The holidays have come and gone and it was high time for engagements. 26 Percent of marriage proposals, according to a survey of 1,131 brides sponsored by the Fairchild Bridal Group, the publisher of “Modern Bride,” happen between November and December. If you are one of the new brides-to-be out there, the planning fever will soon be upon you, if it hasn’t already set in. One of the wedding events that tends to cause some stress for the bride and groom is the rehearsal dinner. Who do you invite, who don’t you invite. Will you be able to keep everyone on time? Here are a few ideas that we find help keep things running smoothly on the eve of your big day.
1. The Venue
Start here. You know that your wedding venue must be booked many months in advance, so don’t wait too long to book the rehearsal dinner too. Usually 2-3 months ahead of time should work, unless you’re looking to have it somewhere more exclusive.
2. The Date
The traditional day to have the rehearsal dinner is the day before the wedding. Remember though that the festivities of the night on the eve of your wedding so soon before your nuptials may affect the overall energy of your actual big day. Perhaps plan the rehearsal dinner early in the evening, allowing everyone to catch their breath and enjoy the moment before you say, “I do.”
3. The Guest List
Traditional guest lists include: parents, immediate family members, the wedding party and their spouses or dates, flower girls, ring bearers, and their parents, the officiant and his or her spouse. You can always expand from here, but these are the non-negotiables.
4. The Ambiance
You want your rehearsal dinner to be more informal and intimate than your wedding. This should be a chance for the two of your families to spend time getting to know each other. Plan for mingling, talking, and enjoying each other’s company.
5. The Outfit
You will want to look just as fabulous for your rehearsal dinner as you will for your big day. Be sure the choose an appropriate dress that will capture the beauty and importance of the event, but still be comfortable enough for you to enjoy your meal and mingling with your guests. Most brides will want something short and fun for the dinner. This is also something that can probably be worn again, perhaps even during your honeymoon on a special dinner out.
Here is a place where it’s up to you to decide which way you want to go. Right now when brides are doing all kinds of invites from emails to formal letterpressed invitations, it’s completely up to you. However you choose to send the invite for the wedding, an invite should be sent for the rehearsal dinner. It’s correct etiquette and an RSVP is going to be needed for a head count for your caterer.