Rehearsal dinners are a fool-proof idea before your big day—here’s why

The party preceding the party.

Wedding rehearsals are an absolute must. Practising walking down the aisle in the correct order can ensure that you're everyone on the same page on your wedding day. What about the other advantage? Following rehearsals are rehearsal dinners. This "party before the party" starts your wedding weekend off right. The most important component of a rehearsal dinner is that it allows both of your families and your wedding party to spend some extra time together before the wedding. The idea is not to give your rehearsal dinner the same attention (or budget) as your wedding day. This is an excellent opportunity for you to gather with your closest friends and family members, as well as those who will play critical roles in making your wedding day a success.

Movies would have us believe that a rehearsal dinner is a formal, sit-down affair with fancy courses and endless champagne but in reality, a rehearsal dinner can be as formal or informal as you like. A backyard BBQ will have the same impact as a five-star restaurant supper; it all depends on what you or your hosts can afford. 

Here are several important reasons in favour of having a rehearsal dinner, regardless of your choice of approach.

Bring everyone up to speed
Your bridal party members may be well-versed in what is expected of them on the wedding day, or they may be first-timers who are beginning to panic. A rehearsal dinner allows everyone to get together and go over everything from beginning to end (not in real time, of course!). They will know their cues and your wedding day will flow as smoothly as possible if everyone is on the same page.

An opportunity to ask questions
Getting everyone together in the run-up to the wedding allows individuals to ask any questions that have been bothering them but aren't urgent enough to merit a phone call when they know you're starting to worry about the wedding. It is much easier to work through these issues face to face, especially when you can swiftly figure out a solution and set everyone's mind at ease.

Execute the designated roles.
You may or may not wish to involve your child attendants (if you have chosen to have them), but even adults can benefit from a fast run-through of what they are expected to accomplish. After all, as they say, practise makes perfect! You can cover everything from where they should stand during the ceremony to where they should sit after the ceremony and the order in which they will give their speeches.

Revise the plan
A rehearsal dinner is a terrific way to go over how you want things to happen on the big day. It's much more personable than emailing an itinerary as if your wedding day were a corporate function! This will also allow your bridal party and family members to speak up if they have any ideas to help enhance the flow of the day. Their knowledge and experience could be beneficial.

Contacts can be synced.
Unless you have a close knit group, certain members of the wedding party and family are unlikely to know each other. A wedding rehearsal dinner is an ideal time for them to meet if they haven't previously done so, as well as to exchange phone numbers so they can communicate before you all come together. 

Opportunity to build relationships
Whether or not your families are previously acquainted, everyone enjoys the opportunity to eat, drink, and be merry, and a rehearsal dinner provides a low-pressure environment in which to do so without the jitters and buzz that accompany wedding day. This is especially crucial if your families are still getting to know each other! It also allows you to mingle and enjoy the company of those who have travelled to be with you on your special day. It is completely true that your wedding day passes by in a blur, and you are frequently left wondering if you got to say hello to everyone you invited.

You will feel more assured.
Months of planning will come to an end in one day, and knowing that everyone is happy, excited, and, most importantly, knows what to do when the time comes, you will all be able to proceed to your wedding calm and full of anticipation and excitement rather than worry and stress about whether everyone will remember what to do.
So, unwind, have fun, and know that the best is yet to come!

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