Wedding Planning Ideas

Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Checklist

A rehearsal dinner is is a pre-wedding dinner party wherein only the family and close friends of the couple are included. It is generally hosted by the groom's parents, but now-a-days, anybody can host it. The guests list comprises of the couple, the parents of the couple and the wedding attendants of the couple. This is a toast night and almost all the near and dear ones toast the couple and wish them a lifetime of happiness.

This is also the occasion where the bride and the groom present their gifts to the wedding attendants. This is the time to spend some quality time with your friends and family and to show your gratitude for all the help that you have got from them.

The wedding rehearsal dinner checklist comprises of the following things:

Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Checklist

  • Caterer - You need to hire a caterer for the rehearsal dinner, make sure you ask for waiters and servers so that you don't have to worry about serving and enjoy truly with your near and dear ones.
  • Wedding Party Gifts - An ideal occasion to present your gratitude to your attendants for making the tedious wedding planning process a joyride. These are friends that have been with you through all the highs and lows, have seen your relationship grow into something very beautiful and in some cases helped you with the same. Express your thanks and best wishes by presenting appropriate gifts.
  • Menu - Plan the menu beforehand. Drinks constitute a major part of the rehearsal dinner as this is the occasion where people toast the couple and give their best wishes. It is always better to plan the menu well in advance and notify the caterer accordingly.
  • Gifts for Each Other - The couple also gifts each other on this night. However, make sure your gifts are stored away from other gifts so that they are not mixed with them or someone else will be getting a gift intended for the bride or the groom.
  • Bartender - As it is a toasting occasion, a bartender sounds necessary. He can help serve and keep check on the availability of alcohol so that you don't run out of it.
  • Furniture and Dinnerware - Make sure the venue houses the furniture essentials such as tables, chairs and dinnerware along with cutlery. If they do not provide the same, you will have to hire it from a different vendor.
  • Decorations - Usually, the decorations are in tune with the wedding theme. Like any other party, a rehearsal dinner also requires centerpieces, hanging decorations, flower arrangements, wall decorations and floor decorations.
  • Toasting Glasses - A different set of toasting glasses are necessary so that all the people who are going to say the toast won't have to wait for a glass and continue the celebrations.
  • Tablecloths & Napkins - Linens and napkins come under the logistics arrangement. Arrange them according to the theme of the party.
  • Music and Sound System - Choose a band of musicians or the DJ who fulfills your requirements. Ask for recommendations from friends and references from some vendors.
  • Parking - Parking facility should be made available at the venue. It should not be too far and comfortable for the guests. If they are made to walk to the venue for a long distance, it creates a wrong impression.
  • Transportation - Just like the wedding, the rehearsal dinner also requires the transportation, separate for the couple. the parents and the wedding attendants and the limousine is the popular choice.

You need to set a time line for planning a wedding rehearsal dinner checklist. This time line goes as follows:

5 - 6 months prior to the date:

  • Reserve the Venue - You can select the venue as per your choice and the theme of the party. It can be anything from a garden to a hotel to a banquet to a beach.
  • Select the Menu - You need to select the menu well in advance so that you get a plenty of time for trial session and required changes. Send save-the-date cards.

3 - 4 months prior to the date:

  • Prepare a list of people who are planning to toast. The toasts are generally given by the fathers of the bride and groom and the best man, however, anybody else can speak if they want to.
  • Make arrangements for the accommodation and the transportation of the couple, the parents and the guests.

1 - 2 months prior to the date:

  • Send Invitations according to the theme of the party.
  • Prepare a seating plan so that the guests can see the couple.
  • Purchase the gifts for the wedding attendants.
  • Confirm the vendors and make payments.
  • Finalize the decorations.
Always remember, a wedding rehearsal dinner checklist helps you organize the party in a systematic way.

Checkout here for other wedding planning checklists.