4 essential rehearsal dinner tips

When it comes to the rehearsal dinner, it's tricky to determine who should be invited, where it should be hosted, and all the semantics in between. It's never too soon to start planning the rehearsal dinner, so use these tips to help create a night as fun as the wedding itself!

The Guest List:

So you have the wedding planned, and the guest list is pretty large. That doesn't mean all who are invited need to partake in the entire weekend's festivities. The rehearsal dinner is typically an intimate event where close friends and family gather to celebrate the couple, get to know the other family, and kick off the weekend. The general rule of thumb is to invite immediate and significant extended family, your wedding party, officiant, and their significant others, parents of any children in the wedding, and close family friends and out-of-town guests. While tradition says that all guests traveling to a true destination wedding (meaning everybody–even the bride and groom–have traveled there) should be invited to a rehearsal dinner or other welcome event, it can get a little trickier for weddings where a large portion of the wedding guests had to travel. At this point you have to do what your budget will allow. After all, if you have to invite 75 guests out of 125 to a rehearsal dinner, you're pretty much paying for a second wedding. Another option is to hold an intimate rehearsal dinner with immediate family and the wedding party, and then invite out-of-town guests for a casual welcome cocktail at the hotel bar afterwards. We recommend giving out of town guests recommendations for nearby restaurants and bars in their wedding welcome bag or on your website, so they feel like they have a solid plan for the evening if they're not attending your rehearsal dinner.

The Venue:

Searching for a rehearsal dinner location can be difficult, especially if you're expecting a large crowd. Make sure to book your rehearsal dinner location at least 3-6 months in advance. We suggest choosing a location close to the hotel (if you have a lot of out of town guests), to avoid paying for additional transportation to and from the restaurant. Our personal preference is a casual setting where the tone for the evening will be playful and fun – after all, this is the time for the speeches that roast you and toast you! For example, we chose a New York City Deli outpost located in Westchester, NY, where our out of town guests from the Midwest really enjoyed the authentic NYC experience.

The Invites:

Invites for the rehearsal dinner should be sent out four weeks prior to the wedding. You want to allow your guests enough time to plan, but also allow enough time between guests receiving your wedding invitation and rehearsal dinner invitation in the mail. When choosing an invitation, remember that it can totally have a personality and reflect the atmosphere of the evening, whether that's casual or formal. You can read more about wedding rehearsal dinner invitation etiquette here.

The Bill:

It's tradition for the groom's family to host the rehearsal dinner, since the wedding is often hosted by the bride's family. However, as tradition has evolved over time, brides and grooms families often split the cost of the wedding, so they may choose to also split the cost of the rehearsal dinner. Or the bride and the groom might be paying for the weekend's events themselves. We say when it comes to the bill, start a discussion between your families to decide what makes the most sense for all the people involved.

The post 4 essential rehearsal dinner tips appeared first on Woman Getting Married.

RELATED: Step up your happy hour with these cocktails

Step up your happy hour with these cocktails
See Gallery
Step up your happy hour with these cocktails
Bootsy Collins

1 oz Lemon
1 oz Apple Cinnamon Syrup
2 oz Tito's Vodka

1. Top with DASANI Sparkling Original on ice in a highball.
2. Garnish with lemon wheel and apple peel

Watermelon Smash

1oz Seagrams Watermelon Vodka 
1.25 oz Templeton Rye 
.75oz Demerara syrup
2 lemon wedge 
6 mints 

1. Muddle the lemons/mint and syrup
2. Add the liquor/light shake and dirty dump in rocks glass. 
3. Garnish with heavy mint sprigs

Ramos Gin Fizz (courtesy of The Sazerac Bar at The Roosevelt New Orleans)

2 oz gin (Old Tom if you can find it)
1 oz heavy cream
1 egg white
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz lime juice
2 teaspoons sugar
3 drops orange flower water
Club soda, to top


1. Shake ingredients with cracked ice for at least a minute
2. Strain into a chilled rocks glass.
3. Top with a splash of club soda.

Empire Smash

2 oz of BenRiach Curiositas
.75 oz of Porter Reduction

Combine in a pot:
1 quart of Porter Beer
1 pint of honey
4 grams of maldon salt
The zest of 1 orange

Allow to rest at medium heat for 45 minutes stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and let cool.

.75 oz of lemon juice

5-6 mint leaves

No need to muddle because you’re going to give this one a nice hard shake. Strain it over some fresh ice in a rocks glass and serve with a hearty sprig of mint.


Read Full Story

Sign up for the Best Bites by AOL newsletter to get the most delicious recipes and hottest food trends delivered straight to your inbox every day.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.