What Is A Rehearsal Dinner?

The rehearsal dinner is an essential pre-wedding event that often takes place the night before the wedding. Having the rehearsal dinner before the wedding is a great idea since it gives you and your guests an extra night to celebrate before the big day, and it's also the ideal time to finalise all of the arrangements for the wedding itself. Do not worry if you know nothing at all about them; we are here to assist you.

The importance of a wedding rehearsal cannot be overstated: The best way to make sure everyone is on their game on the big day is to practise walking down the aisle in line. What's the other perk? After the rehearsals, there are dinners. Your wedding weekend officially begins with this "party before the party," but after that...? To find out what really occurs at a rehearsal dinner, we consulted with the professionals.

It's up to you whether the rehearsal dinner is a traditional sit-down meal or a backyard barbeque, but there are a few items you should include in the schedule. To eat, first and foremost! It wouldn't be a rehearsal dinner without supper, whether you're hosting it with just your close family or inviting everyone on your guest list for a pre-wedding feast.

If you don't want to do it at the ceremony, the rehearsal dinner is a fantastic time to hand out gifts to your parents and wedding party. Your gift-giving and receiving will go more smoothly because there will be fewer people around.

In another rehearsal dinner tradition, a toast is made to the bride and groom. The festivities often begin with a toast from the hosts, and then the groom toasts his new bride and her family. At this point, you two can stand up and give a more heartfelt toast to your loved ones and the wedding guests.

Do you wish to limit the number of guests who will have the opportunity to give speeches at your wedding? Toasts, whether they're open to everyone or predetermined, can take up a lot of time during the reception, so consider holding some of them at the rehearsal dinner. A rehearsal dinner seems to be the better place for anyone who wants to poke fun at the happy couple with a roast rather than a toast.

It's time for dessert. The groom's cake is also presented at the rehearsal dinner, as is customary. Every good party requires something sweet, and this can be served alongside the wedding cake on the big day.

Rehearsal dinners are important because they provide the family of the bride and groom an opportunity to get to know one other and relax before the big day. You should encourage people to talk to each other, and you should also use this time to catch up with people you haven't seen in a while.

Saying “I do” at Vogue Ballroom is an elegant and luxurious affair.

Here Is All The Information You Need Regarding Rehearsal Dinners.

A Rehearsal Dinner Is What?

Most of the events leading up to the wedding end with the rehearsal dinner. It's the last chance for everyone to get together before the wedding and feast on delicious food while rehashing the events that will take place.

What Takes Place At A Rehearsal Dinner?

The name of the event suggests that gourmet fare will be served, and that much is true. There will also be some last-minute planning and gift-giving among the wedding party, as well as a few toasts (made by individuals who won't be speaking during the ceremony).

Where Should My Rehearsal Dinner Be Held?

You should select a location that is convenient for both you and your visitors. An easy solution for a wedding at a hotel is to have the reception in the hotel's bar or restaurant. Or maybe you're trying to cut costs on the rehearsal dinner. It's possible that you may host the party in your garden with a BBQ.

What Time Should My Rehearsal Dinner Be?

As close to the wedding day as possible is when you should have your rehearsal dinner. Traditionally, this is done the night before the wedding so that everyone in the bridal party may wake up with all the pertinent information fresh in their minds, but if you're worried about being too frazzled on the eve of the big day, you can always do it two or three days beforehand.

Who Attends The Rehearsal Dinner?

A wedding's rehearsal supper used to be an exclusive event for the wedding's most important guests (Also known as your immediate family, extended family, wedding party, and their guests). However, times are changing. The wedding welcome party and rehearsal dinner might be combined into one large event if you are having a destination wedding or inviting many out-of-town guests. In some cases, the engaged couple will even invite all of the attendees to the shindig.

When Should Invites To The Rehearsal Dinner Be Sent?

It's best to send out invitations around four weeks in advance to give guests time to clear their calendars. The good news is that you can avoid the expense of fancy stationery by writing informal emails instead. You can either email or call them out to everyone (a lot less nerve-wracking than hoping against hope that Canada Post will deliver on time!).

Check out our exclusive list of Wedding Invitation Ideas to help you choose the perfect invitation for your guests.

Who Is Responsible For The Rehearsal Dinner?

