Not A Drill: Your Rehearsal Dinner Planning Guide

Rehearsal Dinner Planning. Evermore Occasions.

Congratulations on your engagement! Planning your rehearsal dinner can seem overwhelming at first – but with some careful thought and organization, it will all come together beautifully. Here’s everything you need to know about planning your rehearsal dinner, from start to finish:

1. Decide on a budget and stick to it – The amount you’ll spend on your rehearsal dinner will depend on the type of event you’re planning and the number of guests attending. Talk to any relevant wedding donors (aka parents), plan ahead, and come up with an affordable budget that works for everyone involved.

2. Choose a menu – Food is the main event of your evening, so you’ll want to choose a menu that’s sure to please your guests. Consider any dietary restrictions or allergies that may be present and try to create a menu that caters to everyone, while picking a different cuisine than what will be served on the wedding day. Regarding alcohol, don’t be afraid to offer just beer or wine with dinner. There will be plenty of time for booze the next day, and you want to be clear-eyed on your wedding morning!

3. Set the date and time – Don’t forget to consider the logistical details when planning your rehearsal dinner. Talk to your wedding planner and your wedding venue to decide on a rehearsal date and time BEFORE you book your dinner! Make sure to account for travel time if your rehearsal and rehearsal dinner will be in separate locations.

4. Choose a location – Northern Virginia has no shortage of incredible venues, from historic castles to modern-day wineries. Talk to your wedding planner about finding the perfect spot for your rehearsal dinner celebration. If renting a venue is out of your financial comfort zone, consider hosting a more casual event in your home with heavy appetizers, grazing boards, and champagne.

5. Invite your guests – Once the details are finalized, it’s time to spread the word about your rehearsal dinner. Send out invitations in advance and include all the important information such as date, time, location, menu, and dress code. Anyone who is attending the rehearsal, as well as their plus ones, should be invited.

6. Consider micro-events – The rehearsal dinner is a nice chance for those who will not speak at your wedding reception to give a toast. Common examples are bridal party members, siblings, and any parents who will not be giving a toast. As with the wedding day, we recommend limiting to five toasts. If you are going to have an “open mic” portion, inform your guests of that in advance so they can prepare. The rehearsal dinner is also a nice chance to give out any bridal party or parent gifts along with a thoughtful thank you speech. This is especially important if the gifts would be too large to carry with them on your wedding day.

These tips will help you plan a beautiful and memorable rehearsal dinner that everyone can enjoy

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