(Closed) Please explain, I don’t understand all these rehearsal dinners, engagment photos

posted 7 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
2892 posts
Sugar bee

I think some of this is more popular depending on your region. I hadn’t heard of engagement photos till I got to the east coast, same goes for rehearsal dinners. Until I got here, my idea of the engagement/marriage process is what you said above. I can’t explain the purpose of all these other celebrations very well. I just wanted to tell you you aren’t silly for not knowing. It isn’t common everywhere.

Post # 4
5009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

Are you in the UK?

Most of them are American terms.

Engagement photos are also known as a pre-wedding shoot and definitely worth having!

(ETA I’m sure the thing saying you’re in London wasn’t there when I started writing!)

Post # 5
3520 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

Rehearsals are so everyone knows what to do/where to stand, then people generally have a rehearsal dinner afterward, paid for by the groom’s family.

Engagement pictures are sometimes used for the save-the-date, but not everyone does them.

Other things I’ve seen are the morning-after brunch, out of town baskets, and multiple wedding showers (usually your family, friends, and co-workers).

Post # 6
2161 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

There were a lot of common things on here that don’t happen in my area.  Weddings around here cost a fraction of the weddings people post about on here too though.  🙂  We did engagement pictures because they were a way to get to know our photographer and they were free. 

Post # 7
3461 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Rehearsal dinners follow the rehearsal, because it’s polite to feed people after you have them stand around for you at the rehearsal, but also a thank you for the time and money (for attire/events) they’ve invested.  🙂  It’s also a way to spend a little more time with those closest to you and let the two sides get to know each other.

Post # 8
568 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012


I’m with you,   I’m from UK  too and we dont go to those lengths either.  to me is an unnessasary expense.

I think its expensive enough feeding everyone on the day of the wedding without ANOTHER  night out,  then there are showers too! 

we are having a hen night and stag night…..(seperately of course)   then the wedding.  end of.  engagement pictures are not my thing either. 

I suppose i might throw a rehearsal dinner if we were having a rehearsal….but we are not having one. 


Post # 9
114 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012


I agree with claireos.  It depends on where you are and I definitely think as the wedding industry and it’s vendors got larger, these things became more popular.

Engagement photos are normally done for some so they have an picture to use for their save the dates.  Of course, this, like everything, is optional.  But I see MANY people using photos for their save the dates.  The pictures don’t have to be professional, but more and more photographers offer them as part of their package.  In fact, my photographer included it in the package.  I didn’t necessarily need it, but since the entire package was within my budget, I just went for it (added bonus, right?).

Rehearsal dinners are more just a nice gesture, IMO: all these people have to come together anyways the night before your wedding, why not treat them and give them a special thank you for all their work?  This is often where the gifts are given to the wedding party. 

Of course, there are a million and one things that are optional and as a part of the marriage process that everyone can take part in as little or as much as they would like.  =)

Post # 10
11166 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

Rehearsal dinners are just the wedding party getting together after the rehearsal for dinner. Some are bigger than others like ours is being turned into an overnight experience at our venue (which happens to be a mansion). A simple meal together is a less experience alternative.

As for Engagement shoots as the PP mentioned they are just pre-wedding shoots where you can get familiar with your photographer. Typically they are included within the wedding photography, although sometimes they are an extra cost.

Post # 12
1559 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

@Clarice: I do suggest getting engagement photos done, espeically if you don’t have any professional photos of the two of you yet, or if you have never worked with your photographer before. 

For most people, being in front of the camera for extended periods of time isn’t normal, so doing a photo shoot with your wedding photographer not only gives you great photos of you and your Fiance in your “everyday” clothes, but it also gives you a chance to get to know your photographer, and vice versa. 

Also, some people have decided to switch photographers after being unhappy with the E-pics…. it’s a good way to test out photographers. 

Post # 13
4824 posts
Honey bee

@amidette:That is funny, I am from the Northeast, which tends to have larger and more extravagent weddings (full open bar, cocktail hours etc) and I have only seen one save the date with an engagement photo (and it was one of the “cheaper” weddings).

I still think of engagement photos as not popular. I really only see them on here.

Post # 14
814 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

I find myself wondering the same thing. I can only imagine it’s regional. I wont be having favours (IMO a waste of money and I’ve only seen them at one wedding I’ve been to), rehearsal dinner (how long does a rehersal take anyway?), morning after brunch, engagment photos etc. For me a wedding is the ceremony, reception, hens/stags night. It’s interesting to see how different it is in different countries. From reading this forum it seems like a ‘wedding’ in the US goes all year lol

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