Traditionally, the parents of the groom would pay for the rehearsal supper. Why? Since the parents of the bride would be footing the bill for the rest of the wedding. But this is 2018, and at this point, anything goes. The couple traditionally foots the bill for the meal, but there's no harm in accepting help if your folks or friends offer to throw a party in your honour. 

Is It Necessary To Have Dinner?

This pre-wedding gathering can be held at any time of day, though dinner is the most typical. The one hard and fast rule is that it must take place after your wedding rehearsal is over. You should throw a brunch instead of a dinner if your team is comprised primarily of early birds. Or perhaps you'd rather wait until the evening? Throw a cocktail party with drinks and snacks afterwards.

If you want everything about your wedding to go smoothly, a rehearsal dinner is an absolute essential. Before the whirlwind of the wedding day begins, the bride, groom, bridal party, and families all have a chance to come together for an intimate rehearsal dinner.

Practice “I DO”

Practising the "I do" is essential for ironing out any last-minute glitches and ensuring that everyone is on the same page, from the bride's walk to the placement of the wedding party. The average rehearsal time for a ceremony is 60 minutes. Please advise your guests to arrive at the venue at least 30 minutes before the scheduled start time. The wedding celebration is never complete without at least one tardy guest.

Make sure you and your guests have enough time to get to dinner after the ceremony from the location of the rehearsal. Even though it may be impossible to meet everyone's work and travel schedules, please make an effort to be understanding of those who have obligations outside of the event.

Book The Venue

A wide range of party sizes can be accommodated in the Roberts Centre's different function rooms. No matter the size of your guest list, it's always a good idea to have the ceremony and/or the reception in the same general area. It is also recommended that you reserve your rehearsal dinner venue at the same time as your wedding venues. You shouldn't let the perfect venue slip through your fingers because of a last-minute reservation.

Vogue Ballroom is your perfect wedding venue in Melbourne delivering fairytale weddings for the bride and groom.

Make A Schedule

The ritual is typically performed before dinner and socialising. The parents of the groom then foot the bill for an elegant sit-down dinner for all of the guests. However, the rule of thumb for modern rehearsal dinners is that everything goes. The length and intensity of your get-together are totally up to you. One of the more fun activities for the bride, the rehearsal dinner can be spiced up with traditions like toasts, speeches, and games.

Pick A Theme

Keep things relaxed with a backyard barbeque, catered buffet, or cocktail hour offering solely finger foods if a sit-down meal at 7 o'clock in the evening isn't your style. If you'd rather have a relaxed luncheon instead of a formal supper for your wedding reception, provide your guests with a short list of nearby eateries the night before the wedding so they can dine at their leisure. You should also inform your guests in advance if a full Italian buffet or steak dinner is to be served, since this will allow you to accommodate people who have food allergies or follow particular diets.

Many of your visitors will be interacting for the first time at your event, which can make them anxious. Obviously, you want everyone to relax and enjoy themselves. Wearing blue jeans to a formal event is the surest way to make everyone uncomfortable. Whether you're opting for a more unconventional approach or not, it's still polite to provide information about the event's location and dress code on the invitation.

End Invitations

Separate from the wedding invitations, you should send out invitations to the rehearsal dinner, which should include:

  • The venue's name and address
  • Dinner time, rehearsal time, and venue information (if different than previous)
  • RSVP contact information and deadlines
  • Menu specifics (if available)

Formal confirmation of attendance is requested for planning purposes. The invitations should reflect the level of formality of the occasion. If you're having people over for fried chicken in the backyard, you can get by with just email invites or printouts from home.

The Importance Of A Rehearsal Dinner

You are not required to have one, although there are few reasons not to. You'll need to eat that night anyhow, so why not eat with your loved ones?


This role typically falls to the groom's mother. See whether your mother-in-law is up for helping out. Allowing her to do so offers her a sense of agency over the wedding, and even if the rehearsal dinner isn't to your liking, your guests will likely assume that you weren't involved in its planning.

Paying for It

Traditionally, the bridegroom's parents would foot the bill, but these days, many couples simply factor it into their entire wedding budget. There's also the possibility of a joint party hosted by both sets of parents.

What Takes Place At A Rehearsal Dinner?

The couple expresses their gratitude to their loved ones and raises a glass in a toast to the wedding party and family members before they break for dinner. Additional, more casual toasts are often given at weddings. It's all in good fun, but sometimes the toasts turn into roasts of the bride and groom. Some examples of icebreakers are poker, pool, darts, a short comedic home movie, and backyard games. Gifts for the bridal party and the groomsmen can be given at any time before the wedding, not just at the bridesmaids' luncheon.

