Typically, every rehearsal is followed by a formal dinner where the wedding party & family members will get to meet and chat. Over the years, this has evolved into much less of a formal event, since most of your friends and family already know each other.
It's basically a pre-party to the party and a great way to kickstart your wedding weekend. There are three main components to a rehearsal dinner, so let's dive in.
1- The Food
This is a given, but there should always be a meal served. Your rehearsal is probably taking place right after the end of a workday. Your guests will be hungry post-rehearsal and it's a great way to spend a bit more time together. You may choose to rent out a section of a restaurant to eliminate the need to cook, or host a BBQ in your backyard, both work great! Be sure you have a rain plan in place in the event of inclement weather. The best location to host a dinner (if possible) is at the venue, no need for additional travel for your guests!
You may also choose to include a small cake for the rehearsal dinner, as a pre-sample of what the wedding cake will taste like. This is a nice option because most people won't eat the wedding cake on the wedding day, so at least they will still get to try it! I am not suggesting cutting into your cake early, I am suggesting purchasing a small (less formal) cake for the rehearsal.
2- The Gifts
If you are doing traditional gifts for your wedding party, this is a great time to hand them out. This eliminates the need to bring them with you on the wedding day. It's a much smaller crowd and it will be much less busy than the wedding day, so it's a great opportunity to actually enjoy these moments.
3- Familiarize yourself with the Venue
Some of your guests may not have been to your venue. This allows everyone to find the parking regulations, work out any map issues, determine the length of the drive time, find the washrooms, etc... This also alleviates any nerves of going to the unknown on the wedding day. Your wedding party & key family members will also be able to meet your wedding planner or officiant so they know who they are looking for on the wedding day.
- Tricia xoxo