There are no rules for Rehearsal Dinners. Traditionally this is a meal hosted by the groom and his parents the night before the Big Day. Those in attendance should include at the very least, the betrothed couple (of course), members of the wedding party and their significant others, the officiant with his or her significant other, and immediate family of the bride and groom. Nowadays the Rehearsal Dinner has expanded to include anyone who has traveled from out of town for the wedding. In places like Santa Barbara, popular for destination weddings, this can equate to rehearsal dinners almost as large as the wedding reception itself.
Intimate vs. Elaborate…
An intimate Rehearsal Dinner is a wonderful time for families of the bride and groom, who may or may not already be acquainted to get to know each-other without the hustle and bustle of the following day’s festivities. On the other hand a huge bash the first night everyone gets into town is a fabulous way to greet your guests and kick-off the weekend.
Keeping within a realistic budget is a common concern for this type of shin-dig, while still providing the out-of-towners with something to do their first night in town. I can’t tell you how many MOG’s I’ve talked to that are feeling pressure to throw an elaborate event the night before the wedding… what to do?
A fun way to include the guests who have traveled from far and wide to celebrate this joyous occasion is to invite them to join you for dessert after the main meal. This allows families and key players to spend that priceless intimate time together, sharing stories and getting to know one another, while still showing appreciation to people who have spent time and money to come to your wedding.