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The rehearsal dinner for a wedding is often the night before the actual ceremony. One reason to have a rehearsal dinner is to allow the families of the soon-to-be-wed to spend some time together in an environment which is less stressful than the actual wedding. Your rehearsal dinner invitations typically go to everyone in the bridal party and immediate family members, and some people also invite the officiant and his or her spouse. You have two basic options for a rehearsal dinner, formal and informal. Here's a look at both.
Your rehearsal dinner could take place at a fancy restaurant or dining hall with all the trappings of a high class occasion. To make the dinner extra special, see if the restaurant you've chosen has a separate dining area, this makes the gathering feel intimate. You can also ask if it's possible to personalize the space so that you or some friends can arrive early and decorate. Let your family members know where the private room is on your rehearsal dinner invitations. Include a place for respondents to state how many are coming with them on the response cards so you know how big of a reservation to get.
You could instead buck tradition with an informal outdoor cocktail party or barbeque. You can still glam things up with some strategically placed lights and garland, if you want to, or go all out country with rope and burlap do-it-yourself decorations. If you and your future spouse took some rustic wedding announcement photos, then you can also use those to decorate.
Choosing the right venue and tone for your rehearsal dinner is an important decision. Know that you can't please everyone with your choice, so simply try to be accommodating of food allergies. Send out your rehearsal dinner invitations with plenty of time for your family to respond and for you to make appropriate reservations.
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