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A Rehearsal Dinner Checklist

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What do you need to know to plan a rehearsal dinner? Check out this rehearsal dinner checklist to cover all the bases.

abby murrish

As the wedding draws closer, lists will become your best ally. You’ll probably have a list of what you have left to accomplish for your wedding plans. A list of who’s doing what in the wedding. A list of who gets which flowers. A packing list for the wedding. A packing list for the honeymoon. And maybe more!

There’s one important list that could be easy to overlook, and that’s the list for the rehearsal dinner! What are the important items you need to remember for the night before your wedding? Here are the big items that are on a rehearsal dinner checklist:


Discuss with your partner and your families– who’s paying for this pre-wedding dinner party? And what’s the rehearsal dinner budget? This is a convo that should probably happen at the same time as you are discussing your overall wedding budget, just to get it all out in the open.


This is an obvious one, but I’d recommend finding a location for your dinner as soon as possible. Depending on the size of your guest list, it can be challenging to find a location that is close to your venue, affordable, and the right atmosphere. Don’t be afraid to think outside to box too!  


Who are you going to invite to your rehearsal dinner?  For many couples, this isn’t a question with the simplest answer. It’s important to have a guest list for the rehearsal dinner so you knew exactly who to plan for and how much the dinner will cost.


We recommend going into the rehearsal dinner with a loose agenda for the evening. Obviously, you want the evening to be relaxed and enjoyable.  But, there are important things we want to make sure you accomplish at your dinner.


You’ll probably want something special to wear the evening before your wedding. The rehearsal dinner will be a special time with family and friends filled with many memories, and it will be fun to have a special outfit. By starting to look for a dress early, you’ll give yourself plenty of time to score a budget-savvy deal.


What style or vibe do you want for your rehearsal dinner? Do you want some creative control or are you willing to relinquish decor duties to the hosts or whoever is paying? Discuss and decide what you want your rehearsal dinner to feel and look like.


You and your soon-to-be spouse may want to take some time at the rehearsal dinner to thank and honor those who have invested in your lives and are helping with your big day. Obviously, you’ll want to plan out what you’re going to say (to avoid rambling) and remember to bring your speech with you.


If you’re planning to give gifts to your friends and family, it’s a good idea to add this to the list of things to buy, wrap, and bring to your rehearsal dinner!

What’s on your rehearsal dinner checklist?

As always, chime in if we’re forgetting anything.  It’s easy for the rehearsal dinner to take the back-burner because of the wedding day. Here’s hoping that some careful planning early on will make the rehearsal dinner easy and meaningful for you and your partner.

abby murrish

wrote about her wedding at The Budget-Savvy Bride in 2013 and 2014. She loves sharing info and advice with brides about how to create beautiful weddings that they love. Abby lives in the Midwest with her husband and dog.