Wedding planning can be quite a stressor. You may be considering skipping a rehearsal dinner because planning one more thing might put your anxiety on the edge. However, a rehearsal dinner will most likely have the opposite effect.

A rehearsal dinner can help to calm you and your fiancé down and allow for quality time with your closest friends and family before the busy day.

What is a wedding rehearsal dinner?

This is often the most beloved event of the entire wedding tradition. It was developed centuries ago to welcome guests who may have traveled for days to get to the wedding.

The rehearsal dinner is for anyone involved in the wedding rehearsal, and it is often held the evening before the wedding, right after the actual rehearsal. That said, there are no hard-fast rules. For example, can have a rehearsal brunch vs. a dinner. Some couples even opt to have their rehearsal dinner the day after the wedding.

Rehearsal dinners can be as fancy or casual as you’d like. They often involve a warm welcome, introductions, a speech or two (though primary speeches should be saved for the actual wedding), toasts, and a quick wrap-up (with any last-minute announcements or reminders about the wedding).

If you’re contemplating whether a rehearsal dinner is necessary, here are five reasons why hosting a rehearsal dinner is the right move.

1. Perfect Excuse for Relaxation

You have been working with your wedding planner for months to plan the dreamiest luxury wedding. It has been exhausting, but everything is set in motion, so you deserve to sit and relax with good company.

When everyone has a chance to unwind, they’ll go into the wedding more relaxed. This can counter the sometimes-frenetic nature of the wedding and set a lovely tone for the big day.

2. Builds Relationships

A rehearsal dinner is a perfect opportunity to have an intimate gathering with your close friends and family—and some soon-to-be family members you don’t know all that well. It’s a low-pressure environment where your families can get to know each other while breaking bread.

Sometimes the wedding is such a blur that you forget to say hi to certain people. The rehearsal dinner is a great chance to give your attention to friends and family that traveled far to support you and your partner. The dinner may turn into a memory that you will never forget.

3. A Perfect Chance to Give Gifts

This is the ideal time to give gifts to your bridal parties, parents, and anyone you want to show appreciation for. Great gift ideas include:
For bridesmaids:

  • Jewelry
  • Embroidered clutches
  • Bridal party pajamas
  • Robes to get ready in
  • Custom drink tumblers
  • Custom compact mirrors
  • Themed candles
  • Personalized picture frames
  • Monogrammed champagne glasses
  • Nail polish that matches your wedding colors
  • Travel makeup bags
  • Pampering skincare

For Groomsmen:

  • Engraved cuff links
  • Matching ties
  • Fun socks for great photo ops
  • On-theme baseball caps
  • Custom bottle opener
  • Etched pocket knives
  • Custom shot glasses
  • Travel tie case
  • Travel cosmetic bag
  • Matching sunglasses
  • Embroidered pocket squares
  • Custom golf balls

For Parents:

  • Personalized handkerchief
  • Custom picture frames
  • Custom canvas prints (perhaps of a landmark from the wedding city)
  • Tie with an engraved message on the back (for Dad)
  • Earrings to wear on the wedding day (for mom)
  • Custom cutting board
  • Wedding-themed candle
  • Wine or champagne with custom labels
  • Custom blanket
  • Custom clock
  • Personalized wine glasses
  • Spa package to destress after the wedding is over

4. The Cherry on Top of the Wedding Rehearsal

The wedding rehearsal is necessary before your wedding day, but it’s a more logistical affair with cues and time frames, and positioning. Everyone, however, loves dinner.

The wedding rehearsal will help you and your fiancé feel ready to conquer your wedding day and give you peace of mind. The dinner afterward is the cherry on top. Most of your loved ones will be willing to endure “aisle-walking practice” and “pretend reception entering” if they know there’s a lovely dinner awaiting them afterward.

5. It’s Your One Last “Thank You” Before the Big Day

A rehearsal dinner is a way to thank your closest friends and family for being by your side throughout wedding planning, life, and all the celebrations and for showing up for the wedding rehearsal.

The wedding day might be so busy and eventful that you may want to carve out time at the rehearsal dinner to pull loved ones aside and express your gratitude to them. One-on-one encounters may be the perfect time to disperse those unique gifts and see the looks on everyone’s faces when they see what you got for them.

Here are a few pro tips for your wedding rehearsal dinner:

  • Make sure your photographer is there. This will likely be an opportunity to capture some of the most intimate portraits of the wedding, as you will be surrounded by your closest loved ones in a relaxed setting.
  • Pick a theme. All events work better when they’re centered on a theme.
  • Don’t make it so elaborate that it overshadows the wedding. Remember, this should be relaxing!
  • End at a reasonable hour. Even though it may be tempting to extend the fun, you’ll want to look and feel rested for the big day.
  • Don’t overeat. You’ll thank yourself when you can still fit into your gown or tux the next day.

From the moment you got engaged, you’ve had many celebrations, festivities, planning meetings, cake tastings, and decision-making. You may have been so wrapped up in planning that you sometimes forgot to enjoy the process.

This is your chance to soak it all in. A rehearsal dinner can be an extraordinary and intimate gathering to show appreciation, get pictures, exchange gifts, and enjoy your time with loved ones. Whether you’re planning a huge luxury wedding or a micro wedding in D.C., Dallas, or Los Angeles, we can help with all of the wedding festivities. Contact us today.