The Rehearsal Dinner

Rehearsal Dinner Invitations Explained

Many brides and grooms look for information about the dinner, what it is and why they need to have one. This dinner really is not so much about need, as it is about wanting to spend your last evening before the wedding with your loved ones.  The most basic rehearsal dinner is just sharing a meal with the most important people to the bride and groom. Where it is held does not matter, there are many different locations suitable. If you are looking for something formal you can always choose to have it at a nice restarant or banquet hall. However, if you are looking for something more casual you can always choose to have a nice backyard barbeque or a small dinner party inside a home instead of something so formal.

Besides dinner a number of things could happen. The bride and groom will certainly thank everyone and give toasts to their family, friends and the wedding party who are present. Many times the guests, especially the ones who are not giving toasts the next day, will give some kind of informal toasts as well. Besides sharing a meal and kind words many dinners include things like games – wedding related or not. You may choose to play games which allow everyone to get to know each other, like ice breaker games, or you might play poker, party games or participate in activities outside.

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Many times the bride and groom choose to give their gifts of appreciation to the wedding party at the rehearsal dinner, whereas this is common it is not mandatory. Many brides and grooms give out the gifts at other functions such as stag night or a bachelorette luncheon.

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When is the rehearsal dinner held?

This dinner is held the night of the wedding rehearsal, right after the rehearsal is over. Usually you have a planned end time of the actual rehearsal and the dinner is within the next hour. This way your guests will not have any lag time inbetween and you can start the dinner early enough so everyone can get the right amount of sleep for the big day!

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How log will it last?

The length of the dinner depends from wedding to wedding, but it will be at least an hour, usually it is closer to three hours when you factor in the time it takes to get dinner served, do toasts, presents and have conversation and games.

Since it is a very pleasant event the time will pass by rather quickly. Make sure it does start early enough though as you are getting married the next day!

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Who pays for and plans this event?

Traditionally speaking, the wedding dinner is paid for by the family of the groom and the groom’s mother plans this event. Of course what tradition suggests and what actually occurs are often two different things.

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It is a good idea to ask the groom’s mother if she is indeed planning this event. If you are willing, or anyone else in your circle of family and friends is interested, you could also offer assistance. Of course if your future mother in law is not only willing to plan the event but is excited to do so, it would be a good idea to just let her plan it by herself. The mother of the groom does not have a lot of say in the planning of the wedding, so if she wants this party to be planned only by her, let her.

Rehearsal Dinner Invitations

Many events you will have leading up to the wedding require stationery. The rehearsal dinner is no exception. The invitation should be sent to all involved and include who is inviting you, to what they are inviting you to, when and where and a map.

These invitations are usually sent out to the guests a couple days after the wedding invitations are mailed out. These dinners could be small or large, but the list of guests should include the wedding parties and the parents. Other immediate family members may also be invited. Sometimes close friends or out of town guests are also in attendance.

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I am including two brief invitations, one for a dinner given by the bride and groom, and the second one is given by the groom’s parents.

The happy couple, Jessica Dawson and Matthew Connor
invite you to join them at their rehearsal dinner.
Dinner to be held at Nora’s Place
1595 Main Street
Springfield, Illinois
On Friday, August 1
At 7 p.m.
immediately following
the wedding rehearsal
Map and directions included


Mr. and Mrs. Jason Fret
request the pleasure of your company
at the rehearsal dinner in honor of
the excited couple, Leslie and Jeremiah
on Friday, the seventeenth of May
at 6 P.M.
at the White Room
799 Terrace Blvd
Maple Grove, Indiana
Map and directions Included.

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Even More Rehearsal Dinner Invitations Ideas

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