The concept of a rehearsal dinner has changed over the years. Traditionally, you would gather with immediate family, out of town guests, your wedding party and their significant others in the private dining room at your favorite local restaurant. The thought was that your out of town guests have spent time and resources traveling to be with you. The rehearsal dinner served as a way to spend additional time with them and thank them for coming all this way.

However, with more and more of your friends and family moving away your hometown, we’ve had to shift the concept of rehearsal dinners to fit today’s lifestyles. Here are five things you need to know about hosting a rehearsal dinner in this modern era.

#1 - You don’t have to invite all out of town guests. Since this could very well include the entirety of your guest list, no longer is it considered taboo if you don’t invite out of town guests. It’s socially acceptable to just invite your wedding party, their significant others and close family members.

#2 - It doesn’t have to be a dinner at all. If you like the idea of inviting all out of town guests to a pre wedding soiree, consider skipping the sit down dinner in favor of a cocktail style welcome party where all your guests can attend.

#3 - Think outside the private dining room. Your local park, favorite brewery and even your own backyard make great locations for your rehearsal dinner. Choosing a place with meaning will make the event truly unique and add the perfect personal touch.

#4 - Make sure you send an invitation. Since there are no rules when it comes to your rehearsal dinner, you’ll want to be sure you send an actual invitation so guests know how to plan accordingly.

#5 - Keep it fun. Rehearsal dinners of the past have felt dull with guests showing up for a sit down dinner and leaving shortly after the dessert is served. Today’s rehearsal dinners tend to be more casual and relaxed. Keep it fun with an inviting space, cocktails, music, and a way to encourage all your guests to get to know each other.

Rehearsal Dinner.jpg

Photographer credit Becca Dilley Photography

About Sincerely Pete

Sincerely Pete is a full-service wedding planning and design company in Washington, D.C. and Alexandria, VA who believes in a personal, curated & customized approach to each wedding couple we work with, taking their values & personalities into account and keeping the relationship as the focus of the wedding. We plan Washington DC weddings, Virginia weddings, Maryland weddings and destination weddings all over the world. 

modern & timeless. creative & curated. infused with meaning. implemented with love.

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