Everything You Need To Know About Rehearsal Dinners

Here at Wedded Wonderland, we have uncovered a shocking revelation that rehearsal dinners aren’t just things that happen in rom-coms. In fact, they are a fabulous way to get your guests into a great mood before the wedding and extend the party.


via Giphy

However, not many people know what the event entails. Typically, a rehearsal dinner will involve speeches, mingling, and of course, dinner. With more Australians choosing to add a rehearsal dinner to their wedding, we have researched everything you need to know about the foreign practice. We cover who to invite, what to wear, and why you should have one!

Here is everything you need to know about rehearsal dinners.

Why Should I Have One?

There are a few reasons to hold a rehearsal dinner, with the main being that it’s an opportunity for your guests to socialise before the wedding. It acts as an icebreaker. Weddings often attract friends and family who haven’t seen each other for a while, and this can create a wild scene come the big day. A rehearsal dinner allows everyone to catch up in a relaxed setting and extends the merriment of the occasion. Many brides say their wedding day flew by, and this is a solution to that.

Another reason to hold a rehearsal dinner is to thank everyone who made the wedding possible. A portion of the event is dedicated to formal speeches, which helps alleviate any pre-wedding jitters about public speaking. It also gives the couple extra time to have authentic conversations with everyone who is attending the wedding.


Who To Invite?

At the minimum, close family and friends of the bride and groom will attend the rehearsal dinner. Most couples extend the invite to everyone who is attending the wedding. You can also invite your minister/celebrant and their partner as a kind gesture.

Ideally, the invitations should be sent around the same time as the wedding invitations. This gives your guests time to arrange their schedules, and the RSVPs will supply you with valuable information about catering.

How Much Will Cost

The type of occasion will dictate the cost of the rehearsal dinner. Traditionally, the groom’s parent will foot the bill for the rehearsal dinner, but every couple will have different budgets and circumstances. Figure out something that works best for you. Just remember, this isn’t the wedding. Keep some spectacular surprises for the special day.

Where To Have It? 


Just like the wedding, this one is entirely up to you! Don’t feel constricted by the term dinner; you can choose any time of the day. Some couples put on a rehearsal breakfast or rehearsal cocktails for their wedding guests. It can be a casual, intimate affair or elaborate, formal occasion. However, it’s important the rehearsal dinner isn’t larger than the wedding itself for the same reason why guests should never wear white to a wedding; You don’t want to upstage the bride, or in this case, the wedding.

When To Have It

Again, this one is ultimately your decision. The rehearsal dinner should complement the wedding. A popular choice for couples having Saturday nuptials is to hold the rehearsal dinner on a Friday night. Others prefer to have more time between each event to recover, and they schedule the dinner with this in mind. If you’re holding a destination or weekend wedding, the day most of the guests arrive at the location would be an ideal time to host the soiree. It adds structure to the weekend and gives your guests something to do.

And Finally… What To Wear?

This is probably the most important question. The rehearsal dinner is less formal than the wedding so don’t be afraid to express your style. You don’t have to stick to white and your outfit doesn’t need to be a dress either. Try a two-piece ensemble like a stylish pantsuit; they strike the perfect balance between oh-so-sexy and #girlboss. The only recommendation is to choose attire at will suit the occasion. A floor-length ball gown isn’t practical for a rehearsal dinner set in a garden.

Written by Sarah Mourtos

Feature image via Italian Eye

Posted in Planning, Pre-wedding by wedded wonderland

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