The Best Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette Tips For A Perfect Event

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If you are planning a rehearsal dinner for a wedding, knowing how to act will help the event go well. Our rehearsal dinner etiquette guide will help you handle this important event gracefully and style before the wedding. Whether you’re the host or a guest, knowing the dos and don’ts of rehearsal dinner may help create a warm, welcoming atmosphere that sets the tone for the rest of the wedding party. So, let’s check with Viva Wedding Photography!

What is rehearsal dinner?

A rehearsal dinner is an event that takes place before a wedding. It usually happens the night before the wedding. It gives the wedding party, family, and close friends a chance to get together and run through the ceremony, toasts, and other parts of the big day. 

Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette
Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette – Photo by: Brides

The rehearsal dinner is a chance for the bride and groom to spend time with their family and friends and thank them for helping with the wedding. It also gives out-of-town guests a chance to meet and talk to each other before the big day. 

The rehearsal dinner can be anything from a formal sit-down meal to a casual barbecue or cocktail party. It can be held at a restaurant or a private home.

The Most Popular Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette Questions You Should Know

Who organizes the rehearsal dinner?

Traditionally, the groom’s family hosted and threw the rehearsal dinner, but nowadays, it can be the couple or either of the couple’s families. It may even be a blend of all parties at times.

Besides, regardless of who is in charge of organizing the event, correct etiquette rehearsal dinner is essential to ensure that the evening is joyful and stress-free for all guests.

Who will pay for the rehearsal dinner?

The groom’s family traditionally pays for the rehearsal dinner. However, paying for the rehearsal dinner might be shared between the bride’s and groom’s families or even divided among everyone participating, including the pair. It all comes down to the unique circumstances and choices of the persons involved.

On the other hand, having an open and honest dialogue about expectations and funds with all parties is ideal for determining who will pay for the rehearsal dinner. Besides, if parents or close relatives prepare a rehearsal dinner, they should consult with the bridal couple to avoid conflicts with the wedding’s theme, meal, or décor.

What location should the rehearsal dinner be held?

Closeness is very important. Try to have your rehearsal dinner within 20 miles of the hotel where your guests will be staying or near the place where your wedding will be held. 

rehearsal dinner etiquette location
Rehearsal Dinner Invitation Etiquette With Location – Photo by: Here Comes The Guide

Besides, remember that your guests are coming to celebrate your weekend, so they shouldn’t have to travel more than 45 minutes to get to the rehearsal dinner. So, people are always grateful if you give them clear directions or a ride.

How to invite guests to the rehearsal dinner?

Rehearsal dinner invitation etiquette is less formal than at the wedding. It doesn’t have to be a formal invitation, but everyone coming should get some sort of invitation. For example, an internet invitation or phone call is totally fine for a rehearsal dinner.

Generally, formal invitations sent by mail are sent with more formal events, whereas phone calls or electronic invitations are sent with more informal, laid-back events. On the other hand, we suggest including the rehearsal invitation with the main invitation suite to ensure the design is cohesive.

>>> Maybe you love: The Wedding Invitation Etiquette Guides For Avoid Mistakes

When should you send out invites to the rehearsal dinner?

Like any planned event, visitors should be made aware four to six weeks in advance to allow for planning. One cannot anticipate who will be invited to the rehearsal dinner because some couples invite only their immediate relatives, while others invite almost all their wedding guests. Hence, inform your visitors as soon as possible and with consideration.

Is a rehearsal dinner required?

No, it is not required to have a rehearsal dinner. Although some may disagree, the majority will state that the bride and groom should make the final decision. It is ultimately up to you, just like everything else about your special day!

Also, if you do choose to have a rehearsal dinner, it’s crucial to follow good rehearsal dinner etiquette and convey the specifics in advance to all attendees.

How formal should the rehearsal dinner be?

The formality of the rehearsal dinner is normally determined by the couple’s and their families wishes. The rehearsal dinner is typically less formal than the wedding ceremony and reception, but it may still be a pleasant opportunity to gather with close family and friends.

A rehearsal dinner might be as informal as a backyard BBQ or as formal as a sit-down dinner at a fine restaurant. When deciding on the formality of the rehearsal dinner, it is best to consider the overall wedding style and theme.

