You are amidst planning your wedding and you remember the rehearsal dinner and have no idea where to start. Scheme is here to help you with the details of this rehearsal dinner as it has “become a popular tradition of the wedding-party weekend” according to Emily Post. You want to celebrate with your family and friends and not have the pressure of the next day’s ceremony and reception. Get the bestman and leave most of the responsibilities on them as it’s their primary duty to make sure that the wedding goes along as smoothly as possible. Refer sites like so that they can ensure that every person who is bound to speak does not have these mistakes in their speeches. The rehearsal dinner is a great way to get your closest friends and family together and celebrate in a more personal and private atmosphere.

Photo courtesy of JD Photography.

When is the rehearsal dinner held?
There is no exact time you are required to have your rehearsal dinner, but generally it takes place the evening before the wedding. You may have a wedding rehearsal at your ceremony location and want to hold the dinner somewhere close to make it easy for friends and family to get to. However, if you and your fiance have a favorite restaurant or just want to have the dinner be at a special location, that is a great way to share something with your loved ones.
Does the rehearsal dinner have to be a “dinner”?
There is no rule that says it has to be a dinner. You can hold a brunch or luncheon.
Does the rehearsal dinner have to follow the rehearsal?
Generally, this event takes place following the rehearsal, however, if  you have an early morning wedding rehearsal or just want to host the before the rehearsal, that is more than okay. You are welcome to make your own version of this event. Remember… it is your wedding!
Who hosts the rehearsal dinner?
It is customary for the groom’s family to host the rehearsal dinner. The bride’s family can choose to host the rehearsal dinner if the groom’s declines or the bride and groom can host it themselves as a “thank you” to their friends and family. You may also have both families host the dinner together as a joining of the two families.
What will the host need to know from the bride and groom?

  • Recommendations for places to host the dinner
  • The time and location of the wedding rehearsal
  • The style of the wedding reception– colors, size and formality
  • Names and addresses for the guest list

Who is invited?
The guest list should include members of the wedding party and their spouses; the officiant and spouse; the parents; stepparents and grandparents of the bride and groom. Any siblings of the bride and groom who are not in the wedding party may attend the rehearsal dinner as well. If there is a member of the wedding party that is single, they are invited to bring their date if they would like to the rehearsal dinner.
What type of invitation should be sent?
Invitations to the rehearsal dinner should be sent three to six weeks in advance. Depending on the size and formality of the event, invitations may be printed, written on informal or fill-in cards, phoned or emailed. A physical invitation serves as a tangible reminder of the date, time and address of the rehearsal dinner. Who doesn’t love getting good old fashioned snail mail and being able to open up an envelope for an event?
It is a good idea to include directions to the wedding rehearsal and dinner and RSVP information.
What happens during the dinner?
The focus of the dinner is for the wedding party and the two families to relax and enjoy their time with you and each other… and obviously to celebrate the bride and groom. This sometimes is the first time the two families meet and it is important for the couple and their parents to make sure that everyone is introduced to each other. This dinner is traditionally highlighted by many toasts.
Who gives a toast at the rehearsal dinner and what is included in these?
The wedding party’s toasts may include jokes, tales, songs and poems about the bride and groom– as long as they are sentimental. Sometimes, the bride and groom speak; even if they don’t, they generally end the toasting by proposing a toast first to their parents and then their friends and family that are there.
Do you give gifts at the rehearsal dinner?
The rehearsal dinner is the perfect occasion for the maid of honor and best man to present the wedding party’s gift to the  bride and groom, followed by a speech or toast. The bride and groom may also give their gifts to the wedding party members and thank them with a speech or toast.
Scheme offers various packages to help with your planning process. Should you or your family need some advice on the rehearsal dinner, contact us for a complimentary consultation!