The point of a rehearsal dinner is to allow you, as the couple, as well as the wedding entourage (bridesmaids, groomsmen, etc…) to become familiar with the ceremony venue and what will be expected of you. Once you are all comfortable with the layout of the venue, the order in which you will enter and what your role in the ceremony will be, it is time to enjoy a relaxed dinner with one another. This dinner allows you many more opportunities than simply walking down the aisle together.
Traditionally, the groom’s family is expected to pay for this event. However, times are changing fast and each couple should decide on what they feel comfortable accepting and what they will be able to afford.
Some benefits of a rehearsal include:
A Big Thank You
The rehearsal dinner involves those closest to you, as well as special family and best friends that want to be part of your day. So, the dinner allows you to thank each one of them for their personal contributions (of time, money and energy) as well as for their ongoing love and commitment to you. You may wish to do this individually as you speak to each one or in a heartfelt speech to all present.
Improving Family Relationships
Your families have no excuses to miss this dinner. This gives you the chance to let them become better acquainted with one another and to feel more comfortable in each others’ presence, if this is not already the case. As they work together to make your day a success, they will feel a sense of mutual cooperation.
Planning a wedding is a big job for anyone. Your family and close friends will have experienced a certain amount of stress in helping you to stay calm and get organised. Once the rehearsals are over, try to focus on fun, light-hearted conversation, not dwelling on what could go wrong and spoil your big day. Savour delicious food and encourage an ambience of friendliness and ease.
While you need this dinner to relax and spoil everyone present, it is also the prime opportunity to ensure that everyone is familiar and comfortable with their roles in your wedding. While you are sitting and chatting, some concerns may arise, allowing you to resolve them before the wedding. Still, be careful not to steer every conversation back to wedding planning.
Take this opportunity to give each of your attendants and whoever else you would like to reward a small gift of gratitude. It is easier to hand them out and be personal with your friend or family member now than at the wedding and a gift goes a long way in expressing your thanks.
The rehearsal dinner is, therefore, a time to enjoy being surrounded by those who take this day as seriously as you do and to show them how very important they are to you.
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