A Wedding Rehearsal Dinner – Do You Need One?

by | Wedding Planning Wisdom, Wisdom


Nat Green

urban industrial style wedding094Image by Kirralee Ashworth via Katy and Ty’s Urban Industrial Style Wedding

There is so much to think about when planning your big day that it can all get a little bit confusing. Especially when traditions come into play that you’re not familiar with, like the rehearsal dinner. Some of you might know exactly what to do when it comes to the rehearsal, but some brides might be uncomfortable or feel a little lost. If that’s you, keep reading.

So first things first, there’s the wedding rehearsal the day before to figure out what happens when with your bridal party and your celebrant or minister. And then there’s a rehearsal dinner, which often comes after the actual rehearsal itself!

What exactly is a rehearsal dinner?
The purpose of a rehearsal dinner is traditionally to do a run through rehearsal of the wedding the day before it actually happens. It’s also a chance for the bridal party to get to know one another if they do not already. And for the bride and groom, it’s a chance to thank all of the people who have helped them out planning the wedding.

Traditionally, the rehearsal dinner has taken the form of a formal, sit-down dinner. Today, couples do everything from a backyard BBQ or a cocktail hour at the local pub to an extravagant dinner party. Similarly, the rehearsal dinner was typically paid for by the groom’s parents. Whereas today many couples share the cost of the wedding with their parents (or pay for it entirely themselves). And having a formal rehearsal dinner can add a substantial amount onto the budget.

What can you do instead?
Having a rehearsal dinner and even rehearsal is completely up to you. You can go with the flow and leave it all up to the wedding day itself if you choose. Or you can keep it simple with a ten minute rehearsal, perhaps followed by a lunch or drinks for your bridal party to make acquaintances.

To make the most of your wedding celebrations, and to spend time with guests who may have travelled a long way for the wedding, an alternative is to have a casual dinner or party the evening before the wedding with close family and friends. It allows the couple to spend some quality time with and thank the people who have helped them bring their wedding planning to life.

But don’t forget to rehearse with your fiancé!
Regardless of whether or not you have a rehearsal with the bridal party the day before the wedding, you and your fiancé should do a quick run through of the ceremony a couple of weeks before the big day. This gives you a chance to make sure the music suits, and if you have any questions for the celebrant there is plenty of time to address them.


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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Thanks Nat – you can never have too many rehearsals! Practice makes perfect – and rehearsal dinners are a great way to celebrate before the big wedding day!

About NatGreen: Nat Green is a woman with weddings on her mind. Not hers mind you, yours. Day in and day out Nat runs around the Pillingers office as the company’s Wedding Coordinator planning Sydney’s most sensational weddings. When she’s not busy organising the big day of your dreams she’s blogging on her experiences, loves and delights in relation to all things aisles, flowers, celebrants and ceremonies.


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