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Who Plans The Rehearsal Dinner? [Does The Bride Get Involved?]

My husband, Jeremy, and I married a few years ago and had the most amazing rehearsal dinner. 

But I still remember the excitement, confusion, and even the stress of figuring out who planned it!

With our fair share of questions about this pre-wedding event, we learned quite a bit along the way. 

So, let’s dive into the world of rehearsal dinners and figure out who’s in charge of planning this important occasion!

Who Plans the Rehearsal Dinner?

Traditionally, the groom’s parents are responsible for planning and hosting the rehearsal dinner. 

This is an opportunity for the groom’s family to showcase their hospitality and welcome the bride’s family into their fold. 

In our case, Jeremy’s parents were more than happy to take on this role, and they quickly got to work on organizing the event.

However, it’s essential to recognize that traditions can be flexible, and each couple is unique. 

Some couples may prefer to be responsible for planning the rehearsal dinner themselves, while others might delegate the task to a close friend or family member. 

Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference, budget, and the dynamics of the families involved.

Is The Bride Involved In Planning the Rehearsal Dinner?

While the groom’s parents typically plan the rehearsal dinner, the bride can be as involved as she’d like to be in the process. 

In our case, I was happy to provide input on the guest list, the menu, and the overall atmosphere. 

However, I also appreciated the opportunity to take a step back and focus on other aspects of our wedding planning.

Remember that communication is key!

If you’re the bride and you’d like to be more involved in the rehearsal dinner planning, don’t be afraid to express your wishes. 

Likewise, if you prefer to leave it up to the groom’s family, make sure to communicate that as well. 

The goal is to create a memorable event that celebrates the union of two families, and the best way to achieve that is by working together and respecting each other’s preferences.

Who Pays For the Rehearsal Dinner?

Traditionally, the groom’s parents cover the cost of the rehearsal dinner, which is why they often take on the role of planning it.

His parents graciously offered to foot the bill for Jeremy and me, which was a huge help considering the many expenses associated with our wedding.

However, just like with planning, the financial aspect of the rehearsal dinner can be flexible.

In some cases, the bride’s family may contribute to the costs, or the couple may choose to cover the expenses themselves.

It’s essential to have open discussions about finances early in the planning process, to ensure that everyone is on the same page and comfortable with the arrangements.

What’s Involved with Planning the Rehearsal Dinner

There are several aspects to consider when planning the rehearsal dinner, from choosing the perfect location to selecting a delicious menu. 

Here’s what was involved in planning our rehearsal dinner:

Choosing the Location

We wanted a relaxed, intimate atmosphere for our rehearsal dinner, so we opted for a cozy restaurant near our wedding venue.

Jeremy’s parents took care of scouting locations, and we visited a few together to make the final decision.

Determining the Guest List

We decided to invite our immediate families, the bridal party, and their partners to the rehearsal dinner.

Keeping the guest list manageable is essential to ensure the event remains intimate and meaningful.

Selecting the Menu

We worked closely with the restaurant to create a menu that catered to our guests’ dietary preferences and restrictions.

Jeremy’s mom made sure to coordinate with the restaurant to ensure that the food was both delicious and accommodating.

Invitations and RSVPs

We sent out invitations for the rehearsal dinner along with our wedding invitations.

It’s important to give your guests plenty of notice and to collect RSVPs so you can provide the restaurant with an accurate guest count.


While it’s not necessary to go all out with decorations for the rehearsal dinner, adding some personal touches can make the event feel more special.

In our case, we opted for simple floral centerpieces that complemented the overall wedding theme. J

Jeremy’s parents coordinated with a local florist to make sure everything looked perfect.

Seating Arrangements

To ensure that everyone felt comfortable and engaged during the rehearsal dinner, we worked on seating arrangements that encouraged conversation and mingling.

It’s essential to consider the relationships between your guests and try to create a seating plan that fosters connections and an enjoyable atmosphere.

Speeches and Toasts

The rehearsal dinner is a great opportunity for the couple, their families, and the bridal party to express their gratitude and share some heartfelt words.

In our case, Jeremy’s dad gave a beautiful welcome speech, and we both took the opportunity to thank everyone for their love and support.


While it’s not necessary to plan elaborate entertainment for the rehearsal dinner, you may want to consider incorporating some light music or other forms of entertainment to create a pleasant ambiance.

We opted for a live acoustic guitarist, which added a lovely touch to the evening.


In summary, here’s a quick overview of the key elements that need to be planned for a rehearsal dinner:

  1. Location
  2. Guest list
  3. Menu
  4. Invitations and RSVPs
  5. Decorations
  6. Seating arrangements
  7. Speeches and toasts
  8. Entertainment (optional)

Planning the perfect rehearsal dinner takes time, effort, and open communication between all parties involved. 

In our case, having Jeremy’s parents take the lead in planning the event made it a memorable and enjoyable experience for everyone involved. 

Keeping these key elements in mind and staying organized ensures that your rehearsal dinner is a wonderful precursor to your big day.

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