The wedding rehearsal dinner is something that confuses many newlywed couples. Since there’s no “written” rule regarding how to throw a rehearsal dinner, couples are left in the dark when planning it. Some couples prefer large, extravagant rehearsal dinners, while others prefer smaller ones. Whether you intend to have a small or large rehearsal dinner, though, there are a few things you should know when planning it.

Note: there are no rules regarding wedding rehearsal dinner etiquette. Contrary to what some people may believe, there are no specific rules regarding the wedding rehearsal dinner etiquette. Couples should be given the freedom to plan this dinner without restrictions. And if the bride and groom want to omit the wedding rehearsal dinner, this is perfectly fine. With that said, we have some tips on how to keep everyone happy at the wedding rehearsal dinner.

Who Should I Invite?

So, who should you invite to the wedding rehearsal dinner? Most rehearsal dinners typically consist of the bride, groom, bridesmaids, groomsmen, bride’s immediate family, groom’s immediate family, and close friends of either party. Depending on the couple’s budget, however, they may want to include more people — it’s entirely up to them. At the very least, the guests previously mentioned should be invited to the wedding rehearsal dinner.

It’s important for couples to notify guests ahead of time about the rehearsal dinner so they can make the necessary arrangements. After making a list of all the guests whom the couple plans to invite, they should then send out an invitation card that contains the restaurant, time and date.

Who Pays for the Wedding Rehearsal Dinner?

Traditionally, the groom’s parents cover the cost of the wedding rehearsal dinner. Some couples underestimate the cost of a rehearsal dinner. It’s not uncommon for couples to spend well over $1,000 just on the rehearsal dinner. Thankfully, the groom’s parents will usually help by covering these costs.

When is the Wedding Rehearsal Dinner?

Just as the name suggests, the rehearsal dinner takes place following the wedding rehearsal. The bride, groom and guests in the wedding party show up to the venue (along with a wedding planner) to rehearse the wedding. This gives everyone a chance to become familiar with their roles. Once this long and oftentimes tiring rehearsal is over, everyone travels to the couple’s chosen restaurant for dinner.