ItÍs pretty obvious the wedding is about the bride; that is, if you listen to most people. Phrases like ñitÍs the brideÍs dayî and ñall eyes on the brideî make it seem like the groom is quite expendable and should take a backseat in the decision-making process. It seems like all guys get to do are order the tuxedos and pick out the groomsmen gifts. Women get bridal showers (although couple and groom showers are catching on), get to wear something out of the ordinary, and basically get treated like queens through the whole wedding process. If you are a guy getting married stand up and make a statement that your opinions count to, and that it is ñthe groomÍs dayî too. The rehearsal dinner is one event that you can plan and execute how you see fit. Especially considering that itÍs the groomÍs parents and/or the groom who pays for and hosts the event.
The rehearsal dinner is traditionally held the night before the wedding and is a good way to give the two families a chance to get to know each other. Also, itÍs a place where the groomsmen and bridesmaids can mix and mingle and meet the families too. What a great opportunity to celebrate with your family in friends in the way that you see fit! If that means at a sports bar over burgers and beer or on the beach with a blazing bonfire, youÍll feel great knowing youÍve shown your genuine personality and style through the festivities.
Of course, if your bride likes to take control over everything (sheÍs a planner, and thatÍs a good thing), discuss with her about backing off this one evening. However, donÍt take over planning the rehearsal dinner without talking to her first. Two-way communication is always the best way to start off and continue a marriage. Assure her that the affair will be a relaxed, fun event where the ice will be broken and stress will be relieved. And, even better for her, she doesnÍt have to worry about anything or lift a single finger. YouÍve got it covered!
Here are some things youÍll want to consider when planning your rehearsal dinner.
- Book the venue about 4 months from the wedding. DonÍt assume that the bowling alley party room is going to be available for you on a momentÍs notice.
- Decide on the menu (based on your budget) and decide if you will be hosting a sit-down dinner, just appetizers and drinks, or having foods catered to your location (like barbeque in a barn).
- Notify the people you would like to give toasts at the rehearsal dinner such as your parents, the best man, the groomsmen or whomever! Give them enough time to get their thoughts together and practice if needed.
- Put together a little audio-visual material. Although this is optional, guests always love seeing pictures of the happy couple when they were very young. You could make a slide show, movie or even just a poster board display.
- Mail invitations about a month ahead of time. If it is a very small or casual rehearsal dinner, you could get away with emails, phone calls or online invitation services. Other unique ideas including sending an edible cookie card or scrolling up your invitation and sticking in a beer mug!
- Order flowers, props, personalized napkins or take-home favors for your guests about one month ahead of time.
- Purchase groomsmen gifts and decide if you would like to present them at the rehearsal dinner, before the wedding ceremony while all of you are waiting together, or later that night at the reception part.
Please tell us any unique ideas you have for rehearsal dinners _ from venues and food to favors and ice-breaker games. Use the comment section below.