(Closed) Rehearsal Dinner

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: Should I ask my friends and family to pay their share for rehearsal dinner?



    Not sure

  • Post # 3
    5229 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

    If you choose to host a rehearsal dinner, you should host the dinner. Plan a dinner you can afford, even if that means taking everyone to Five Guys.

    Post # 4
    705 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    I always thought a rehearsal dinner was a way to say thanks to the wedding party and immediate family so asking them to pay seems tacky to me.



    Why not just do something you could afford to do?  I don’t think it has to be something expensive, but I do think you need to pay for it and not put that cost onto your wedding party.

    Post # 5
    5113 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: September 2009 - Barr Mansion

    I’m gonna say this is one of those events that is typically “hosted” by someone, i.e., guests eat free. Not saying you can’t buck tradition, but people will most likely expect the rehearsal dinner to be gratis.

    Post # 6
    4831 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    If you invite them to a dinner the asumption is you are hosting (i.e. paying). 

    You don’t have to have a rehearsal dinner, but if you have one, the cost should be covered by you (or whoever is “hosting).

    If you can’t afford a nice restaurant, maybe do a more casual place or back yard bbq type event.

    Post # 7
    705 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

     I’m not having a rehearsal so not having a rehearsal dinner(small DW).  However me and my Fiance are taking our immediate family for an early dinner someplace and paying for that.  Afterwards we will meet with our other guests and a bar/restaurant somewhere for drinks(we are not paying for everyone’s drinks, just a way for everyone to get together and hang out the night before the wedding).

    Post # 8
    656 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2011

    @nursemel:  +1. A rehearsal dinner is a thank you for everyone involved in your wedding, so making them pay would be inappropriate. Look for a cheaper restaurant or consider cooking yourself.

    Post # 9
    6 posts
    • Wedding: July 2007

    We didn’t do a formal rehearsal dinner, but invited all of the guests to join us at the hotel we were staying at for BBQ the night before the ceremony. The bridal party and families were there, and a few of our out of town guests appreciated the extra time with us, while others caught up with their own families and other friends. We had a rough head count and chicken, burgers, sides, and desserts, and told everyone who was stopping by it was byob. 

    We saw it as a way to ensure we got to catch up with everyone without feeling torn in over 100 different directions the day of, and to hang out with our full bridal party! 

    Post # 10
    900 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    We had to do this. We talked this over with our bridesmaids way back, and everyone understood and they had no idea that usually it’s paid for anyway. We gave them their thank you gifts at the dinner and they were so surprised!

    When you don’t have parents that can afford to host the Rehearsal Dinner, it’s tough to budget in for it yourselves, although it can be done affordably if you keep it small or host it yourselves.

    I sent out an email invite using paperlesspost, and worded it:

    The Night Before…

    You are invited to a no-host dinner in celebration of *name* and *name*

    Date, time, location, etc.

    Please RSVP by *date*

    We look forward to seeing you.


    It was a HUGE success! A few more people came than we invited, and because they were paying for their own dinner, it was no big deal! the restaurant was awesome, and had reserved three hugh tables for us on the patio by the water. The setting, the vibes, the food, everything was great.

    My Fiance paid for our own dinner plus one friend (my BM) and her son, since she is seriously broke. Everyone else was happy to just take care of themselves. Seriously. Again, maybe us Canadians are just more practical, or just more broke, but it really felt like no big deal to anyone.

    Post # 12
    5229 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

    @msvintage:  I think a potluck is a much better idea than asking people to pay. Just make sure that you are prepared for Out of Town guests to not bring anything.

    Post # 14
    7439 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2012

    The Rehearsal Dinner is usually “hosted” by the Groom’s Parents (this really is their only traditional obligation, besides attending the Wedding)

    That said, the Rehearsal Dinner’s primary objective is an opportunity for the two families to get together prior to the Wedding, and eveyone get to meet one another(although it is often used as an chance for Toasts to be said, and Thank You Gifts for the Attendants etc to be exchanged)

    Formality is usually dictated to coordinate with the formality of the Wedding / Reception… but that isn’t set in stone.  It can be truly dictated by the funds that the Host(s) have available to them (be that the Groom’s Parents… or in lieu of them not being able to host… those of the B&G or someone on the Bride’s side of the family, others etc)

    So although a sit-down meal in a Restaurant is the norm, it certainly isn’t the ONLY OPTION

    Hors d’ouvres and Finger Sandwiches put on at the Church Hall by the “Church Ladies” is another option

    As is the Groom’s Family hosting a Backyard BBQ, Homemade Spagetti Dinner, or Pizza Party at their home.

    Anything goes…

    BUT having Guests (B&G – ALL Parents & their spouses – Bridal Party & SOs – Siblings & their SOs – Special Guests… such as GrandParents, GodParents or significant Out-of-Towners etc) pay for themselves is really in poor taste.

    If you are left “holding the bag” here because your Fiance’s Family isn’t going to step forward… then you need to figure out what is the cheapest way you can do this (maybe it is pizza, maybe it is getting someone to make sandwiches etc)

    Hope this helps,


    Post # 15
    2623 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    I think there are other options besides asking people to pay for the dinner at a nice resturant. The wedding party ends up spending a lot more then guest in a lot of cases.
    1.Have a lowkey snacks, chips, appeitizers before the reheasal.

    2. Get deli meats, rolls, and have everyone make coldcuts.

    3.. Potluck or dinner hosted at someones house.

    4..Bbq or other cost effective hosted dinner.

    5. Order a few boxes of pizza which is cost effective.

    6. Find a cheaper resturant.

    I typically think the rehearsal dinner esp for the wedding party is to thank them for being invovledi n your big day, and so I think it’s kind of rude to expect them to pay, when you have other options that are cost effect even if they aren’t at a nice resturant. I think you should explore them before resorting to getting guest to pay their own way. Good luck!

    Post # 16
    2969 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: February 2012

    @msvintage:  I think this is a much better idea. I don’t know how much it would be to cook for however many people you are planning on having, especially right before your wedding, but you could always prepare a few dishes yourself and freeze them to be heated up that day for the Rehearsal Dinner. You can also do pizza or something else that is casual. I have been told *never attended a Rehearsal Dinner myself* that the best RDs are the ones that are casual, laid back and just have some good food, even pizza. 

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