Inviting Guests

The physical invitations are usually sent out a few days after the electronic invitations have been sent. These need not be fancy or costly; all you need are some templates to print up on your own printer at home.

Inviting Out-of-Town Visitors

A rehearsal supper used to be reserved for the bridal party and the couple's close relatives. You've probably read in wedding magazines that you must include all of the out-of-town guests in your invitations. It's a thoughtful way to ensure that your guests don't feel stranded in an unfamiliar city the night before the wedding. If you don't want to bother inviting people, your wedding website can nevertheless provide information on local eateries and attractions. There's also the option of having an early rehearsal dinner and adding a letter to the invites that reads, "If you're in town the night before the wedding, we'd love to see you!" After 9 tonight, we'll be hanging out at the East Side Pub, so come on by if you can. Pub snacks and appetisers from the bar are a wonderful touch and will cost less than preparing a full dinner for your guests.

Affording A Dinner

Examine your expectations once more; it need not be a huge formal dinner at a restaurant or banquet facility. In my experience, the greatest rehearsal dinners are laid-back backyard barbecues where guests can mingle and get to know one another before the big day. Install a volleyball net or start the game of touch football. Have everyone bring something to share. But do have one — it’s your chance to thank all the folks who make your wedding day possible.

Wedding Rehearsal Ideas

When Should I Begin Preparing My Wedding Reception?

Making a reservation as early as possible is recommended, although most experts advise doing it at least three to six months in advance. By the three-month mark, couples should have a fair sense of how many guests to expect, allowing them to properly budget for the rehearsal. If your wedding is on Saturday, you might choose to have the rehearsal dinner on Thursday. You can save money on the rehearsal dinner, and your guests can have fun until they pass out on Thursday night before sleeping off their excess energy and getting ready for a beautiful wedding on Saturday. Don't come if you have a hangover.

Where Should The Rehearsal Dinner Be Held?

It's difficult to choose a rehearsal dinner location because there are so many excellent options. Coordinators can point you in the correct direction, but it never hurts to go with a tried-and-true favourite. Choose a location that's close to your rehearsal space so that your guests can easily get there, and book a private room if you plan on showing naked baby picture slides or setting up a karaoke machine.

My Reception Will Include Cake. Should I Also Have Cake At The Rehearsal Dinner?

No, that's not always the case. In the meantime, the rehearsal dinner will provide you with an opportunity to try a variety of different desserts while we work on the love cake. Who doesn't? Order a dozen or so chocolate doughnuts from your prefered bakery. So, you've decided to dress up a bit. Prepare an assortment of bite-sized sweets and place them on a table. During the request of a fun-loving couple, we heard that one coordinator even arranged for a snow cone and cotton candy machine to be present at the rehearsal dinner!

Make sure the dessert is a fitting ending to the meal as well. To lighten up a heavy main course, like steak, a lemon confection is a nice choice. You can't go wrong with chocolate after a meal of chicken or fish, and if you're serving a very involved main course, fresh berries,  a simple dessert of champagne sabayon, and pound cake will do the trick. Your company will be thrilled.

Appropriate Activities

Many families have long-standing customs that they carry out at the rehearsal dinner, such as exchanging gifts or giving speeches. Here are some gift ideas to express your bridal party how much they mean to you. Gifts are customarily given to the bridal party, including the groomsmen, bridesmaids, maid of honour, best man, ring bearer, and flower girl. You may also want to present your parents with gifts, though doing so in a more intimate atmosphere or on your wedding day could be preferable.

Most wedding reception speeches are given by the bride's and groom's dads. Speeches given at the rehearsal dinner by any member of the bridal party are a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the past and look forwards to the future. You can have additional listeners join in on the tale-telling by inviting them to your gathering. Usually only the maid of honour and best man are allowed to give toasts at a wedding, but tonight anybody in attendance can do so. The couple can give a blessing over the meal or give a final toast to their friends and family, expressing their gratitude for their love, support, assistance, and presence.

If you want everyone to have a good night's sleep before the wedding, plan to end the festivities by 10 p.m., but don't let that stop you from having fun; after all, this is "your" wedding's rehearsal dinner!


