Rehearsal Dinner Dos and Don’ts

Top tips for a stress-free rehearsal party

The purpose of your wedding rehearsal party is to help you shake off your pre-wedding stress, but it’s easy for that plan to backfire. Planning for another party the day before your wedding can get the best of any bride. For a stress-free wedding-eve celebration, check out our tips below.

DO make life easy for yourself
Your rehearsal party is supposed to be your opportunity to unwind and start de-stressing before the big day - so be sure you keep it that way! Having a backyard bash at your parents’ house is a great idea, but will mean advance planning and post-party clean up. Your family probably won’t want to be elbow-deep in dirty dishes the night before your wedding. If your house will be ground-zero for the next day’s preparations, do yourself a favor and host your rehearsal dinner at a Chinese buffet or local pub.

DO plan for some downtime
You may want to party ‘til the break of dawn with your rehearsal guests, but don’t forget that the next day is going to be an emotional rollercoaster and crammed with activities. Give your guests a rough idea of how long you plan to stay at your rehearsal party and stick to it. They can keep things hopping until the wee hours of the morning, but take some time to unwind on your own.

DON’T over do it with the party fuel
You had your fun at your bachelorette party - don’t go overboard at the rehearsal dinner. Sure you’re getting your makeup professionally done, but don’t give your stylist a mission impossible! Keep your drinking reasonable and match every alcoholic drink with a glass of water or fruit juice to keep yourself hydrated and hangover-free. Crawling out of bed to hit the salon after only a few hours’ sleep is going to make for one long wedding day. Save some of your partying for after your vows.

DON’T underestimate the elements
Having a backyard barbecue or bonfire for your rehearsal party? Don’t forget the bug spray, citronella candles and sunscreen. Will a red, itchy wedding party really complement your dress? Same if you’re planning to unwind with some touch football or other sport at the rehearsal party. Don’t pull a Jan Brady - protect your face! Playing the sissy card and taking the “score keeper” role is much better than having a black eye in your wedding snaps.
DON’T forget about the toasts, toasts and more toasts
If your family follows traditional etiquette, the father of the groom will make the first toast. Although the rehearsal dinner isn’t when you’re expected to bring the house down with a heartfelt speech - that’s for the reception - be prepared to offer thanks to those who have helped you along the way. You’ll likely be toasted by a few different people during the party - probably your parents and the best man. Make sure you and your honey have given a few moments’ thought to acknowledging those who you couldn’t have done it all without.

Have a great time at your rehearsal party! Now’s your chance to really enjoy all the planning you’ve done and visit with your guests. Have a great time, go easy on the party drinks and get a good night’s sleep - you’re getting married tomorrow!

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