The rehearsal dinner kicks off your wedding festivities. More importantly, it's your opportunity to honor the people who make your celebration magical by distributing thoughtful gifts and thanking them for their efforts.
It's a traditional part of the classic ceremony, but it requires room in your budget — the average cost in 2022 is $1,350. How much should you spend on the rehearsal dinner? Here are four factors to consider.
The menu steals the show at any dinner, so what will you serve? It impacts the price considerably. For example, you could pay as low as $40 per ounce for exclusive dishes like caviar. However, going for a full 7-course formal meal is unnecessary unless your overall theme demands such luxury.
If you're hosting a backyard-style bash, there's nothing wrong with hosting a juicy, delicious barbecue as your rehearsal dinner. Your guests might appreciate a laid-back setting more than dressing up and sitting down before the formality of the next day's ceremony. Invest in some quality cherry wood to flavor your selections, smoke your meat to perfection and don't skip on the sauce — or napkins.
Where will you host your rehearsal dinner? Renting out a room at a formal sit-down restaurant can set you back a bit, but it’s worth it if you are going black or white tie.
What if you're going more low-key but don't have room at your house? Other inexpensive venues include a community center, a local fire department's social hall – if you're a member — or a public park or garden. You'll still need to make reservations for outdoor venues, but you'll pay less.
Wherever you host your event, you want to set the tone with your decor and theme. If you have the cash, it's fine to coordinate with your florist or wedding planner to handle your rehearsal dinner, although you should anticipate an additional fee.
Are you trying to budget? Your local dollar store is a treasure trove of inexpensive decor, even if it now sets you back $1.25. You won't find a better bargain than going the DIY route.
Your rehearsal dinner is your chance to thank the folks in your wedding party with a small gift. What should you give?
Classic bridesmaids' gifts include jewelry, often worn at the ceremony. However, you can also go for candles, slippers or specially designed champagne flutes. Watches and cufflinks are traditional for groomsmen, although you can also choose a flask and some fine liquor to fill it.
How much should you spend on the rehearsal dinner? It depends on the factors above — you can go as formal or informal as your budget allows. The most essential part is honoring your guests and kicking off your celebration in style.