One of the more challenging areas of wedding planning is the dreaded ‘Rehearsal Dinner’

Brides and Grooms often dread it because it is one major area they may have to really ‘let go’ – it may be the one big piece the Groom’s family is planning (or traditionally contributing to).

Then it becomes the question of who to invite and where to go…

Here are some GREAT tips to help you through the process.

  • Always try to keep the rehearsal dinner a little less formal than the wedding reception – you never what the formality, food or venue to overshadow the wedding reception the next day.
  • Yes, it is still appropriate to host a rehearsal dinner (actually more of a welcome dinner) if you are not actually doing a ‘rehearsal’ that night.
  • Generally, the guest list is limited to: The bride and groom, parents of the bride and groom, bridal party and their dates/significant others.
  • If there are grandparents or other close immediate family they are generally also invited.
  • When the extended family list starts to get out of hand it is often appropriate to have the smaller, private rehearsal dinner to allow everyone to get to know each other, give bridal party their gifts … and then a less formal (larger) Meet and Greet ( a dessert party works well, to include everyone else.
  • Rehearsal dinner is the perfect time to allow people who would not traditionally get a chance to make a toast at the wedding to speak.
  • If you have a lot of people coming in town before the wedding it is NOT necessary to invite EVERYONE to the rehearsal dinner… we love to include some of the couple’s favorite local places to eat, drink, shop or sightsee in their welcome bag to offer them something to do.

Here is a GREAT tip – the Center City District hosts Restaurant Week several times a year… The next one is coming up January 22-27 and January 29- February 3, 2012.

This is the perfect opportunity for couples to check out some wonderful restaurant spaces to possibly host their rehearsal dinner and with 3 Courses for $35 it also makes a great date night