Rehearsal Dinner

Rehearsal Dinner

The complete guide to throwing a fabulous rehearsal dinner.

Congratulations!  You are nearing the end of your wedding planning and it’s getting real.  The rehearsal dinner will kick off the festivities for the wedding and it will be a good chance for anyone who has not met each other to get acquainted.  There are a few things you can do to ensure that the rehearsal dinner goes smoothly and sets the tone for the big day.


Write up a guest list which includes immediate family, all members of the bridal party and anyone involved in the wedding.  You might also include grandparents and any out of town guests.  If your out of town guest list is extensive you can decide if you want a big bash or keep it more intimate for this particular event.  Instead, you may want to set up a meet and greet party at a local brewery if you want to bring everyone together before the wedding.

Rehearsal Dinner Date and Location

Table Mountain Meeting and Events – Golden, CO

The rehearsal dinner is typically a day or two before the wedding to ensure everyone is in town and it’s a chance to run through the ceremony so everyone knows what they are doing.  Choosing a location for the dinner depends on the budget and tone you desire.  You can scout out a local restaurant, have it at a private home, or even make a reservation at a public park.  Many couples are finding that renting an event venue and ordering catering is a great option because of the freedom to customize the party to your liking and the ability to move around and socialize with your closest family and friends before the wedding.  One such venue in Golden, CO (Table Mountain Meeting and Events) provides everything you need including tables, chairs, linens, a bartender and a bar, a firepit, yard games, and a venue manager to ensure you can enjoy time with your guests and not worry about replenishing food or cleaning up.  You are able to choose the caterer of your choice which is nice to have the flexibility of not only food options but different budget price points as well.                             


It is customary for the groom’s parents to pick up the tab for the rehearsal dinner, but this is not set in stone.  Make sure you know your budget before making reservations and planning decor and food. 

Helpful hint: If someone does not offer to help with this event such as decor, do not make this your main focus.  People will be happy with a simple party because the main event will be right around the corner and there is no need to add stress.

Toasts and Gifts

Plan on saying a few words of gratitude to all your friends and family who are with you.  Gratitude goes a long way to those who have made sure you have the perfect wedding and have made sacrifices.  If someone is hosting the party, have them say a few words also.  This could be a time for more intimate speeches before the wedding. 

If you have picked up gifts for your bridal party, parents, or whoever, now is a great time to distribute the gifts as there will not be time on the wedding day to do so.  Anyone who is helping in any way should feel appreciated in some way even if it’s a simple thank you note.

Prepare for the Wedding Day

Time to get to work!  Remind people know what they are responsible for on the wedding day and do not be shy about delegating work.  Typically people will want to be helpful and enjoy assisting on such a fun occasion. 

Helpful hint:  The more things you can hand over before the wedding day, the better.  Give someone the marriage license, the decor, the emergency kit, wedding favors, etc.  You should only worry about yourself and having a good time.  Many hands make light work.

Fun Ideas      

The rehearsal dinner is a time to get the fun going so it can continue over to the next day.  Creating an atmosphere of fun can help to get the party going.  Here are a few fun ideas for your party.

  • Barbeque and bonfire
  • S’more bar
  • Ice Cream food truck
  • Brewery and pizza
  • Rehearsal picnic
  • Rehearsal brunch
  • Game and trivia night

Do something local – beach, mountain cabin, lake cottage, strawberry farm, local brewery etc.                                      

The rehearsal dinner is definitely the beginning of the wedding.  Have fun with this event and allow others to feel comfortable so that it trickles into the big day.  Make sure to have one fun element that will bring people together and make sure you enjoy the fun as well.  Happy planning!

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