Pre-wedding Parties

Rehearsal Dinner Traditions

KnottieTaylorKnottieTaylor
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edited December 2015 in Pre-wedding Parties
I've been to very few weddings and am unclear as to what a rehearsal dinner entails. Any guidance in this department would be much appreciated.

We are planning on a pre-wedding cocktail attire dinner the night before with only our two parties and immediate family members present. That's 21 guests total, including ourselves. We will also have our photographer there to capture candids during this time.

The idea is to make this our fun time with close family and friends, complete with any silly speeches and dancing that may have occurred at a lengthier reception on our wedding day.

Has anyone done a pre-wedding dinner of the sort that could advise?

Re: Rehearsal Dinner Traditions

  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston
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    I've been to very few weddings and am unclear as to what a rehearsal dinner entails. Any guidance in this department would be much appreciated. We are planning on a pre-wedding cocktail attire dinner the night before with only our two parties and immediate family members present. That's 21 guests total, including ourselves. We will also have our photographer there to capture candids during this time. The idea is to make this our fun time with close family and friends, complete with any silly speeches and dancing that may have occurred at a lengthier reception on our wedding day. Has anyone done a pre-wedding dinner of the sort that could advise?
    Our rehearsal dinner was rather laid-back.  The only "speeches" we had was a quick "thank you for being a part of our special day" from me & my husband.  

    As long as you invite anyone who participates in the rehearsal as one of your guests of honor (bridal party, reader, etc) and their significant other, you're good to go!



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    KnottieTaylorInLoveInQueensMesmrEwe
  • we don't want speeches at our reception so thinking current plan is if people want to say something it'll happen at the rehearsal dinner. the only real speeches at the reception will be a parents and b&g thank you . if your making a seating plan i'd suggest it looking slightly different then the reception so people can meet and chat with more guests 
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  • We had a casual dinner at a mexican place with just our wedding party, their SO's, and our immediate family. We didn't have any speeches really since we went around the room and said thank you to everyone individually. It was mostly just drinks, good food, and conversation. We gave our wedding party, reader and parents their thank you gifts at the dinner. There was a seating chart and we did mix it up a bit from the wedding but not too much since like with the wedding seating chart we grouped people with people they know/like or would get along with.
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  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs
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    I've been to very few weddings and am unclear as to what a rehearsal dinner entails. Any guidance in this department would be much appreciated. We are planning on a pre-wedding cocktail attire dinner the night before with only our two parties and immediate family members present. That's 21 guests total, including ourselves. We will also have our photographer there to capture candids during this time. The idea is to make this our fun time with close family and friends, complete with any silly speeches and dancing that may have occurred at a lengthier reception on our wedding day. Has anyone done a pre-wedding dinner of the sort that could advise?
    What type of reception are you planning for after your wedding ceremony?   Your wording makes it sound as if your wedding day has already happened.  A rehearsal dinner is typically a more casual dinner given to thank your wedding party for attending a rehearsal for your ceremony.  Many rehearsals I have attended try not to be too prolonged, since the following day is typically an early start and a long day.
    lc07InLoveInQueens
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall
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    I've never heard of dancing at a rehearsal dinner, just people sitting around eating dinner and talking. 
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    lc07InLoveInQueens
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    AddieCake said:
    I've never heard of dancing at a rehearsal dinner, just people sitting around eating dinner and talking. 
    Me neither.  At my brother's rehearsal dinner, he and my now-SIL gave their bridal party gifts and there were toasts. There doesn't need to be anything more than that besides good food and conversation to make it fun-certainly not dancing.
    JCocco219InLoveInQueens
  • You need to make sure the significant others of your wedding party are also invited.


  • To be clear, we aren't aiming for your typical rehearsal dinner. That's why we're calling it a pre-wedding cocktail attire event and asking if anyone has done anything out of the box like this that could give any suggestions.

    Our wedding day is going to be very short and casual, so we're having a more fun dressed up event the night before with immediate family and both parties.

    Thanks!
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's
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    To be clear, we aren't aiming for your typical rehearsal dinner. That's why we're calling it a pre-wedding cocktail attire event and asking if anyone has done anything out of the box like this that could give any suggestions. Our wedding day is going to be very short and casual, so we're having a more fun dressed up event the night before with immediate family and both parties. Thanks!
    My SIL had a fancy rehearsal dinner. It was at a very nice restaurant, private room. They had a signature cocktail for both the bride and groom, but open bar to order anything you'd like. Other than that it was pretty standard, drinks, dinner, gifts for wedding party. I think if you have an open bar and good food your guests will be happy. 

