party and a few other close friends and family in a slightly more relaxed and intimate setting, and to spend some quality time with your favorite people without the pressure of the actual wedding itself. You can see family members you haven’t seen in a long while, or catch up with friends who’ve been away, investing and living in Panama, backpacking around Asia, or just living on the other side of the country.

As a more informal event, the rehearsal dinner does not have to be quite as meticulously planned as the reception itself, but it does require some organization. It can be one of the loveliest parts of your wedding, so it is important to get it right.

Despite the name, the rehearsal dinner isn’t meant to be a rehearsal for your wedding reception (the name comes from the fact that the dinner usually follows some form of practice for the ceremony). So choosing the venue and theme for your rehearsal dinner is not as simple as merely replicating the venue and theme of the main reception.

In Order To Help You Out, Here Are A Few Tips On How To Make Your Rehearsal Dinner Perfect:

Set A Budget

The most important thing to do, and the decision that will guide the rest of your rehearsal dinner choices, is to set a budget. Weddings are expensive affairs, so you won’t want to go overboard, but it is important to set aside enough money to ensure that your rehearsal dinner is a success. Work out how much you can afford, then stick to your budget. This will give you an idea of how many people you can invite, what sort of event it will be, and where it will take place.

Pick Your Menu

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As a less formal event than the official wedding breakfast, you can be a little more creative with the menu for your rehearsal dinner, and really go to town with your favorite cuisines or dishes. As there won’t be as many people at the rehearsal, there are far fewer things to take into consideration, and you don’t need to worry so much about practicalities.

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Finalize Your Guest List

Who gets invited to your rehearsal dinner? They tend to be small, intimate affairs, including the immediate wedding party (family, bridesmaids, groomsmen), as well as a few other close friends. You might also want to take the chance to invite out-of-town guests who you don’t get to see as often, as it is a great opportunity to catch up before the more pressured, formal atmosphere of the wedding.

Choose Your Venue And Theme

Your venue will likely be determined by the number of people you are inviting, as well as the budget you have set. The venue for the rehearsal dinner is usually somewhere that is accessible and easy to get to, not far from the wedding venue itself, but in a more intimate and perhaps more personal setting. For the theme, you have two options; you can echo the overall theme of the main wedding reception, or you can go in entirely the other direction and let your creativity run wild! Either way, your wedding rehearsal dinner will be an event that you will remember for a long time.

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Mitali K
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