A crucial pre-wedding event, the rehearsal dinner is traditionally held the evening before the big day. There will be one more night of merriment for you and your guests before the wedding. The rehearsal dinner is also a great chance to finalise the wedding's logistics. The families of the bride and groom should spend time getting to know one another at the rehearsal dinner. This is traditionally done the night before the wedding so that the bride and her attendants can start the big day with all the details still fresh in their thoughts.

The rehearsal dinner is traditionally paid for by the groom's parents. However, we are in the year 2018, and at this point anything goes. Traditionally, the couple pays for the reception meal, but there's no shame in accepting aid if your family or friends volunteer to host. Sixty minutes is the typical length of time allotted for a wedding ceremony's dress rehearsal. Invitees should get there at least half an hour before the event begins.

Vogue Ballroom is Melbourne's premier wedding location, where dreams come true for the bride and husband. A rehearsal supper is not essential, although it is highly recommended. The invitations should be as formal as the event itself. Email invites or home-printed invitations will do if you're inviting people over for fried chicken. Before the big day, guests can relax and get to know one another at a casual backyard BBQ for the rehearsal dinner.

Appetizers and pub snacks from the bar are a great addition, and they won't break the bank as a formal dinner would. If you want your visitors to be able to easily come to your rehearsal, it's best to have it close to where you've been rehearsing. Get in touch with your favourite bakery and order a dozen or so chocolate doughnuts. If you're serving a hearty main course like steak, a refreshing lemon dessert is a great complement. The rehearsal dinner is an opportunity for many families to carry out long-standing traditions.

The wedding party, consisting of the best man, groomsmen, and bridesmaids, is traditionally showered with gifts. Your parents deserve a gift from you, too, and you may give it to them in a more personal setting.

