Tips and Tricks for Planning Your Rehearsal Dinner

May 25th, 2015

A rehearsal dinner is the beginning of all of the excitement of your wedding celebration – which is exactly why it should start off with a bang!

Traditionally, the rehearsal dinner takes place directly after the ceremony rehearsal, and is a great opportunity for the couple’s family and friends to get to know one another and let loose before the actual wedding. The rehearsal dinner also helps to take the pressure off of the actual wedding because the immediate family and wedding party will have had the chance to become familiar and comfortable with each other.

So today, we’re sharing some of our favorite tips for planning your rehearsal dinner:

Top Photo Credit: PW Photography Bottom Photo Credit: 88 Love Stories

Top Photo Credit: PW Photography Bottom Photo Credit: 88 Love Stories


Traditionally the groom’s parents pay for, and host, the rehearsal dinner. However, it is becoming more common for the couple getting married to pay, or for the families of the couple to split the dinner’s cost in half. Regardless of who is paying, you’ll likely have a budget set for the dinner. Rehearsals that have long guest lists can save money by doing cocktails and heavy hors d’oeuvres instead of a full dinner. Another great budget friendly tip is to have dinner in a casual setting.

 Guest List

There aren’t any set-in-stone rules for the guest list but, since the event is about appreciation, make sure to invite those you want to thank for helping out with your special day. Normally, the rehearsal dinner includes the wedding party, their dates or spouses, and immediate family of the bride and groom. It is also a nice practice to invite out-of-town guests that may not be familiar with the area or have plans for the night prior to the wedding.


Traditionally, the rehearsal dinner is hosted by the groom’s family; therefore, it may be fitting to have the groom’s father lead the toasts. The order can vary, but traditionally, the bride’s father gives the next toast. Of course, the order of the night can be fit to the couple’s preferences, but you’ll want to have an idea of which guests will be giving toasts. The rehearsal dinner is less formal than the wedding, so toasts can be given with more of a humorous and fun approach. Overall, you’ll just want to be sure that the people who helped to make your wedding day happen are properly thanked.

Really, the key to a successful rehearsal dinner is to relax and have fun with those dearest to you! We just love hosting rehearsal dinners as a part of our wedding weekends here at Historic Mankin Mansion. Contact us for more information – we would love to hear more about your big plans!

See you soon,

Paula & Martin Ramirez

Martin and Paula Ramirez are the proprietors of Historic Mankin Mansion Wedding Resort. They enjoy opening their hearts & home to host countless happy couples on their most special day. They have lovingly created a private wedding estate like no other and are honored to share their dream with so many beautiful couples!

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