The Big Day is almost here and everything should be set and stone by now! The rehearsal dinner is the time to practice your ceremony so everything goes smoothly the next day followed by a formal or relaxed setting for some thank you’s, introductions, toasts, and fun.
- Welcome out-of-town guests. Many couples invite out-of-town guests to the rehearsal dinner as one more way to thank them for traveling to the wedding. You might also have more of an opportunity at the rehearsal dinner to spend one-on-one time with them than during the hustle and bustle of the wedding day. If you have way too many, thats understandable, but if you just have a handful or two, go ahead and invite them!
- Thank your bridal party. Be sure to spend some time thanking your bridal party for all they’ve done to help plan the wedding day and support you and your groom during the process. You can also give them their gifts, especially if it’s something you want them to wear the next day. Sometime gifts are given to your parents as well and don’t forget those adorable ring bearers and flower girls if you have them.
- Celebrate your relationship. Give guests a glimpse of your special love story with a table displaying framed photographs of the two of you through the years, your engagement portraits you had taken, or you can even feature a video montage of the two of you from childhood through your engagement.
- Give a toast. One or both of you should say a few words to thank everyone for coming, and both sides of the family for all of their love and support during the planning. If anyone is hosting the dinner (tradition says it’s the groom’s family, but this is not always the case), be sure to say a few words about them as well.
- Get guests mingling. The rehearsal is a good time to introduce guests from both sides of the family so everyone gets a chance to know each other before the main event. Think about mixing up the seating arrangements at the rehearsal dinner so that people that have never met before can get better acquainted.
- Play some games. Another way to get guests engaging with one another is to play some games during the rehearsal dinner–after all, a little competition can really get a party going. It doesn’t have to be anything too formal; think of some questions to find out who knows the happy couple the best, a fun celebrity couple quiz, wedding-theme charades, etc.
- Serve some fun fare. Instead of a sit-down dinner, go the more casual route for the rehearsal. For example, if you’re from Chicago, serve deep dish pizza or if you’re from Texas, host the dinner at a BBQ joint, If your on the beach, serve up some seafood and a caribbean dish!
- Give out any last-minute instructions. While you have everyone’s undivided attention, be sure to announce any important directions for the big day. If shuttles buses are taking guests from the hotel to the ceremony/reception location, remind everyone about pick up times. If certain people have specific tasks, go over it with them so you feel at ease the next morning.