Leading up to the wedding day, there are several events that take place, from bridal showers, to the stag and doe and of course, the bachelor/bachelorette. Arguably one of the more important events is the rehearsal dinner, which happens anytime during the week before the wedding and gives you and the bridal party a chance to run through the ceremony and then have dinner. You might be wondering do you need a rehearsal dinner or if you can just show up on the day and get married. Here are some pros and cons to help you decide.


1. A solid run through of the day: The biggest item in the ‘pro’ column for rehearsal dinners is that it gives you a chance to rehearse. Here is where you will run through the ceremony and see where any kinks need to be worked out before the big day. Have any readers fully read through their parts and anyone who is participating in the ceremony should be there to learn their cues and get a feel for the space.

Rehearsal DinnerPhoto Courtesy of Lindsie Grey

2. You get to check out your location: Yes, you’ve seen your location a few times by now, but it has likely been a few weeks since you last saw it. Having the rehearsal dinner allows you to double check that the venue hasn’t made any drastic changes to their décor or undergone any major changes since you last saw it. This is also a chance for you to visualize your game plan for the big day including your entrance and exit strategy.

3. Spend some quality time with your bridal party: After the rehearsal part is over, you get to hang out with all your best friends and enjoy each other’s company before the craziness of the wedding day. On the day, you will be busy chatting with all of your other guests and you may not get a ton of time to spend with your bridal party. This is also a great chance to give them their gifts and communicate any last-minute instructions.


1. Time consuming: Understand that everyone in your bridal party has a life outside of your wedding, and while they love you, adding another event might be a little much for your friends. Remember, they are committing both time and money to your wedding, so make sure that everyone is okay with attending your rehearsal dinner or make it clear that its not the end of the world if they can’t attend.

2. Can be expensive: While traditionally the groom’s family pays for the rehearsal dinner, more and more couples are moving away from tradition and paying for the dinner themselves. Which means, that on top of the wedding, you might also be buying dinner for your bridal party and their dates as well. This can get fairly costly.

Rehearsal Tip: Perhaps you do not wish to have a full-fledged dinner, but it is a very good idea to get everyone together and run through the ceremony. This will get everyone on the same page and allow any questions to be addressed before the actual wedding day. Be clear to your bridal party that you’re not planning on having a dinner but would love for everyone to grab a drink after the rehearsal.

Happy Planning!