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The wedding rehearsal dinner is a wonderful time for family and friends to join and spend time with the bride and groom before the big, wedding day. Typically, the rehearsal dinner takes place the one to two nights before the wedding and traditionally, the parents of the groom act as host. However, the financial responsibility should be based on each individual family.

This dinner is often an intimate gathering with a lot of laughter and some tears. Prior to the actual dinner, the members of the wedding party will meet at the wedding location to practice walking down the aisle, standing, saying the wedding vows, and so on. Once the rehearsal is done, then everything heads out to the location for the dinner. The nice thing about planning a rehearsal dinner is that there are no fast and hard rules. You can have a casual event or something very formal.

Regarding the financial aspect, again, while tradition has the grooms parents are financially responsible but this scenario is not always realistic. Therefore, before you do anything, you need to determine exactly what you can afford. Once you have your budget set, you can then choose the location of the dinner, the level of formality, the guest list, and so on. Many times, couples will choose a restaurant located in a hotel, which is convenient for out of town guests and members of the wedding party. In this case, they can simply stay at that hotel so you do not have to worry about transportation to and from the dinner. However, you can be as creative as you like, choosing an indoor or outdoor place to meet.

As far as the guest list, the people that come to the rehearsal dinner include the parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters, the wedding party, and on occasion, a few very close friends not in the wedding. If your budget will support it, you might also ask your close out of town guests if they would like to join you. The goal is to keep the list small so the atmosphere is relaxing and enjoyable. For the invitations, the grooms mother is traditionally responsible but again, this is something that should be discussed between the bride and the grooms mother.

Try to find a place where people will feel comfortable and that is convenient, especially if you live in a large city where everyone is spread out. While hotel restaurants are a popular choice as mentioned, often couples will have a favorite place where they eat on a regular basis. In this case, you could approach the restaurant owner, asking about having your rehearsal dinner there. If the budget is tight, you can always have an informal dinner at someones home with food catered in or as a potluck.

For the food, try to choose foods that the majority will like and offer some variety. For instance, beef and chicken are good choices but make sure any vegetarians or diabetics have options as well. Finally, be patient with the seating in that this can be a challenge. Everyone wants to sit next to the bride and groom but that obviously will not work. Therefore, the parents and grandparents should be seated by the couple and then everyone else around the table.

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