Planning the Perfect Rehearsal Dinner
A wedding rehearsal typically takes place the day before your nuptials and allows the
wedding party, bride and groom included, to ease their stage fright by going through
each role step by step. Somewhere along the way, it became customary for everyone to
subsequently grab a bite to eat – an event now commonly referred to as a rehearsal
dinner. Whether you are planning an informal dinner at your go-to spot or a large
celebration including all your out-of-town guests, here are a few planning tips to help
ensure your rehearsal dinner is the perfect start to your wedding festivities.
Decide Who’s Hosting
The host is in charge of coordinating the rehearsal dinner venue, catering, and any
necessary vendors such as the florist, photographer, band, etc. Traditionally, the
groom’s family pays for the rehearsal dinner, which helps you incorporate your future in-
laws, particularly the mother-of-the-groom, in the wedding planning without having too
many opinions to consider for your actual big day. However, this is not always the case,
so it’s always best to discuss this crucial detail before assuming the planning is being
Invite Your Guests
Rehearsal dinners started as a way for the immediate family members of the bride and
groom to get to spend quality time together before the wedding day. Today, it’s just as
common to see the classic, intimate rehearsal dinner as it is to see a large-scale event.
The wider guest list can include your wedding guests who had to come a night early due
to travel, extended family members, significant others of your wedding party, close
friends of the host, and anyone else you want to include. There’s no rule of thumb to
follow for creating your rehearsal dinner guest list, but keep in mind that your host will
have to pay more for each additional person who attends, so it’s always best to be
courteous of costs.
Pick a Venue
Rehearsal dinners can range in size and scale, so once you and your host have
decided who to invite, it’s time to figure out where you’ll have your event. At The
Mackey House, we have five unique event spaces that can be used to host rehearsal
dinners of all sizes. If you plan on getting married at The Mackey House, you can rest
assured that our highly-trained team is prepared to help organize your events so your
rehearsal dinner venue and wedding venue are distinct enough for each respective day.
Finalize Activities and Schedule
While the schedule for your rehearsal may seem pretty cut and dried, it’s always best to
finalize all activities with assigned timeslots. A schedule helps your host coordinate
each vendor, provides you with an opportunity to share any requests you may have
(speeches or no speeches, timing needs to coordinate a welcome party afterward,
making sure you get a full night’s rest, etc.), and with any event, planning accordingly
will take out any unnecessary stress. The main importance of your rehearsal dinner is to
get you prepared for your wedding, so always include ‘having fun’ as part of the night!
At The Mackey House, we take pride in being one of Savannah’s premier event venues.
Our diverse event spaces make for the ideal wedding venues and rehearsal dinner
venues Savannah has to offer. To come see our venue for yourself, schedule a walk-
through with us by contacting us here.