You’ve likely attended a wedding or two over your lifetime, so when it comes time for you to tie the knot, it’s easy to know what to expect. But the rehearsal dinner may be a different story. This get-together is a way for the families of the couple to get to know one another before the wedding memories begin. It’s also a way for you and your future spouse to take a deep breath and relax before walking down the aisle. It’s normal to have a few unanswered questions about the event, like, “Who foots the bill for dinner?” “Who’s invited?” and “What do I wear?” I have all the answers:


Who to invite
It’s entirely up to you who you invite to your rehearsal dinner. Traditionally, however, the guest list includes the immediate families, the wedding party and the officiant.

The timeline of the event
Besides spending time with your loved ones, what else is on the agenda? Well, the rehearsal dinner often includes four parts: toasts, performances, special presentations and gifts. The people who give toasts usually include the hosts of the event, the maid of honor and the best man. Anyone else who wants to speak up is allowed to take the mic and wish you and your fiance well, too. Oftentimes a friend or family member performs something, like a song or a poem. There may also be a special presentation at the event, like a video slideshow of you and your future spouse. The rehearsal dinner is also a time for you to give your gifts to your wedding party.

Who pays
Who gets to foot the bill for the rehearsal dinner? If you’re sticking to tradition, it’s the groom’s parents that pay. However, that’s not your only option. You and your fiance could pay for the event or both sets of parents can split the cost of the bill. Ultimately, it’s up to you!

What to wear
What you wear to your rehearsal dinner largely depends on the formality of the event. If it’s at a high-class restaurant, you should come in a sophisticated dress, but if you’re hosting a casual barbecue, keep your outfit just as laid-back. And just because you’re the bride doesn’t mean you have to wear white (unless you want to!). Consider choosing a bold color or a style dress that differs from your wedding gown.

What is your rehearsal dinner going to be like? Share your thoughts with us!