Do’s and Don’ts of Rehearsal Dinners

Planning a wedding has a lot of moving parts, including the rehearsal dinner! But with a little prep and creativity, it’s easy to get it right! Here are my do’s and don’ts to rehearsal dinners so you and your loved ones can kick off your weekend with joy!


Plan ahead. Although it isn’t the wedding day itself, your rehearsal dinner still requires careful and early planning. Reservations are your best friend if you want to host your rehearsal dinner in a public space. Don’t be the person that sends out last-minute invitations or is still on the hunt for a space that can host your group!

Keep it intimate. Although you may want to include everyone in every aspect of your big day, rehearsal dinners are more successful in an intimate setting. If you’re having trouble pairing down your guest list, start with the closest of your family members and then add the members of your wedding party.

Make it a post-practice run. Use your time wisely with your rehearsal dinner while still enjoying the time and space with your guests! A rehearsal dinner is the perfect time to go through the all the little details of the timeline. See something in the run-through that doesn’t seem to fit what you want? Use this time to bring it up and work it out before your dream day!

Create a relaxing atmosphere. With everything worked out and the wedding of your dreams on the horizon, take some time to relax and settle down with the people that matter most to you. If you’re feeling the butterflies of the big day approaching, it’s likely your wedding party also feels some anxiety. Sit back for a bit, chat, and bask in the love of everyone around you – the people who care about you the most!


Give long speeches. Although an outpouring of love can make for a beautiful moment, a line of super-long speeches can often become too much. Make your toasts meaningful – but short!

Ignore special diets. It is good to keep a simplistic menu that is typically pleasing to the palate for most people, but don’t forget the details of your guests. Do any of your guests have a special diet need? Are you providing options for them to enjoy, too? If you aren’t positive, the best thing to do is ask before you finalize your location.

Overshadow the wedding. Rehearsal dinners are important, but they shouldn’t outshine your big day! This doesn’t mean you should put little effort into your rehearsal dinner. It just means be wary of making your dinner grander than your wedding!

Spark awkward conversations. Avoid bringing up sensitive topics or conversations that might cause tension for you or your guests. Nobody wants an unnecessary hard conversation detracting from the exciting moments leading up to your big day.

The most important part? DO enjoy every moment. Your friends and family will be with you through every step of your big day, so be sure to be present with them during this special time.

Beyond these rehearsal dinner do’s and don’ts, if you want planning inspiration, check out my Rehearsal Dinner Ideas for 2023 and The 6 Key Elements to Planning a Rehearsal Dinner.



Images by Jose Villa