So, you are planning a rehearsal dinner for your wedding in the DC area.  This, on top of all of your wedding planning duties and information gathering.  Well, you’ve come to the right place!  You are cordially invited to what we are calling rehearsal dinner week.  All of this week we are going to be talking rehearsal dinners.  How to plan them, who to invite, even a little rehearsal dinner inspiration and, of course, a few real rehearsal dinners.

Wait, you didn’t know about the rehearsal dinner?  Isn’t this something your soon-to-be in-laws are supposed to do?  We have you covered, don’t worry.  We will start from the beginning and give you the rehearsal dinner basics.


Photo Credit:   Abby Jiu Photography

In gathering ideas and suggestions for this series, we learned one very valuable lesson about rehearsal dinners.  We learned that there are no rules.  There is no set way to plan, organize and celebrate the night before your wedding.  In fact, it doesn’t even have to be the night before your wedding!  There are no rules to who should be invited.  (Speaking of, check out this free rehearsal dinner invitation printable.)  There are no rules on how formal or casual it should be.  And, most importantly, there are no rules for who should host and pay for a wedding rehearsal dinner.  So, don’t expect your in-laws to just pony up and make things easy.  As with weddings today, the bill paying can be a shared expense among all parties.

To that end, there is no rule that says you have to have a rehearsal dinner.  We would, of course, recommend actually rehearsing for your wedding ceremony to make sure everyone is walking in the same direction.  But, you certainly don’t have to have a full-blown rehearsal dinner celebration if you don’t want to have one.

Wait, we actually lied about the rules.  Everyone always says that the only “rule” in rehearsal dinners is to not have it upstage the wedding itself.  Meaning, plan something low-key so that your wedding isn’t a total bummer compared to the night before.  I can see the point, as you want to make all of those months of planning and the money spent on your wedding worth it.  Although, I don’t know if I agree completely with this “rule.”  What does upstaging really mean?  Parties are fun for different people for different reasons.  So, I say, plan the party that you want and use your rehearsal dinner as a chance to do something different!


Photo Credit:   Abby Jiu Photography

Before we get started, know that choosing a venue for your rehearsal dinner is one of the first steps and just about the hardest part of planning.  We are going to give you lots of options this week, but there are literally 1,000s of venue choices.  Just about every restaurant in the DMV could be considered a rehearsal dinner venue.  Having just a few dinner guests?  Why not make a reservation at Zaytinya?  Want to go larger?  A private room at Sonoma might be your choice.   Want to go casual?  A few picnic tables in a park and take-out from Rocklands might be fun!  Or maybe family style in Baltimore’s Little Italy?  A a dinner boat cruise around the Chesapeake?  The options are seem endless!

We’ll be back in a bit with our rehearsal dinner series, but you keep thinking of rehearsal dinner ideas in the DC area.  And, hang tight too, because you’ll be able to see more of the gorgeous and inspired rehearsal dinner that is pictured in this post in just a little bit!

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