Planning your pre-wedding soirée but have no clue where to start? Don’t fret! We’ve come up with a helpful set of tips on how to organize a stress-free wedding rehearsal and dinner. 

From creating custom wedding invitations to throwing the toast, here’s your quick reference. 

What’s the Difference Between a Wedding Rehearsal and Wedding Dinner? 

There’s hardly any difference, really. The wedding rehearsal is a practice run of the wedding so the entourage knows their placement and duties during the wedding ceremony. After the rehearsal is over, the couple usually hosts a wedding dinner to allow family, friends and those in the entourage a chance to relax before the big day. 

Ideally, the wedding rehearsal and dinner happens the evening before the wedding day. But if you want to relax for a bit more, schedule it at least two days prior. 

Organizing Your Wedding Rehearsal 

Get Yourself a Wedding Coordinator 

Some brides are very hands on, but we always recommend having a wedding coordinator so you won’t be too stressed out. Once you have a coordinator, it’ll be their job to oversee the rehearsal and the wedding so you can focus on actually having fun and enjoying your big day. 

Decide on Entourage Pairings and Order of Entrance 

It’s best to decide on the pairings beforehand. Ideally, there should be an even number of bridesmaids to groomsmen, but you can also have two bridesmaids for a single groomsman. For entering, you can have the bridesmaids enter one by one while the groomsmen don’t need to walk and can stand by the groom near the altar. Make sure to consult your officiant before deciding on how the entourage will enter though as there might be specific rules depending on your religion.  

Give the Entourage A Quick Briefing of the Ceremony 

Give the guests of the rehearsal a run through of the order of the ceremony and give them a chance to ask questions if they have any. 

Practice the Recessional First 

Start by having the entourage seated where they need to be during the ceremony. Then have them practice the exit. 

The order is usually as follows: 

  • Couple
  • Maid of Honor with Best Man
  • Bridesmaid and Groomsmen
  • Bride’s Parents
  • Groom’s Parents
  • Remaining Guests Leave by Aisle

Practice The Processional 

When the group has left the area, line them up in the same order to start practicing for the processional sequence. For shorter aisles, have the next person wait until the first person is closer to the altar. For longer aisles, the second person can begin walking when the person before them has reached halfway. 

After the practice, give a briefing to your entourage about where to go after the ceremony. Maybe there’s still a photo session or you would like to provide transportation for them towards the reception. 

Celebrating the Rehearsal Dinner 

After you’re done with the rehearsal, the wedding dinner usually follows. Not only is it a chance to meet your family and entourage up close, but it also allows them to interact with each other. 

Who Pays for the Dinner? 

Usually, it’s the groom’s family that pays for the wedding dinner but you can make different arrangements depending on what you agree on. 

Who Should Be Present? 

Your immediate family and wedding guests, particularly those in the entourage, and close friends can come. The parents of the children attending as part of the entourage should also be invited. 

Family and friends who have arrived for the wedding from out of town would appreciate an invitation as well. If you’re throwing the wedding at a different destination, and some out-of-town guests are already there, it’s a good idea to extend the wedding dinner invitation to those already there. It doesn’t have to be a lavish dinner, a simple dessert party or a cocktail party is fine. 

What Kind of Dinner Should It Be? 

It can be as informal or formal as you want. Ideally though, you don’t want the rehearsal dinner to overshadow the main event – your wedding, so plan accordingly. 

Should You Send Invitations? 

If the wedding rehearsal and dinner is going to be a big deal, you can order custom invitations especially for the occasion. If it’s going to be a low-key affair, there’s no need for this. You can call the guests or send out online invites to inform them about the wedding dinner. Just let them know of the location and time.  

When sending out invitations for the rehearsal and dinner, send them out soon after you’ve sent the official wedding invitations. This way, guests have a chance to sort out their schedule and RSVP on time. 

Now that you have everything down to pat, just remember, the most important thing about your wedding rehearsal and dinner is to have a good time. It’s a special time where you’re surrounded by people you love and care for. These are people you have chosen to celebrate a very special moment in your life. 

If you want unique custom wedding invitations, My Lovely Store offers the best deals you can find. Get free shipping and custom wedding invitation designs with a wide selection of quality papers. Each invitation is handmade to deliver only the best quality. 

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us anytime. We’ll be glad to help.

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