Your Ultimate Guide to Rehearsal Dinners in Indianapolis: FAQs & Etiquette

Filed Under: CJM Couples, FOR COUPLES, Planning Tips | Posted April 17, 2024

Planning a wedding involves countless details, and amidst the whirlwind, the rehearsal dinner often gets overlooked. To ease your planning process, let’s dive into some common questions about rehearsal dinner etiquette and make sure you’re all set for this cherished pre-wedding celebration.

When is the Rehearsal Dinner?

Your rehearsal dinner typically takes place on the evening before your wedding day, following the ceremony rehearsal. Contrary to what some may think, the dinner isn’t about rehearsing the wedding; it’s a time to gather, celebrate, and anticipate the occasion ahead. While the ceremony rehearsal usually occurs a few days before the wedding, or earlier on the same day, the rehearsal dinner immediately follows.

Who Traditionally Pays for the Rehearsal Dinner?

Traditionally, the groom’s family covers the expenses for the rehearsal dinner, as the bride’s family tends to handle the wedding costs. However, modern times often see variations in these traditions. It’s a good idea to openly discuss financial responsibilities with both sides of the family to ensure clarity and fairness. Flexibility is key, as sometimes one family may need to take on both roles due to financial constraints. The most important aspect is ensuring everyone involved is comfortable and aware of their contributions.

Who Should You Invite to the Rehearsal Dinner?

The guest list for your rehearsal dinner typically includes immediate family members, the wedding party along with their plus ones, and any out-of-town guests, especially those who have traveled a significant distance to be there. Additionally, you may consider inviting the officiant as a gesture of appreciation. Depending on the size of your families and wedding party, this gathering can be quite sizable, so choose a venue that can comfortably accommodate your group. Sending out invitations at least six weeks in advance allows guests to make necessary travel arrangements.

Where Should You Host the Rehearsal Dinner?

The options for hosting your rehearsal dinner are virtually limitless, depending on your preferences and budget. Many upscale restaurants and hotels offer tailored rehearsal dinner packages, ensuring a seamless experience. Alternatively, you might opt for a more intimate setting, such as a private residence or a picturesque outdoor location. Whatever you choose, proximity to the wedding venue or accommodations for out-of-town guests is crucial to minimize travel stress. Remember, it’s not about finding the perfect venue; it’s about creating cherished memories with your loved ones.

Whether you decide on a chic restaurant, a cozy backyard affair, or something in between, the rehearsal dinner is an opportunity to bask in the warmth of family and friends before your big day. Don’t get caught up in the search for perfection; focus on creating a welcoming atmosphere where love and laughter abound. After all, with the right company, any location becomes the perfect setting for celebrating the start of your happily ever after in Indianapolis.

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Owner & Lead Coordinator of CJM, Indy-based wedding planning and design team

Hi, I’m Chloe.