If you're gathering all your favorite friends and family for your wedding, you're probably going to want to keep them there as long as possible. And as more and more people are creating destination weddings, the rehearsal dinner list is gradually growing. I was shocked when I discovered that nearly 50% of my 120 wedding guests would be attending out rehearsal dinner. But all that means is you get to throw another fabulous party!
But it's important to remember a few key wedding rehearsal etiquette rules:
Who do I Invite?
It goes without saying that anyone in the wedding and their SOs should be at the rehearsal dinner. It's your way of saying thank you to them for agreeing to be part of your wedding day.
Also invite close family or friends who are traveling from far away. My rule of thumb is if they had to use a passport, they should be at the rehearsal dinner.
Family of the bride and groom should be invited, especially if they are helping out at the wedding at all.
How do I invite them?
After you receive your wedding RSVPs, then you can put together a guest list for the rehearsal dinner. If it's a formal event, then paper invitations might be the best idea. If it's more informal, e-vites are a great way to get the word out. Or sending emails to people works as well.
Typically it is the groom's family who pays the bill, but in modern times it can definitely vary from event to event.
Where should it be?
The rehearsal dinner should be nearby to the ceremony or reception location - but if there is a place special to you and your fiance, then there really are no hard and fast rules. If you're hosting the event on your property, you can always host the rehearsal at home as well. One thing to note is that the rehearsal dinner should never be more formal than the wedding. The rehearsal dinner sets to tone for the whole weekend.
What should I not forget?
This is your time to thank all your friends and family for being a part of your wedding! Tomorrow is your day, but today is theirs. Remember to pass out any gifts or tokens for your bridal party and family members. Perhaps a toast and a quick thank you speech is in order. And traditionally any toasts from the parents of the couple occur that evening as well.