Rehearsal Dinner: How to Organize and Host

Wondering how to hold a proper rehearsal dinner? After you’ve found the venue and invited your special guests, what comes next? The first thing to note is that this meal is not just a simple gathering. Your rehearsal dinner is an opportune time for you to get everyone acquainted before your actual wedding and to thank them for their support in your engagement. Here are some tips on how to organise this special occasion.



The highlight of the rehearsal dinner is typically the toasts. Usually, it starts with the groom’s father welcoming the guests and then giving a message to the couple. The bride’s father can then proceed with his own message for the couple, and then the couple gives their thanks to everyone. Feel free to let a dear family or friend give a brief message if you feel they have something special to say.

For some of your guests, it will be their first time to meet each other. To help them get comfortable, you can plan several fun games and ice breakers that will get conversations going. This gathering is also the perfect time to give out your gifts to your bridesmaids and groomsmen.

Seating Plan

Although it isn’t necessary, you might want to assign your guests to their seats if most of them are yet to meet. This way you can let those who have common interests meet and interact. Having a seating plan will also keep anyone from being left out of the group.

But don’t just rely on your seating chart; you need to take the time to introduce your guests to each other before the food is served. In making the seat plan, take the chance to let both sides of the family mingle and be seated together. For example, you can seat all aunties and uncles from both your and your fiancé’s side in a single table.


On a Budget

Your rehearsal dinner need not be costly. If you and your fiancé are paying for it, then it should be included it in your wedding budget – but it shouldn’t be a large portion. Remember that the rehearsal dinner should be simple, light, and inexpensive. Some of your relatives might be willing to pitch in through a pot luck gathering. Or you could request your parents and future in-laws to help you shoulder the expenses.

As an alternative to a complete meal, you can choose to have an afternoon tea party instead, where you may just serve sandwiches and pastries instead of more expensive dishes. A cocktail party would also be a more affordable option over dinner.

With these know-how’s, you and your fiancé can have a simple yet memorable gathering of your families and friends. Some couples even admit that they enjoyed their rehearsal dinner more than their reception since it was then that they were able to spend more time conversing with their loved ones. You too can have a meaningful time with your loved ones before the big day. Just keep it simple and fun and it will be a day for all to remember.

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