Groom Survival Guide: The Rehearsal Dinner

By  The Groom Club Editors 
Updated on 09/23/22
Groom Hacks

Part of the Groom Hacks

Groom Survival Guide: The Rehearsal Dinner

By  The Groom Club Editors 
Updated on 09/23/22

Couple Celebrating

So, the big day is coming up soon. Your wedding! You’ve probably been planning it for months now, and one of the final tasks on your to-do list is to plan your rehearsal dinner. This can be a fun event, but it can also be tricky to get right. What should you do? Who should be invited? How should you dress? 

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this blog post, we will give you all the information you need to plan a successful rehearsal dinner!

The Importance of Having a Rehearsal Dinner

First things first, let’s talk about why you should have a rehearsal dinner in the first place. A lot of couples see this event as an unnecessary added expense, but we beg to differ. A rehearsal dinner is actually a really important part of the wedding process! 

It gives you a chance to relax and bond with your closest family and friends before the big day. It also allows you to go over final details with your wedding party, like the order of the ceremony, who will be standing where, etc.

So, while a rehearsal dinner may not be *mandatory*, we would highly recommend it! Now that we’ve convinced you of the importance of this event, let’s move on to planning it.

Who to Invite to Your Rehearsal Dinner

Abstract image of an e-invite being sent on a phone

This is probably the most common question we get about rehearsal dinners. Who should you invite? The answer is actually pretty simple: anyone in your wedding party, plus their significant others. 

So, that means your parents, siblings, bridesmaids, groomsmen, etc. If someone in your wedding party is single and doesn’t have a plus-one, they are still invited! Don’t forget your marriage officiant.

You may also want to invite other close family members and friends, but this is completely up to you. If you want to keep the event small and intimate, that’s perfectly fine. But if you want to invite everyone under the sun, that’s okay too! 

It’s really up to you and what you envision for your rehearsal dinner. Just keep in mind that it may be inconvenient for some people to travel to the rehearsal dinner if it’s not close to the wedding venue.

What to Do at Your Rehearsal Dinner

A rehearsal dinner invitation

So, what should you actually do at your rehearsal dinner? Well, the answer to this question depends on how formal or informal you want the event to be. A lot of couples like to keep things pretty low-key, and we would recommend doing the same if you’re feeling stressed about wedding planning. After all, this is supposed to be a fun event!

That being said, there are a few things you should definitely do at your rehearsal dinner. First, you should rehearse the ceremony! This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many couples forget to do this. You don’t need to go through the entire ceremony, but it’s important to at least walk through it once so everyone knows what’s supposed to happen.

Second, you should use this opportunity to thank your wedding party for all their help. A lot of people forget that being in a wedding is actually a lot of work! Your bridesmaids and groomsmen have been there for you every step of the way, so take a minute to thank them. You can do this in a formal speech, or you can just say a few words before dinner. Either way, they will appreciate it!

Third, you should use this time to go over any final details with your wedding party. This is your last chance to make sure everyone is on the same page before the big day. Go over the order of the ceremony, who will be standing where, what time everyone needs to be ready, etc. This will help ensure that everything goes smoothly on your wedding day.

How to Dress for Your Rehearsal Dinner

A well-dressed couple

Now let’s talk about what to wear to your rehearsal dinner. The dress code for this event is usually pretty casual, but that doesn’t mean you should just throw on a pair of jeans and call it good. After all, this is still a special occasion! We would recommend wearing something nice but comfortable, like a sundress or khaki pants. You don’t need to go overboard, but it’s important to look presentable.

As for the groom, he should wear something similar to what he will be wearing on the big day. This will help everyone get used to seeing him in his wedding attire, and it will also give you a chance to make sure everything fits properly. Groomsmen should also wear something similar to what they will be wearing on the big day.

And for the bride, if she hasn’t already picked out a dress, now is the time! She can wear whatever she wants, but we recommend wearing something similar to what she will be wearing on the big day and not the actual dress so the groom can appreciate the surprise.

Of course, you should always consult with your wedding planner or coordinator before making any final decisions about what to wear. They will be able to give you specific advice based on your wedding location and theme.

Rehearsal Dinner Agenda

Cheers: Two wine glasses sharing a toast

Now that you know who to invite and what to wear, let’s talk about the actual agenda for the evening. The first order of business is, of course, the rehearsal! This is where you will walk through the ceremony and make sure everyone knows what they’re supposed to do.

After the rehearsal, it’s time for speeches! This is your chance to thank your wedding party and anyone else who has helped you with wedding planning. You can also use this time to say a few words about your partner and what you’re looking forward to on the big day.

Then, it’s time for dinner! You can either have a sit-down meal or do something more informal like appetizers and drinks. If you’re doing a sit-down meal, be sure to make any dietary accommodations for your guests. And if you’re doing appetizers and drinks, be sure to have plenty of non-alcoholic options available as well. 

After dinner, you can either do more speeches or just socialize and have fun! This is your last chance to spend time with your wedding party and close family before the big day, so make the most of it.

Extra Tips

Here are a few extra tips to keep in mind as you plan your rehearsal dinner:

  • Make sure you give yourself enough time to actually rehearse! We recommend doing a mental run-through at least once before the rehearsal dinner.
  • Don’t forget to bring your marriage license! This is an important document that you will need on the big day.
  • Have a backup plan in case of bad weather. If you’re planning an outdoor rehearsal, make sure you have a backup indoor location just in case.
  • Plan for transportation. If you’re having the rehearsal dinner at a different location than the wedding, make sure you have transportation arranged for yourself and your guests.
  • Make sure to thank your parents! This is a big day for them too, and they’ve probably been helping you out a lot. A simple thank-you speech during the rehearsal dinner is a great way to show your appreciation.

Don’t stress out too much, you are still the top priority. Ellie Walters from FindPeopleFaster says “Brides and grooms have a habit of getting so engrossed in trying to ensure that everything turns out perfectly that they tend to ignore themselves.” You can’t go to your own rehearsal dinner looking worn-out and tired!

 

An infographic providing extra tips to keep in mind as you plan your rehearsal dinner

 

Final Thoughts

We hope this guide has been helpful! Planning a rehearsal dinner doesn’t have to be stressful. Just relax, take your time, and enjoy the process. And above all else, don’t forget to have fun! After all, this is a celebration of your upcoming wedding. 

Thanks for reading! ‘Til next time, happy wedding planning!