How to Plan a Rehearsal Dinner

by Contributor ; Updated September 28, 2017

How to Plan a Rehearsal Dinner. It's customary for the parents of the groom to entertain the wedding party and the families with a dinner after the wedding rehearsal. This dinner can be hosted by anyone, however. The idea is to give everyone a chance to socialize and get acquainted before the big day.

Step 1

Choose a theme and color scheme very different from that of the wedding.

Step 2

Select a location, caterer and menu.

Step 3

Make your guest list and include the wedding party, their spouses or dates, the families, the officiant and his or her spouse and out-of-town relatives.

Step 4

Select and send invitations about four weeks before the dinner.

Step 5

Plan flowers, decorations and music.

Step 6

Prepare name tags and place cards to help people become more familiar with one another.

Step 7

Prepare an icebreaker game or activity to encourage mingling and socializing.

Step 8

Have the father of the groom, as the traditional host, offer a toast after dinner. He is followed by the father of the bride, the groom, perhaps the bride and any others who wish to make toasts.

Step 9

Use this opportunity to give the attendants their gifts. The parents may present their gifts at this time, also.

Step 10

End the party early to give everyone a chance to rest before the big day.


  • Prepare and practice toasts beforehand. Cover last-minute wedding instructions at the rehearsal; save the rehearsal dinner for fun. Consider having a theme party, a cookout, a pool party or some other nontraditional rehearsal dinner. It'll be more relaxed and more fun.