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More than just a meal? Tips for a wedding rehearsal dinner

An increasingly fashionable part of the frim and finery that’s the modern wedding, the rehearsal dinner has become ever more popular a thing to tag on the front of the event – often the night before the big day. But why? And, if it’s your wedding we’re talking about here, what should it feature and who should be in attendance?

Dinner Table

What’s a wedding rehearsal and what’s a rehearsal dinner?

Generally, a wedding rehearsal’s a ‘dry run’ of the ceremony itself, often held at the location where the latter’s going to take place. It allows people who’ve travelled from afar and are in the ‘wedding party’ to learn of and understand their role on the big day. To that end, sharing with attendees wedding programmes and copies of any readings planned for the day so you can all properly rehearse is a good idea. Meanwhile, the rehearsal dinner’s an informal occasion to sit down and socialise with those who’ve attended the rehearsal, usually in the evening afterwards.

Who attends?

Put simply, the wedding party – which usually comprises the bride and groom, of course, their parents, the ceremony’s officiant, the best man (or best men), the bridal party and any readers-to-be. It’s possible, should they have travelled a particularly long way for the wedding, you might want to invite good friends and close-ish relatives (grandparents, aunts, uncles or cousins) to the dinner, ensuring it’s something of a welcoming party. And, of all wedding rehearsal dinner tips, here’s an especially good one: normal invitations aren’t required and need not be sent, but informal ones may be a decent idea – especially for those coming from afar – and would give them an idea of what to expect and the level of formality you intend for the dinner.


Style – personal or wedding-related?

It could be, given the informal nature of the rehearsal dinner, you fancy giving it a personal sort of theme that you’d rather not for the wedding as the latter will be more formal; for instance, a shared interest of you and your spouse-to-be (are you both sporty or do you have, say, a passion for Star Wars? It may sound silly but you could base the look of your menu and place cards on such a cute, meaningful thing). Alternatively, you might like the idea of complementing the dinner’s look with that of the wedding itself, especially if you’re holding the dinner at one of the stylish and luxury wedding venues London – and this could have the added benefit of keeping down the cost of everything (thereby making the choosing of props and other bits and bobs easy).

Dinner Table

What about the toasts?

Like the ceremony-to-come, the dinner’s bound to feature toasts, but unlike at the wedding reception it’s a good idea to keep these pretty spontaneous and short. For instance, whoever’s hosting the occasion – whether it be the bride and groom or either the bride’s or groom’s parents – they might want to use their toasts as an opportunity to informally welcome attendees to the wider wedding. You might also want to use the dinner as a public occasion to present gifts to nearest and dearest (parents and close friends) to thank them for everything; after all, you should be the one showered with gifts on the big day – hopefully!

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