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Planning the Rehearsal Dinner

Rehearsal Dinner

There are so many celebrations that take place during the wedding planning process, making it a little confusing. Rehearsal dinners are one of the many wedding functions that are part of tradition. Let's take all the confusion out of the rehearsal dinner.

What is a Rehearsal Dinner?

In the 1800’s, it was common for the father of the groom to host a celebration in honor of the groom and his bride. This was a time for special speeches and toasting, as it is today. The rehearsal dinner is a gathering of close family and the wedding party that is usually held the evening prior to the wedding. It is seen as a day to rehearse for the ceremony and celebrate. This special event is centered around celebrating the joining of two families and making important announcements.

What Happens During a Rehearsal Dinner?

The rehearsal dinner is a dinner with desserts and cocktails. Beyond the food and festivities, there are some pretty important speeches and other events that take place. After the cocktails are served, the groom’s father usually kicks off the speeches and delivers a special toast to his son and future daughter-in-law. The mother of the groom follows with a toast and speech. The groom delivers his very own heartfelt toast to his bride, and makes a very special thank you to his parents and guests in attendance. The bride has an opportunity to make a toast and thank the hosts and guests. You might choose to distribute wedding party gifts and gifts to the parents. The bride and groom can choose to exchange their wedding gifts to each other. After the last toast is made and gifts are distributed, important announcements are made about the wedding day. This is where the dinner gets its name.

Rehearsal Dinner

The Rehearsal

The rehearsal dinner must live up to its name and be the event for rehearsing for the wedding day. It is the perfect opportunity to focus on questions and answers, especially when it comes to the wedding party. The wedding party must know their placement, the procession and the timeline of events. This is the opportunity to explain all the details and make general announcements related to transportation, the ceremony and the reception.

Who Hosts the Rehearsal Dinner?

While most of the wedding details belong to the bride, this is the opportunity for the groom’s parents to control the planning and get all of the credit for creativity. The groom's family usually plans and pays for this celebration. Sometimes, the couple and family members share the expense of planning the rehearsal dinner, especially when a large dinner is being planned. If you and your partner are hosting your own rehearsal dinner, you will naturally be in charge of planning and paying for your own event.

Guest List

The guest list for the rehearsal dinner usually consists of immediate family, the wedding party and their significant other. It is common courtesy to invite the officiant and their significant other to the rehearsal dinner. If there are a lot of out-of-town guests and a large wedding party, you might consider combining the welcome party and the rehearsal dinner.

Rehearsal Dinner

The Venue

A rehearsal dinner venue can be in a restaurant, formal banquet hall or a casual backyard affair. If you are considering a formal rehearsal dinner, you should book a venue early and send out invitations shortly after the wedding invitations are sent. Crystal Ballroom Saint Augustine is an all-inclusive event and wedding venue with a dedicated design team to create the rehearsal dinner and wedding of your dreams. Work with in-house designers, planners, food managers and connect with Crystal Ballroom vendors. Plan your magical moments in a luxurious ballroom designed just for your special moments.


We invite you to discover the
Crystal Ballroom difference found in the unparalleled elegance and uniqueness written into the design of each of our venues. The themes are as limitless as your imagination.

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