How to Plan a Successful Rehearsal Dinner

Your rehearsal dinner is a great chance for your attendants and families to get to know each other on a more personal level. And for a lot of couples, it’s the last relaxing moment they’ll spend until the end of their reception. It all gets pretty hectic once the wedding day begins; so the rehearsal dinner is the perfect moment to let your hair down and center yourselves for the big show to come. It’s also the perfect time to pass out thank-you gifts to everyone who helped you plan your special day.  

  • Where do I start? Once you’ve scheduled your rehearsal, look for a nearby restaurant that can reserve a private room for your dinner. If you think your rehearsal will take half an hour, double it, and allow for enough travel time to get to the restaurant. Then make your reservation for the proper time.
  • Who do I invite? Your officiant and spouse. Your immediate families. Your bridesmaids, groomsmen and their significant others. If you have a young flower girl and ringbearer, invite them and their parents. Some couples like to include guests who’ve traveled a long way to attend the wedding. 
  • When do I send the invitations? Shortly after you mail your wedding invitations. Be sure to include the start time of the rehearsal itself in your invitations.
  • Does everyone order their own meal, or do we prepare the menu in advance? Depends upon the restaurant. If you have to cater your own meals, your dinner options can be reduced, and your guests can be offered a choice on their invitations. Otherwise, let people order from the restaurant’s menu.
  • Do I book a DJ for the rehearsal dinner? No. This is not a time for people’s attention to be focused on a third party. Let your own table conversations be the entertainment.
  • Who pays? Typically, the groom’s parents. Depending upon each family’s finances, some couples arrange for both sets of parents to share the cost. If the couple is older and already established financially, they may decide to pay for the meal themselves.

And that’s all there is to it. Enjoy the experience, and get to bed at a decent hour. You’ll need all your energy for your wedding day.

To learn more about Fourth Estate Audio’s incomparable service, call me at 630.654.4440. I’m here to help.

© Fourth Estate Audio, 2015 – Jay Congdon is president of Fourth Estate Audio, a professional Chicago DJ and Chicago Wedding DJ company.

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