Traditionally rehearsal dinners were hosted by the groom’s family for the bridal party and the minister and his wife after the rehearsal of the marriage ceremony (usually a day or two before the wedding). Today, however, they rules of etiquette are not so strict and the rehearsal dinner can be hosted by the bride and groom themselves or even the bride’s family. Invitations are also usually now extended to out of town guests and close family and friends. The purpose of the rehearsal dinner is to thank those involved in the wedding preparations but it is also a great opportunity for the couple to spend some extra time with their loved ones before their big day. The event also serves as a fantastic opportunity to reacquaint family members and friends before the wedding. Toasts (or roasts as they are called) are usually made in the couple’s honour and it is quite common for the couple to hand out small gifts to those involved in the wedding preparations. A rehearsal dinner can be held anywhere – what about having outside caterers coming into your home if you can accommodate the numbers around your table and be waited on? Or, rent out a restaurant or speak with your wedding venue – they may have another suitable function room within the hotel for you to host a rehearsal dinner. Whatever suits the couple’s taste and financial situation best.
What do you think? Are you getting married soon and have your families met yet? Give us your stories
Stephanie Thorne – Our US expert