Content Summary

  1. A crucial pre-wedding event, the rehearsal dinner is traditionally held the evening before the big day.
  2. Hosting the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding is a terrific option since it provides the wedding party and guests one more chance to party together before the big day, and it's also a great opportunity to iron out any last-minute details.
  3. Dinners are held after the dress rehearsals.
  4. Whether you want to have a formal sit-down dinner or a casual backyard barbeque for the rehearsal dinner, there are a few things you should plan for.
  5. The rehearsal dinner is a great time to present gifts to your parents and wedding party if you'd rather not do so during the ceremony.
  6. A toast is traditionally given during the rehearsal dinner to the bride and groom.
  7. Anyone who wants to make fun of the newlyweds with a roast should probably save it for the rehearsal dinner.
  8. We should have some sweets now.
  9. It is also usual, at the rehearsal dinner, to give the groom with his own cake.
  10. The wedding cake isn't the only sweet treat guests will be treated to on the big day.
  11. In other words, define a rehearsal dinner.
  12. Once the rehearsal dinner is over, most of the events leading up to the wedding are over as well.
  13. Insofar as the name of the event implies, gourmet food will be served.
  14. In a pinch, a hotel's bar or restaurant can serve as a reception hall for a wedding.
  15. Perhaps you've decided to forego the rehearsal dinner in an effort to save money.
  16. It's probable that you'll have the barbeque party in your backyard.
  17. The rehearsal dinner should take place as close to the wedding day as possible.
  18. Traditionally, only the most significant guests at a wedding would be invited to the rehearsal dinner (Also known as your immediate family, extended family, wedding party, and their guests).
  19. If you are having a destination wedding or inviting many out-of-town guests, you may choose to combine the wedding welcome party and rehearsal dinner into one major event.
  20. When should the rehearsal dinner invitations be sent out?
  21. Sending out invites four weeks ahead of time will offer guests plenty of notice to make arrangements.
  22. The rehearsal dinner is traditionally paid for by the groom's parents.
  23. One and only requirement is that it must occur after your wedding rehearsal has concluded.
  24. After the event, host a cocktail party with hors d'oeuvres and beverages.
  25. Planning a rehearsal dinner is a must if you want your wedding day to go off without a hitch.
  26. Every detail, from the bride's walk to the arrangement of the wedding party, should be practised before the big day so that any hiccups can be worked out and everyone is on the same page.
  27. Preparation time for a typical ceremony is 60 minutes.
  28. Invitees should get there at least half an hour before the event begins.
  29. Make sure you and your guests have plenty of time to travel from the rehearsal site to the reception venue.
  30. Having the ceremony and reception in the same location is a wonderful idea regardless of the number of guests.
  31. Planning a wedding? Book the location for the rehearsal dinner at the same time.
  32. Traditions such as toasts, speeches, and games at the rehearsal dinner can make it one of the most enjoyable parts of the wedding planning process for the bride.
  33. The night before the wedding, give your guests a brief list of nearby eateries so they can dine at their leisure if you plan on having a casual lunch reception instead of a formal supper.
  34. Even if you're taking an unorthodox method, it's still courteous to include details like the event's location and appropriate attire on the invitation.
  35. The invitations should be appropriate to the event's formality.
  36. Check with your in-laws to see if they're willing to lend a hand.
  37. Giving her this responsibility will give her a sense of control over the wedding, and if the rehearsal dinner turns out poorly, your guests will probably not think twice about assuming you had nothing to do with it.
  38. Before they break for dinner, the happy couple gives thanks to their guests and offers a toast to their friends and family.
  39. The toasts are meant to be humorous, but they can develop into roasts of the bride and groom if people start getting too personal.
  40. A few days after the digital invites have been sent, the physical ones are dispatched.
  41. The advice to invite all of the out-of-town guests can be found in bridal magazines.
  42. Even if you don't feel like inviting guests, a wedding website may still be a great resource for learning about all the great places to eat and see in the area.
  43. We'd also love to see you if you're in town the night before the wedding, so consider adding a note to your invitations that says something like, "If you're in town the night before the wedding, we'd love to see you!"
  44. You may want to have the rehearsal dinner on Thursday night if your wedding is on Saturday.
  45. It will save you money to have the rehearsal on Thursday night, and your guests will be able to party until they drop before catching some shut-eye in preparation for your Saturday wedding.
  46. There are a lot of great places to hold the rehearsal dinner, making the decision tough.
  47. Pick somewhere convenient for your visitors' travel, and reserve a separate room if you intend to show slides of naked babies or set up a karaoke machine.
  48. Since we're still working on the love cake, you can sample a number of various sweets during the rehearsal dinner in the interim.
  49. Get in touch with your favourite bakery and order a dozen or so chocolate doughnuts.
  50. Okay, so you've chosen to spruce up your appearance a little.
  51. Put together a spread of little, sweet treats and set them out on a table.
  52. We learned that one coordinator even had a snow cone and cotton candy machine brought in for the rehearsal dinner at the request of a particularly jovial couple.
  53. The company will be ecstatic.
  54. The rehearsal dinner is an opportunity for many families to carry out long-standing traditions, such as presenting presents or giving speeches.
  55. Everyone in the wedding party—the groomsmen, bridesmaids, maid of honour, best man, ring bearer, and flower girl—receives a gift.
  56. It's customary to honour one's parents with a gift at their child's matriculation into adulthood, and you may like to do the same.
  57. The fathers of the bride and groom traditionally give the remarks at wedding receptions.
  58. At the rehearsal dinner, any member of the bridal party can give a speech, and it's a great chance to look back on the past and forwards to the future.
  59. The couple might thank their guests for their love, support, assistance, and presence with a final toast or a blessing over the food.
  60. Don't let the fact that it's your wedding's rehearsal dinner prevent you from having a nice time; after all, you want everyone to get a decent night's sleep before the big day.

FAQs About Rehersal Dinner

Your wedding "To Do" list really must include hosting a rehearsal dinner because, as the saying goes, "practice makes perfect." So, before the big day arrives, the bride, groom, wedding party, and family members get a chance to mix and get to know one another during an informal dinner called the rehearsal.

It is up to the bride and groom to decide who to invite to the wedding, although often everyone in both families, the wedding party, and guests from out of town are invited. The groom's parents traditionally hosted the rehearsal dinner the evening before the wedding.

Donate gifts to the members of the wedding party. The rehearsal dinner is also the traditional time to give gifts to the members of the wedding party (especially if the gifts are items that you'd like them to wear during the wedding), as well as to the parents, as a way of expressing gratitude for their love, guidance, and support throughout the wedding planning process.

Make your own monogrammed glazed cookies as a thoughtful favour for weddings and rehearsal dinners. Personalised chocolate bars for the bridal shower and wedding favours. If the happy couple shares a passion for cheese, a bamboo cheese board and spreader will make a thoughtful gift.

At the wedding party, the parents, the officiant, and any children present (including ring bearers and flower girls) should get an invitation to the rehearsal dinner (and their parents).

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