A dinner following the wedding rehearsal is not a necessity, but it is a lovely way to begin your wedding festivities and allows your attendants and families to relax and get acquainted.
It is traditionally hosted by the groom’s parents in a restaurant, hotel, private dining facility, or in their home. Catered rehearsal dinners at home are wonderful; your caterer can furnish an experienced serving staff to do everything, including the dishes. On this special occasion, the groom’s parents’ are the host and hostess!
Invitations may be sent two weeks before the wedding; or a simple phone call informing the guests of the time, location, and perhaps formality of dress, would be appropriate. Invite all members of the wedding party and their respective spouses or guests. The parents of the young attendants should also be invited. Include the clergy person and spouse and musicians (if they attended the rehearsal). Don’t forget to count parents and the bride and groom! The guest list can be expanded to include grandparents, honored guests, or entire immediate families; as the groom’s parents wish.
Special instrumental music will make this event even more elegant; so consider engaging an ensemble, a pianist, a harpist, or perhaps an entertaining guitar duo. Generally the hotel or restaurant you have chosen will be pleased to accommodate the space for special music unless your group will be in a main dining area where music is already provided.
Consider using place cards to ease seating arrangements. Decorate the dining area with flowers and candles.