    To me it would seem out of place to have dancing at the rehearsal dinner. I really liked that I was able to just relax and talk to people at mine. It seems like you are unhappy with how short or casual your wedding is and are trying to make up for it by having a big party the night before. I mean it's up to you but to me it almost seems tiered because while yes it's common to only invite wedding party and immediate family to a rehearsal dinner you are making yours more like a reception and then not having a big reception for your guests. Of course that's completely within your rights and I don't think you are technically breaching etiquette it just could be perceived that way.

    If you feel like you are missing out on dancing or a party atmosphere maybe add that to your reception so all of your guests can join in. 
    This.  There is nothing wrong with having a fancy RD.  But it does sound like you are trying to make up for the fact that you aren't having the typical wedding reception with this dinner.  If dancing, etc are important to you then you may want to rethink your wedding plans, because a wedding-esque RD is not going to take the place of your actual wedding day reception, no matter how much you want it to.

    MyNameIsNotdowntondivaInLoveInQueens
  • Dancing is of the least importance to me, and I'm very happy with how short and casual our day will be. I'm the one planning and putting together the entire thing. Lol

    I was just looking for a creative pre-wedding dinner that is different than your typical rehearsal dinner.

    Thanks!
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston
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    To be clear, we aren't aiming for your typical rehearsal dinner. That's why we're calling it a pre-wedding cocktail attire event and asking if anyone has done anything out of the box like this that could give any suggestions. Our wedding day is going to be very short and casual, so we're having a more fun dressed up event the night before with immediate family and both parties. Thanks!
    Just to clarify ... are you spending more energy and money on the rehearsal dinner than the wedding reception?  It seems odd that you're focusing more on having a better celebration for a subset of your guests.

    I went to a dressy rehearsal dinner once.  It didn't involve dancing ... it was nice dinner, drinks, and the bride's brothers made a hilariously embarassing "this is your life" video (she loved it).  The wedding was an evening wedding and the reception was at a very nice venue.  The level of formality was the same for both the RD and the reception.



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    InLoveInQueens
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's
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    Dancing is of the least importance to me, and I'm very happy with how short and casual our day will be. I'm the one planning and putting together the entire thing. Lol I was just looking for a creative pre-wedding dinner that is different than your typical rehearsal dinner. Thanks!
    Well unless you want to have the dinner at Chuck E Cheese, most adults are perfectly happy and content with a yummy dinner and pleasant company. Trying to be different usually comes off as you looking like you are trying too hard.  Just stick with something you know people will enjoy rather then try to do something 'unique/different' that could backfire big time.

    adk19InLoveInQueens
  • What about something like a bowling alley (in big cities they often have more upscale bowling alleys to cater to corporate events), a brewery (you could host a tour of the brewery and then have dinner/drinks after), or a museum/ art gallery? (where you can walk around during cocktail hour and then have a seated dinner). You could also plan a more formal sit down dinner and then have an activity afterward. A friend of mine did that and the bar we all went to after the dinner had volleyball outside and pool and darts inside. It was a lot of fun and gave everyone plenty of time to mingle!

  • @mauiwowie9 I didn't even think about a brewery tour and that's one of our favorite things to go to as a couple.

    Thanks for the suggestion!
  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA
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    I've been to very few weddings and am unclear as to what a rehearsal dinner entails. Any guidance in this department would be much appreciated. We are planning on a pre-wedding cocktail attire dinner the night before with only our two parties and immediate family members present. That's 21 guests total, including ourselves. We will also have our photographer there to capture candids during this time. The idea is to make this our fun time with close family and friends, complete with any silly speeches and dancing that may have occurred at a lengthier reception on our wedding day. Has anyone done a pre-wedding dinner of the sort that could advise?
    You don't get to tell your guests how to dress.



    lc07InLoveInQueens
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs
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    Sigh......apparently now there will only be enough cake at the post wedding event to serve "a little over half" the guest count.  I guess they are also being told what, or what not, they can eat.
    InLoveInQueens
  • MobKaz said:
    Sigh......apparently now there will only be enough cake at the post wedding event to serve "a little over half" the guest count.  I guess they are also being told what, or what not, they can eat.
    I wonder if she is part of the couple who are having their wedding in the middle of PA and are telling people where they can and cannot stay...
    banana468lembasloverkimmiinthemittenInLoveInQueens
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall
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    MobKaz said:
    Sigh......apparently now there will only be enough cake at the post wedding event to serve "a little over half" the guest count.  I guess they are also being told what, or what not, they can eat.

    Oh, HELL no!
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
    image
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