11 Rehearsal Dinner Planning Questions Couples Ask

Rehearsal dinner is like a mock wedding reception and while it’s not necessary to host, it’s still a nice way to get all of your family and loved ones together for a fun-filled night. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions by couples about rehearsal dinner planning and their answers. Be sure to read this so you have most things covered before budgeting for it and hiring a party tent rental supplier.

Who Is The Planner?

If you didn’t know this already, a rehearsal dinner is something that is planned by the groom, and the main people behind the hosting and all of the nitty-gritty are the groom’s parents.

However, nowadays, things are very different and people are breaking the norm, but it’s good to know, if you’re ever wondering who actually hosts and plans a rehearsal dinner, traditionally.

Who Pays For The Rehearsal Dinner?

This question ties in with the first one and the answer is also the same. Although there’s no rhyme or reason to it, the groom and his family are responsible for the expenses of the rehearsal dinner. Some couples can do it differently and they can split the expenses and whatnot, but everything depends on how well you guys communicate with each other and are willing to help out, in any way you can.

How Long Does A Rehearsal Dinner Last?

A rehearsal dinner is a pretty short event and it can last anywhere between 2 to 4 hours. There are many types of “rehearsals” that are held before a wedding, but a rehearsal dinner is the main one, where there’s a short guest list and people can get together casually to spend time blowing steam before the actual and beyond-stressful wedding day.

So, you can set the time accordingly and wrap up the party as quickly or as late as you wish, because at the end of the day, this is your big day and you want to stick to your own rules.

When Is The Perfect Time To Host A Rehearsal Dinner?

Usually, a rehearsal dinner is held a day before the wedding, and as far as the time is concerned, it’s usually an event of the evening or night, where you guys can gather around and do some family traditions or simply enjoy the time with your loved ones.

Again, there’s no general rule of thumb that a rehearsal dinner needs to be held exactly a day before the wedding. A lot of the time, couples can be stressed out and they can plan a rehearsal dinner weeks or even a month before the wedding.

Which Time Of The Day Is It Held?

A rehearsal dinner is usually held in the evening and night, but it doesn’t stretch any later than 10 pm, because normally, the next day is the wedding day and everyone, especially the bride, groom, and bridal party needs to be well rested so that they can tackle the day with a fresh and clear mind.

You can personalize the event to your liking and host it any time of the day, but if you’re specifically going for a dinner, then evening is the best time and you can even wrap the after-party up quickly, after discussing with the other guests.

Who Should You Invite To The Rehearsal Dinner?

Your wedding is already going to have a lot of guests, so it’s completely unnecessary to invite the same amount of people to your rehearsal dinner. It’s a small and intimate event that should include parents and grandparents of both sides, the bridesmaids and groomsmen, and some close relatives and that’s pretty much it.

In general, there shouldn’t be more than 40 to 60 guests at a rehearsal dinner, because entertaining a huge crowd can be pretty exhausting and you don’t want to take up more responsibility than you already have, right before the big day.

What Happens At A Rehearsal Dinner?

A rehearsal dinner is far from what it sounds like. While there can be dinner involved, it’s a very casual get-together before the wedding where the elders and important people of the family give a toast to the new couple and some might even give gifts, if you’re not receiving them on the wedding day.

It can also be a time for friends and family to catch up with you before the hustle and bustle of the wedding day hits. All in all, a rehearsal dinner is a light and refreshing event that can really lift the mood and make everyone smile.

What’s The Perfect Venue For A Rehearsal Dinner?

There are a couple of options when it comes to selecting a venue for the rehearsal dinner. If the guest list is extremely small, about 10 to 12 people, then you can easily do a rehearsal dinner in a nice restaurant, if you want to change up the ambiance. If the guest list is huge, then you might need a banquet or a reception hall.

If you can, try to get your venue management to book the same venue as your wedding reception for the rehearsal dinner because it’s going to cost you reasonably and there won’t be the hassle of traveling to a completely different place. You may even get the services of the same party table rental Rockland NY company that you hired for the wedding day.

Is Food Necessary?

This depends, from person to person. Since a rehearsal dinner is just about toasts and drinks, you can definitely skip dinner and go for some finger foods and appetizers, but if you want it to feel like a dinner party and have a bit more room in your budget, then you can also go for a whole dinner setup.

Just make sure that you don’t overdo it, because people will probably eat less, so 1 to 2 courses are more than enough, to satisfy the tummies without breaking the bank.

Is There A Specific Way?

There doesn’t need to be a script that you follow to execute the “perfect” rehearsal dinner. The best events are those that are imperfect and haphazard and those are the times that you will remember the most.

Don’t give into the temptation of getting everything to be perfect, because let’s be real; there are going to be some things that just don’t go your way and instead of sulking over it and ruining your day, it’s best to keep your expectations low. Do whatever you want to do this evening and make good memories before starting a new chapter of your life.

What’s The Dress Code Of A Rehearsal Dinner?

Lastly, a lot of people can be confused about the dress code for the rehearsal dinner. Well, a rehearsal dinner is a complementary event that shouldn’t overpower your wedding, but give a peek of it, so keeping this fact in mind, you can choose a rehearsal dinner dress that’s going to complement your wedding dress.

As for the guys, pants and suits are the best option to go for because they can be dressed up or down according to the occasion. Remember that comfort and practicality should be your main priority for any dress regardless of the event.


If you’re stuck in a planning rut, then these questions will help to sort some things out and you can plan the best rehearsal dinner, before the wedding. If you want to hire the same party rentals Rockland NY for your rehearsal dinner and the wedding, book them early on.

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