There are no real rules when it comes to the rehearsal dinner. It can be just you two or extended to include your immediate family, wedding party and their spouses. A lot of times invitations are extended to out-of-town family and guests because it is a great time to catch up other than on the wedding day. The decision can be daunting while writing the guest list to the rehearsal dinner. Who to invite while trying not to hurt anyone's feelings while not going over budget?
A lot of our couples have family and friends coming from all over the country. The rehearsal is an opportune time to host a dinner that is more casual. This is a great time for all of your family and friends to meet and get to know each other. Many of our clients are having cocktail or dessert receptions in place of or after a sit down dinner. A cocktail hour from 5:00 to 7:00 allows your guests not be rushed straight from the airport. It is also more relaxed and gives people a chance to mingle and catch up with everyone. Hosting a dessert reception gives you and your immediate family time to have a smaller more intimate dinner then joined with all of your out of town guests later in the evening. This is a great way to include everyone, give your guests time to arrive or explore the city a bit on their own, and then come to celebrate while you get to stick to the budget.
Kathy Goodman with Well Rehearsed is one of our good friends and is an amazing resource when it comes to planning your rehearsal dinner. From finding the perfect location to decor and all the details, she is fabulous at working with you (and your future mother-in-law) to plan a memorable rehearsal dinner.
Wanting to include everyone, we have alternatively had picnics in Golden Gate Park, bringing in catering trays from a local gourmet market or our favorite - a taco truck! This is much more casual, you can invite the whole crew and enjoy a beautiful afternoon (with the chance of fog as always) with all of your family and friends.
Your rehearsal dinner, whether is ends up being big or small, traditional or not so much, remember as always it is your wedding weekend. Have fun!