Skip to Content

What is supposed to happen at the wedding rehearsal dinner?

If you’re wondering what a rehearsal dinner is, it’s plain and simple. Rehearsal Dinners are an opportunity for the wedding party to have a practice run for their wedding day and celebrate with their family and friends. It’s a relatively informal event where the bride and groom, their family members, and the bridal party can relax and enjoy some good food and good company. The following are what you can expect to happen at a wedding rehearsal dinner.

Who usually attends the rehearsal dinner?

The wedding rehearsal dinner is usually an intimate event, with around 30 to 50 guests. The guest list typically includes the bride and groom’s immediate families, the wedding party, and a few close family members and friends. This event is an excellent opportunity for the wedding party to interact and socialize with each other before the big day.

What’s the purpose of the rehearsal dinner?

The primary purpose of the rehearsal dinner is to run through the order of events for the wedding day and take care of any minor issues that may arise. This day is also a chance for guests to get to know each other and create an intimate ambiance for the wedding day. The rehearsal dinner event can be as formal or as casual as the bride and groom prefer.

When should the rehearsal dinner take place?

Although the event usually happens the night before the wedding, some couples choose to hold it a few nights before the wedding day. You can also hold the rehearsal dinner on the day of the wedding, but it should be held earlier in the day, allowing everyone to get some rest before the wedding ceremony.

What happens during the rehearsal dinner?

Typically, the bride’s family or the groom’s family will host the rehearsal dinner. A private room or an outdoor space like a garden, a patio, or a beach are popular choices of venue. The rehearsal dinner usually starts with a cocktail hour, followed by a seated dinner. The bride and groom, the bridal party, and their families sit at a long table with the bride and groom at the head table. The guests sit comfortably around the room with tables set up for a more intimate atmosphere.

Toasts and Speeches

Throughout the dinner, there are usually a few speeches and toasts from the parents, the best man, and the maid of honor. These speeches should not be too lengthy so that the guests don’t get bored. They should also be genuine, heartfelt, and appropriately express the feelings of the speaker about the couple getting married.

Casual conversation and entertainment

After the speeches, the rest of the event is more laid-back and less formal. The guests enjoy casual conversation, get to know each other, share stories, and have some fun. Guests can also engage in some lighthearted entertainment such as group games, storytelling, and board games.


On your wedding day, it’s important to have fun and celebrate with your family and friends, and that’s precisely what a rehearsal dinner is all about. It’s an opportunity to relax and prepare for the big day and enjoy some quality time with those closest to you. The rehearsal dinner is a small but integral part of the wedding celebration, and event planning should make it a memorable night for both you and your wedding guests.


What do you actually do at a rehearsal dinner?

A rehearsal dinner is typically a pre-wedding event that takes place after a wedding rehearsal. The purpose of this dinner is to bring together the wedding party and close family members before the big day. The rehearsal dinner provides an opportunity for everyone to relax, celebrate, and get to know each other better.

One of the common things that people do at a rehearsal dinner is to give speeches. The fathers of the bride and groom typically give speeches during the dinner as a way of welcoming all the guests. It’s also not uncommon for other members of the bridal party to give speeches to share memories of their time with the bride and groom.

Rehearsal dinners provide a great opportunity for sharing special stories and memories with your loved ones. If you have some amazing stories to tell about the bride and groom, this is the perfect time to share them. While speeches can be emotional and heartfelt, they can also be hilarious and entertaining.

It is also a great opportunity to include other guests in the conversation. This doesn’t always have to be through speeches but through activities, such as trivia games about the couple or other fun activities and games. You can also choose to invite guests to share their stories and special memories about the couple.

Whatever activities you decide to partake in at the rehearsal dinner, make sure that everyone is comfortable and enjoying themselves. Remember, this is a time to have fun and enjoy the company of the special people in your life. By doing this, you’ll set a positive and joyous tone that will carry over into the wedding day itself.

Do guests bring anything to a rehearsal dinner?

When it comes to wedding-related events, gift-giving can be a confusing topic. One event that often causes confusion is the rehearsal dinner. The rehearsal dinner is typically held the night before the wedding and involves the wedding party and immediate family members. It’s a chance to rehearse the ceremony, enjoy a meal together, and have some quality time before the big day.

So, do guests bring anything to a rehearsal dinner? The short answer is no. Guests generally do not bring gifts to the rehearsal dinner. However, this can vary depending on the host’s preferences or regional customs. Some hosts may ask guests to bring a dish or contribute to the meal in some way, but this is not typically considered a gift.

Traditionally, the rehearsal dinner is hosted by the groom’s family. This means that they are responsible for providing the food and drinks for the event. If the bride’s family is co-hosting the rehearsal dinner, they may offer to contribute to the cost of the event.

That being said, it is not uncommon for the bride and groom to exchange gifts with their attendants at the rehearsal dinner. Bridesmaids and groomsmen often receive gifts as a token of appreciation for their participation in the wedding. These gifts can range from jewelry to personalized items to practical items for the wedding day.

It’s important to note that if guests want to give a gift to the bride and groom, they should save it for the wedding day. Gift-giving is a traditional part of the wedding celebration, and guests are expected to bring gifts to the wedding reception. Even if a guest cannot attend the wedding, it’s still expected that they will send a gift to the newlyweds.

Guests typically do not bring gifts to the rehearsal dinner. While the bride and groom may exchange gifts with their attendants, guests are not expected to bring anything. Gift-giving is reserved for the wedding day, and guests should plan to bring a gift to the reception or send one if they cannot attend.

What is proper rehearsal etiquette?

Proper rehearsal etiquette is crucial for a productive and stress-free rehearsal environment. One of the most important things to keep in mind is to be courteous to your colleagues. This means being aware of your surroundings and positioning yourself so that both you and your stand partner have enough arm and leg room and can see the music comfortably. If you’re playing in a large ensemble, it’s also important to be mindful of the people around or behind you. Don’t hesitate to ask them if they can see the conductor or if you can move a little to give them a little more space.

Another key aspect of proper rehearsal etiquette is to be aware of your volume level. For example, tuning can be quite loud, so it’s important to tune quietly, especially if you’re using an electronic tuner. You don’t want to disrupt other musicians tuning or their concentration. Additionally, make sure to warm up quietly, especially if you arrive early. If you need to work on a particular difficult passage, take the time to practice it separately, so you don’t disturb others.

Another important etiquette tip is to come to rehearsals prepared. This means having all the required materials, such as sheet music, pencils, erasers, and any other necessary tools. Make sure you have taken the time to study the music beforehand so that you’re familiar with the notes and rhythms. The rehearsal time is not the time to learn the material but to polish and solidify it, so everyone can play cohesively.

Lastly, it’s important to be respectful and avoid any distractions while rehearsing. Cell phones should be silenced and put away, and any conversations should be kept at a minimum. If you need to make a comment or ask a question, wait until the conductor or director pauses the rehearsal. This will ensure that everyone can hear and understand what is being said.

Proper rehearsal etiquette is essential for creating a productive and stress-free environment for rehearsals. Being courteous to your fellow musicians, being aware of your volume level, preparing for rehearsals, and reducing distractions will ensure that everyone is working efficiently towards a common goal – creating beautiful music.