I finally had some time last weekend to buckle down get our invitations ordered, printed and mailed out, and our wedding website fully functional. This had me feeling the pressure like crazy — now that people are actually going to RSVP to this thing, I really have to have my sh*t together (but to be honest, I never feel like I really have my sh*t together).
One of the things I’m trying to figure out is whether or not to have a rehearsal dinner.
As far as I’m aware, the purpose of the rehearsal dinner is for all the people participating in the ceremony to participate in a practice run, and then for everyone to have a nice dinner. Our ceremony isn’t fully put together yet, but we have a basic idea that it’s going to be pretty much just us and the officiant. We’re eschewing most traditions: Our wedding party is too numerous to stand at the front with us, and we likely will avoid a complicated processional. We will be involving only two family members to do a reading. So, the idea of the rehearsal seemed a bit … unnecessary. However, I liked the idea of having a night-before event, because a lot of people attending the wedding are people coming from far away whom we don’t get to see nearly enough, and we want to spend as much as time with them as possible. However, paying for dinner for a ton of people is a significant expense.
So, what to do?
We decided on a “casual night-before social” (it’s a working title) where we would reserve a bunch of tables at a local bar for a couple of hours, and invite all attendees to pop by for a drink and maybe a bite to eat with us. Since our guest list is only about 70 people, many of whom I know aren’t coming in until the next day, we figured it wasn’t an impossible scenario. We would ask that people pay for their own drinks and food (as much as I felt a twinge of guilt for this, I remember how much our costs for catering and wine for our wedding day, and that guilt went away swiftly). I’ll ask the servers to do cash-and-carry for everyone, so I can ensure they get taken care of, and nobody mistakenly assumes it’s paid for. That way, we have the opportunity to spend time, without breaking the bank, and without excluding anyone. Hopefully it will go well — I guess I will find out!