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Brooke
Curious October 2022 Ontario

Rehearsal Dinners - Needed/not Needed? Who Pays?

Brooke, on July 12, 2022 at 14:46 Posted in Before the wedding 0 17

Hello fellow brides!

My fiancé and I are having some trouble with having some form of rehearsal for our wedding, mainly the "dinner" part. We know we want to have a rehearsal at our venue with our wedding party and parents as we just want to be sure that everyone knows the timeline, where they're supposed to stand, who they're walking with, etc., but the issue is the location of our venue. For all wedding party members, our venue is a far drive and kind of out of the way for just a 20-30 minute run through. We contemplated having a dinner at the venue afterwards, but ran into the issue of who pays for it - are we, as the bride and the groom, expected to pay everyone's way, or should they be expected to pay for their own meals, as we would be extending the invite to significant others as well? And because of the venue issue, we ruled out hosting a dinner afterwards as for most of our wedding party, it's just out of the way. The cherry on top is that we'd have to plan for the rehearsal at the venue during the week for it is now primetime wedding season, and weekends would not be available.

We want to know what everyone else has done in the past, or is currently doing/planning for their own rehearsals, just to make it work for everyone.

All the advice is welcome! Smiley smile

17 Comments

Latest activity by Rebecca, on October 15, 2022 at 08:17
  • R
    Curious July 2023 Ontario
    Rebecca ·
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    We are having a rehearsal and a quick bite afterwards just for our wedding party and who's part of our ceremony. We aren't neceessarily doing a dinner maybe pizza or wings.

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  • Jesse
    Newbie August 2023 Ontario
    Jesse ·
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    I totally understand where you are coming from. Our venue is 25 minutes out- with family and relatives driving an hour plus in. We have Thursday - Sunday to plan, decorate and clean up. I'd aim for the evening before ( Because everyone should be in town by then) Then either just go to costco or get a cheaper caterier to do sandwhiches and such. I am considering get a bunch of deli meats- and app. trays for after/ during. Or hosting a BBQ at our house after it. That way whoever wants to come can- and if they don't want to then that's their choice. You will get more money from your Jack and Jill. Costco catering would be under $200.00.

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  • D
    Devoted September 2022 Alberta
    Derek ·
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    We did have a rehearsal dinner, with parents, the wedding party, officiant and their spouses. We paid for it, as we felt it was an important part of the wedding (though 1 person did choose to pay their own way).
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  • Elizabeth12
    Curious February 2023 Ontario
    Elizabeth12 ·
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    We are gonna host a rehearsal at our home.. Afterwards, we will cater. Also trying to keep costs down. We are hosting 13 people so that was a bit expensive to take them all out to eat.
    We are thinking of doing Portuguese food or Middle Eastern food. I will pick up a few desserts and bottles of wine and call it a day.
    I should be able to keep it around a $150🤞🏾
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  • Julie
    Featured May 2023 Ontario
    Julie ·
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    The rehearsal dinner is included in our package, however all our family/guests are 45mins to an hour away. I just didn't feel right putting our guests out having to make the trek over. We have a very small wedding party (MOH & BM) and I'm the only one really doing everything LOL Plus I want everyone to have the WOW factor when they arrive on the big day.

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  • Jasmine
    Frequent user July 2022 Ontario
    Jasmine ·
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    We have rehearsal tomorrow and i told bridemaid they pay but my fiancee says we have to pay which is so stupid becuz he refuses to pay for certain things for the wedding but will pay for other people to eat free food

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  • Dessa
    Frequent user September 2023 British Columbia
    Dessa ·
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    We are having a backyard BBQ after we have a 30 minute run through at the venue. We have planned it for the Friday before the wedding, which is on Sunday, so we can have a day between the two. Our invites to the wedding are limited so we are opening up the rehearsal dinner/bbq to anyone who wants to come that are invited or not invited. That way we can at least show those we care about that we still wanted them to share in the fun of the occasion and weekend.
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  • D
    Devoted September 2022 Alberta
    Derek ·
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    We are having a rehearsal dinner, it's essential as we are having a wedding party of a total of 8 people (plus parents) and it's the best way also for some members of the wedding party to meet the rest as well as the parents (one in the wedding party is from out of town, and another one is a co-worker who has not met either set of parents yet).
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  • Alanna
    Beginner August 2022 Ontario
    Alanna ·
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    The rehearsal dinner is not just a reason to get everyone together for information purposes, it’s also a way for the bride and groom to say thank you to all of those who spent their time and money to stand up in your wedding. Remember that your closest friends & family have spent time helping you plan, bought their wedding attire & day of beauty packages, likely thrown you bachlorette/bachlor parties, made time for you the day of, before and for other gatherings, and are also getting you a gift. To then invite them to a mandatory rehearsal and make them pay their own dinner is flat out rude. Do your best to arrange whatever dinner is within your means, because we all know weddings cost a lot, but make sure that you are the ones hosting.
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  • Jacquie
    Frequent user August 2022 Alberta
    Jacquie ·
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    We are hosting a BBQ at out place. It's not in our budget to host in a restaurant and we enjoy hosting at our house anyways.

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  • Carine
    Featured September 2023 Ontario
    Carine ·
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    My pleasure! Thanks Brittany that is a great idea might skip a restaurant and do a big BBQ since we decided to practice in the back yard, and I like the idea of everyone being able to mingle.

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  • Hank
    Featured September 2021 Ontario
    Hank ·
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    We didn't have a rehearsal dinner because of covid. Our group was too big for patios and some of us, including our parents, didn't like the idea of sitting next to too many other strangers inside. Had it not been for that, we would've had a rehearsal dinner and pay for it. Traditionally the couple pays for a wedding rehearsal dinner. It's to thank your team for helping you out. It doesn't have to be a lavish affair and you could even pre-order a set menu to control costs. Considering your bridal party has put in time and money into your wedding, I think it'll be very tacky to make them pay for their own dinner when you're making them take time out to rehearse (especially since as you said, you're making them drive out of their way to get to your venue).

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  • KELLY
    Featured October 2023 Ontario
    KELLY ·
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    We aren't having one, with our children as our wedding party we will just have a conversation about it a day or two before...

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  • Brooke
    Curious October 2022 Ontario
    Brooke ·
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    That’s a really good way of doing it actually.. thank you Carine for the help 🥰🥰
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  • Brooke
    Curious October 2022 Ontario
    Brooke ·
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    The pub sounds like a really neat idea just for cocktails! Thanks for the help Brittany 🥰🥰
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  • Brittany
    Featured August 2023 Alberta
    Brittany ·
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    Hey! So I was also recently brainstorming what to do with my fiancé as well!

    Since we are going to Banff and everyone is coming the night before and staying the night of, we decided that we would do like a cocktail hour instead of actual dinner. After the wedding party and family go for the actual rehearsal, we picked a cool pub for around 7 pm for everyone to have drinks, get to know each other and to chill the nerves. Both mine and my fiancés family will be meeting for the first time at the wedding so I think something to do where everyone can stay as long as they want and pay for themselves to come and just hang out.

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  • Carine
    Featured September 2023 Ontario
    Carine ·
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    I was wondering that as well, and we talked to the parents and decided that we would just go to a restaurant and everyone pays their own and practice in the back yard since there's not much to it. I like to wing it anyways.

    I know some people do the full on rehearsal dinner and some just do a private dinner. I guess it all depends on what you want and what your budget allows you to do.

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