Wedding Rehearsal & Rehearsal Dinners Traditionally, on the day before the wedding, a rehearsal is held, followed by a dinner which brings together close friends and family.
Wedding Ceremony Rehearsal A formal rehearsal of the wedding ceremony is not required but most officiants want to run through the whole program so that everyone is familiar with what will be going on the day of the wedding. The officiant will give everyone their cues for the next day so that they will know where to stand and what to do so they will be a liittle less nervous the day of the wedding and this will help things will go smoothly.
Who should attend the wedding rehearsal? The bride and groom, their parents, the wedding party and any readers, singers and musicians. It is also a good idea to have your photographer attend so he and the officiant can go over any details. What if we can’t use the wedding ceremony site for the rehearsal?
If the wedding ceremony site is not available for your rehearsal, the rehearsal can be held in someone’s home, or possibly at your rehearsal dinner location. Ideally, it should be held at the actual ceremony site, especially if there are young children involved.
What is the function of a rehearsal dinner? The rehearsal dinner is a celebration dinner where the bride and groom are the center of attention. In this less-formal setting, family members meeting for the first time can mingle and get better acquainted. At the rehearsal dinner the bride & groom are under less pressure than they are at the wedding reception and they have more time to talk with relatives, friends, and their bridal party in a relaxed fashion.
After everyone has arrived and is seated, either the bride or groom should take a moment to welcome their guests with a few words and thank them all for attending. Usually numerous toasts are a part of the rehearsal dinner. The groom’s father might start the toasts.
Who should be invited to the rehearsal dinner? The rehearsal dinner guest list should include immediate family (parents & siblings), grandparents, wedding party members and any spouses or significant others, and parents of any child attendants. You should also invite the officiant and his/her spouse unless it is a civil service. If you have out-of-town guests who have already arrived for the wedding, you can invite them to the dinner portion of the evening.
Who handles the costs of the rehearsal dinner? Ordinarily the groom’s parents pay for the rehearsal dinner, but these days it can be hosted by anyone. No matter who hosts the rehearsal dinner, make sure they are involved in the entire planning process.
Is it necessary to send formal invitations to the dinner? No, formal invitations are not necessary unless you are planning a large, formal rehearsal dinner. If you are planning an informal rehearsal dinner, word-of-mouth, e-mails, evites, handwritten invitations, or simple phone calls are fine.
When is the rehearsal dinner held? It is usually held in the evening following the wedding rehearsal, but it could be held anytime during that day...in the morning, noon, or evening.
Where should we hold the rehearsal dinner? The location will depend on the number of people you expect to attend and the costs involved. The location should be convenient for out-of-town guests who may not be familiar with your city. You may wish to have it at a restaurant, local country club, church hall, or you may wish to have a casual barbecue in the backyard. Just remember, relaxation, socializing and chatting are high priorities at this event. If necessary, you may want to provide a detailed map for attendees.
Should I hand out gifts during the dinner? In addition to family members meeting each other, the rehearsal dinner provides an excellent opportunity for you to hand out your attendants’ thank you gifts. This setting is usually a lot less hectic than the reception and can make the gift giving more personalized. This is also an excellent opportunity to present your parents or anyone else who was an important part of the wedding process with a token of appreciation.
Have fun, relax, and get ready for the big day.
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