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The rehearsal dinner is traditionally hosted by the groom's parents on the night before the wedding. The rehearsal is usually held at the church or the ceremony site, then followed by a dinner (which can be formal or casual). During the rehearsal, the officiant will go over all the details that will happen during the ceremony.
The officiant will give the couple, wedding attendants, their parents and any readers the cues that they will need. The attendants will be shown what order they will be walking in for the procession and who they will be partnered with (if any) as they walk down the aisle. It's a great time to go over any last minute details such as what time and where everyone should be on the wedding day.
After the rehearsal, everyone gathers together to toast the bride and groom. The rehearsal dinner can be as casual as you like or as elegant as you like. It can be held at someone's house, restaurant, banquet facility, etc. The choice is up to the host/hostess. It can be as casual as a backyard barbecue or as elegant as having it at a beautiful banquet facility. No matter where the host decides to have it, it will be sure to be a fun time for all!
The immediate family, wedding party attendants and their spouses and significant others, the parents of the child attendants, and the officiant and his/her spouse are invited to the rehearsal dinner. It's a good time for the two families and your friends to get to know each other a little better. It's also a great time for the bride and groom to express their gratitude to their parents and wedding attendants.
You may choose to give thank-you gifts to your attendants and your parents at this time. Most importantly, it's a time to let them know how much it means to you for them to be part of your big day.
Your rehearsal dinner is a key part of having a smooth wedding day! Be sure to plan accordingly and have your list of 'to dos' ready to present at your rehearsal dinner.
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The Wedding Line-Up
Quick Guide to Planning a Massachusetts Wedding
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