Etiquette Rehearsal Dinner With Formal Dinner
Etiquette Rehearsal Dinner With Formal Dinner – Photo by: DWP Insider

If the wedding is particularly traditional, the rehearsal dinner may be formal, such as a sit-down meal at a restaurant or a cocktail party in a fancy setting. If the wedding is more casual, the rehearsal dinner can be a more relaxing occasion, such as a backyard BBQ or a picnic in the park.

The most important element is that the rehearsal dinner reflects the couple’s style and tastes and that all attendees feel comfortable and welcomed.

Who people do you invite to a rehearsal dinner?

The rehearsal dinner is typically smaller and more intimate than the wedding ceremony and reception. It is reserved for immediate family members, wedding party members, and out-of-town visitors who have visited a considerable distance to attend the wedding. The guest list, however, can vary depending on the couple’s and their families tastes.

The bride and groom should pick who to invite to the rehearsal dinner, considering the venue’s size and the event’s budget. It’s also critical to maintain open lines of communication with both families to ensure everyone’s expectations are satisfied.

The following are some examples of typical guests that are usually invited to the rehearsal dinner:

  • The bride and groom’s immediate family members, including parents, siblings, and grandparents.
  • Bridesmaids, groomsmen, ushers, flower girls, and ring bearers make up the wedding party.
  • Guests from out of town who have traveled a significant distance to attend the wedding.
  • The official and his or her spouse or partner.
  • Friends or family members who have played a vital role in the couple’s lives.

Generally, the rehearsal dinner guest list should be maintained at a moderate number so that the couple and their families may spend quality time with their guests before the wedding day.

When will the rehearsal dinner be held?

The rehearsal dinner is usually held the night before the wedding, following the wedding rehearsal. The wedding rehearsal usually takes place at the wedding venue, and it is an opportunity for the wedding party to practice the ceremony and get familiar with the venue layout.

The dinner follows the wedding rehearsal, allowing the couple and their families to congregate and celebrate before the big day. The rehearsal dinner can occur in various locations, including a restaurant, hotel, private residence, or event facility.

It is critical to organize the rehearsal dinner so that the couple and their guests can rest and prepare for the wedding day. The rehearsal dinner is usually held in the evening, beginning at 6:00 pm and lasting a few hours. This allows the bridal party and guests to rest before the big day. However, based on the wedding date and the preferences of the couple and their family, the actual timing of the rehearsal dinner may vary.

The Useful “Do’s and Don’ts” Tips Of Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette

“Do's and Don'ts” Tips Of Etiquette For Rehearsal Dinner
“Do’s and Don’ts” Tips Of Etiquette For Rehearsal Dinner

A wedding rehearsal supper is a special event that brings together the wedding party, close family members, and other essential guests. So, these are some wedding etiquette for rehearsal dinner dos and don’ts to remember:


  • Invite all wedding party members and close family members to the rehearsal dinner. Out-of-town visitors who have traveled far to attend the wedding are also welcome.
  • Do inform all guests about the rehearsal dinner in advance, including the date, time, location, and dress code.
  • Make a point of thanking all the guests who attended the rehearsal dinner and contributed to the wedding.
  • Consider giving each guest a modest gift or goodie as a sign of thanks.
  • Plan some enjoyable activities or games for the guests, such as a quiz game about the couple or a photo treasure hunt.


  • Don’t make the rehearsal dinner too formal or stiff. This event should be fun and laid-back, not like a continuation of the wedding ceremony.
  • Don’t forget to consider any food allergies or restrictions your guests may have. Make sure to have options for people who don’t eat meat or who can’t eat gluten.
  • Don’t drag out the rehearsal dinner too much. Keep the event to a reasonable length so guests can rest and prepare for the wedding.
  • Don’t forget to thank the people who have helped with the rehearsal dinner. A small gift or note written by hand is a kind thing to do.
  • Don’t discuss anything that could cause a fight at the rehearsal dinner. Keep the talk light and friendly so everyone can enjoy the evening.

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In conclusion, knowing the rules of rehearsal dinner etiquette is crucial for making the evening successful and making everyone feel welcome. So, consider these suggestions for Viva Wedding Photography and work hard to create a friendly and inviting ambiance. In that case, your rehearsal dinner will surely set the stage for a wonderful wedding celebration. 

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