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Rehearsal Dinner

Rehearsal Dinner

A dinner following the wedding rehearsal is customary. It is a lovely way to begin your wedding festivities and allows your attendants and families to relax and get acquainted.

The meal is traditionally hosted by the groom’s parents and includes the immediate family of the couple, the wedding officiant and members of the wedding party and their spouses. It is becoming a standard to also include special out-of-town guests who have already arrived.

Plan to my make your reservations approximately three months out as the couple has a pretty good idea of how many guests will be attending, especially those that will be coming from out-of-town. Consider scheduling your rehearsal dinner on a Thursday night if you’re having a Saturday wedding. This will allow the rehearsal dinner party festivities to go longer in the night, and will allow everyone to get plenty of rest on Friday. This also allows for the out-of-town guests to have some sightseeing time too.

This event should be stress-free and pretty straightforward to coordinate. Depending on the guest list and budget, the dinner can vary from a formal banquet to a casual outdoor affair. Heartfelt thoughts should be put in for the selection of food and décor as you want to impress the attendees and also make the couple feel extra special too. Afterall, everything is all about them! Most rehearsal dinners are held at restaurants – perhaps select a favorite date spot of the couples or maybe select a unique place that features a regional cuisine to introduce your out-of-town guests to. Biggest concern to have is to make sure this event compliments and doesn’t trump the wedding reception.

Seating plans and place cards are especially important to this dinner since it is probably a first meeting for many of the family members of the couple. Generally, the couple sits together at the head of the group with their parents flanking them. The members of the wedding party are seated throughout the rest of the family members and special guests. Presumably, they will feel more at ease and be able to assist in making the other guests more comfortable. Make a point of introducing everyone sometime throughout the evening.

Toasts are a big part of the evening, and unlike the wedding reception, where the order may be well planned, rehearsal dinner toasts tend to be spontaneous. In standard traditions, the groom’s father will start out by welcoming all of the guests and making a formal toast to the couple. In this intimate and casual setting, guests will often feel comfortable sharing their memories of the couple and wishing them well. This is also an appropriate time for the couple to say a few words of appreciation to all those who are taking part in the wedding along with presenting gifts to the members of the wedding party and family to thank them for their support.

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