Confused about what a rehearsal dinner actually is? Well, to make things simple, a rehearsal dinner is an event that follows the wedding rehearsal (usually requested by the officiant), and can take on pretty much any style, depending on your vision. Traditionally, the rehearsal dinner falls on the eve of the wedding ceremony and includes the couple’s families, the bridal party, and welcomes spouses and parents. Wedding Rehearsal Basics As far as the wedding rehearsal goes, it is typically a short meeting at the ceremony site the day prior to the wedding. Anyone involved in the wedding ceremony will be given a rundown of what to expect for the big day. The entire bridal party, attendants, readers, and the couple’s parents will be given the layout of the ceremony site, and will walk through the ceremony practices. Wedding rehearsals are not required, but typically recommended by the officiants and guarantee everyone is on the same page on the day of. After the rehearsal, the fun starts! The rehearsal dinner is traditionally the first celebration of the wedding. Rehearsal Dinner Basics Couples can be as creative or traditional as they’d like. However, the rehearsal dinner is typically hosted and paid for by the groom’s parents (another reason it is sometimes called the groom’s dinner). Dinners should also include the couple’s closest family members, and their entire bridal party. Toasting the bride and groom is common at these as well. Who hosts the rehearsal dinner? Traditionally, the groom’s parents host, but it is becoming more and more common for the bride’s parents to help host as well. Since the bride and groom typically don’t pay for the rehearsal dinner, it is important to let the parents plan it. The bride should kindly inform the parents of all the wants and needs that she expects to be fulfilled and then let them take it from there. As far as location goes, it can be held just about anywhere! Whether it’s your favorite restaurant, a park, or your own backyard, there are no limits when it comes to the venue. Who’s invited to a rehearsal dinner? That’s up to you! The bride and groom should create a guest list that reflects their style. Whether the couple wishes for an intimate dinner exclusive to immediate family and the bridal party, or wishes to welcome their extended families and wedding guests that traveled into town that day, is their decision. What are we missing? Don’t forget the best part: having fun! This is the first bash of your wedding celebration, make it memorable! Socialize with all the guests in attendance and get to know your groom’s family. Rehearsal dinners give you the chance to break the ice amongst the guests that are most important to you. Also, it is a perfect time to thank your bridal party with a token of your appreciation. Although your guests may be eager to toast you, be careful to not drink too much – it is the night before your wedding! Graciously accept every toast, and if you’re comfortable, make a toast of your own in appreciation to all your guests. Want more? Like Wedding Shoppe Inc. on Facebook & Follow Wedding Shoppe Inc. on Twitter! Stay tuned to My Wedding Chat for more wedding planning advice, and news about new bridal collections.