Do I have to have a rehearsal dinner? Who am I supposed to invite? Who is supposed to pay for it? These are the most common questions we hear when a couple is thinking about their rehearsal dinner.
To answer the first question, you don’t have to have a formal dinner, but it is customary to have some type of gathering after the actual rehearsal. It’s a great chance for the two families and wedding party members to get to know each other before the craziness of the wedding day.
The guest list should include everyone in the wedding party plus their guest, as well as immediate family and your officiant. You will have to decide if you want to include children, extended family or out-of-town guests. This decision is typically based on your budget and the size of your rehearsal dinner location.
Historically the groom’s parents are in charge of paying for the rehearsal dinner and acting as hosts for the night. That being said, just about anything goes today as far as who pays for the wedding. Oftentimes we see the groom’s parents give money toward the wedding and rehearsal dinner, or the couple will pay for the rehearsal dinner themselves.
Your rehearsal dinner can be as formal or informal as you like. There are no rules! Want to keep it casual? Rent out a few lanes at local bowling alley and order pizzas. Get all-you-can-eat seats at the ballpark. Find an outdoor venue (park, backyard) and have a Cincinnati buffet including LaRosa’s, Skyline, Montgomery Inn or Graeter’s…or all four!
If you are looking for something a little more formal, many restaurants have private rooms for rent. Or, look into local banquet facilities. You will have a ballroom to yourself, and you can help customize the menu. Do you have a favorite family recipe? Ask if the chef can re-create it. Do you want to feature food from your honeymoon destination? Ask about a themed menu. Shameless plug – we can do all of this! Check out Oasis Conference Center at http://www.oasisgolfclub.com/conference-center.
Odds and Ends
The rehearsal dinner is your opportunity to thank your family and friends for being a part of your wedding day and your life together. Many couples will give a toast to that effect, followed by gift giving. Everyone in the wedding party usually receives a gift, and often the parents are given gifts as well.
This gathering is also the perfect opportunity to show the slide show or video, if you had one created for the occasion. Even if you are showing it at the reception, it is nice for those closest to you to be able to watch it with you in a more private setting. Too many times during the wedding reception, a mom or bridesmaid is busy with something else and will miss parts of the show. This way they don’t have to!
Oasis Wedding Central