Party Ideas

The 5 W’s to Planning a Rehearsal Dinner

By GigSalad

Congratulations on the upcoming wedding! Planning a rehearsal dinner is nothing to stress over. In fact, the entire point of them is to relax with your new, bigger family! Here are the 5 W’s (Who, What, When, Where, and Why) to planning rehearsal dinners.



Your rehearsal dinner guest list should include members of the wedding party and their dates, the wedding officiant and their date, and close family members (including parents, grandparents, and siblings). You should also invite your flower girl or ring bearer, and any other close child relatives who you feel are old enough to attend.

As for who hosts for the rehearsal dinner, it is customary for the groom’s family to host. However, times are changing and there’s no stigma against the bride’s family hosting, or the bride and groom hosting themselves.



The rehearsal dinner is a chance for the two families to get together before the wedding, familiarize themselves, and get comfortable with each other. It’s a celebration of the new additions to each family. It’s a time to relax, bond, and give toasts to the happy couple! It’s also a great time for the exchanging of gifts and for the couple to give their thanks.



Typically, the rehearsal dinner takes place the evening before the wedding. However, it could absolutely be a brunch or luncheon, if you’d prefer. Whatever you decide, it should be very close to your actual wedding date, since it’s a precursor to the “practice run” for the ceremony. You don’t want all of the instructions to be forgotten!



That’s up to you! But, the rehearsal dinner should be held somewhere with plenty of space for mingling and setting down gifts, as well as plenty of peace and quiet for toasts and conversation. Make sure you make reservations ahead of time so that your guests aren’t left standing around waiting for the restaurant to scramble around making room for you. Ask about private rooms, too, as a lot of restaurants have them available for such occasions.

If you decide to have your rehearsal dinner in a private space rather than a restaurant or banquet hall, hire a Caterer, Bartender, and Wait Staff to work your event so that you can just focus on enjoying the company of your family.  And don’t forget to check out other available wedding services on GigSalad!



The rehearsal dinner is a tradition for good reason – it allows the families to have an intimate celebration together. When two families become one, it’s nice to set aside some time to honor that with great conversation and delicious food. Secondly, it’s the time to practice how the ceremony will go so that no one is left wondering what to do the next day.

Best of luck! We’re wishing you a lifetime of happiness.


Need to find a Caterer for your rehearsal dinner? Book the best at GigSalad.


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