Rehearsal Dinner: The Where, When and Whos

The rehearsal dinner is not as common in Singapore as it is in Western countries, but it is a practice that couples here could really benefit from. It is a wonderful opportunity to gather your closest family and your fiancé’s, as well as your dearest friends, and get them better acquainted with each other. It is also your chance to thank them for being a part of a very important moment in your relationship.


With that much significance to your wedding, your rehearsal dinner should be prepared with care and forethought. So instead of asking whether to have it or not, ask instead the more important questions when, where, who, and how to make your rehearsal dinner happen. Here are the most important details you need to know.


Traditionally, as its name implies, a rehearsal dinner is held on the night before the wedding. However, it is not unusual to have it a few days before the big day. For everyone’s convenience, it’s best to have it after the wedding rehearsal so that you, your family and bridal party won’t have to set two separate schedules. By holding a rehearsal dinner, you will make everyone involved feel more comfortable with each other, as well as confident to carry out their roles in your wedding.


You have a number of options for your rehearsal dinner venue. A rehearsal dinner is less formal and simpler than your wedding banquet so you can have it in a favourite restaurant, a pizza parlor, a cafe, or a relative’s or a friend’s house (if you know one that’s big enough to accommodate the whole party). Your choice of venue will set the mood of the occasion, whether it’s casual, formal, or something in between. Pick a place that is intimate and has a cozy ambience for your guests to be comfortable interacting with each other.



Since it’s an intimate get-together, it calls for a shorter list of guests than your wedding. The list primarily just includes those who will actually take part in the rehearsal. They are your officiant and his or her spouse or date; your entourage with their spouses or dates; include your child attendants with their parents; your readers with their dates; your parents and your fiancé’s parents. It might also be good to include your grandparents and other close friends and relatives even if they don’t have special roles in your wedding ceremony. Inviting your out-of-town guests is also a good way to welcome them.

Who Pays?

You’re probably wondering about this from the beginning of your wedding rehearsal planning. Traditionally, it is the groom’s parents who pay but you and your fiancé can also split the bill or request your parents if they can sponsor the gathering.

Now you can get started in organizing your rehearsal dinner with this basic knowledge. Please read the second part of this article – “Rehearsal Dinner: How to Organize and Host” – to know more about how to make your preparation a breeze and other aspects of the rehearsal dinner, such as how to create activities for the gathering and get everyone to socialize.

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