In addition to planning the BIG day there is the dinner before THE dinner; the rehearsal dinner. Traditionally the rehearsal dinner was planned by the mother of the groom; however more and more couples are planning many and all aspects of the wedding. Overall the goal of the rehearsal dinner is to express your gratitude to family and friends for their involvement with the wedding.
Pick a Location: Select a location that is easy to get to from your wedding venue. The main reason for the wedding rehearsal dinner is to gather everyone to rehearse for the wedding at the venue a day or two before the event. Having the dinner close by allows for minimal travel time and more time for celebrating.
Plan to give a Toast: The couple should be prepared to toast their friends and family for all their past and present support. If public speaking makes you a little uneasy, write down your toast and practice a few times before giving it.
Make the dinner reflective of you as a couple: If your favorite thing to do is be outside, host the dinner at an outdoor venue, or a BBQ in a park. If your first date was at a Mexican restaurant, plan a Mexican style dinner. Whatever theme represents you best. Remember your rehearsal dinner does not need to be formal and you want to make the style and evening different from your wedding day.
Express your thanks: Some couples choose to give gifts to each of the wedding party participants to thank them for their involvement in the wedding. These gifts do not need to be extravagant or expensive. They can be as simple as a personalized note of your gratefulness for their role in your union.
Invite your Out-Of-Town Guests: Your rehearsal dinner can be as intimate or as large as you’d like. It can consist of just immediate family and your bridal party or invite other family members and out-of-town guests to join your rehearsal dinner. It’s always great to have more time to spend with your family and out-of town guests that you may not see often.