It’s time for Ask Wedding Experience, where we answer (or do our best to answer) your most pressing wedding-related questions, no matter how weird OR common they might be. One question we’ve heard a lot recently involves the rehearsal dinner that occurs before the big day. You may ask, why do weddings have rehearsal dinners? The Wedding Experience team digs deep into this question about a time-honored wedding tradition today.
Why Do Weddings Have Rehearsal Dinners? When Did That Start?
Unlike other wedding traditions, the wedding rehearsal dinner is a primarily American tradition. While other traditions can be traced thousands of years back, the rehearsal dinner is a more modern addition. As ceremonies began to become more and more of a social expectation, rehearsals were begun to allow couples to plan for the ceremony itself, and to avoid any mistakes or miscues on the big day itself.
Traditionally, many of those participating in the rehearsal dinner are friends and close family. Since this is the case, it would make sense that you’d like to see them a bit aside from the rehearsal. Thus, the wedding rehearsal dinner was born.
Nowadays, the wedding rehearsal dinner has become traditional and now requires more planning as part of a formal affair. Of course, many couples have also begun to be more casual and modern with their rehearsal dinner planning too. The style and theme of your wedding rehearsal dinner is up to you! But it can also serve as a good place to not only spend time with close ones, but also to establish the formal or informal tone of your wedding before the ceremony and reception themselves.
If you’re worried about planning your rehearsal dinner, rest assured, there are plenty of good guides out there. If you are trying for a more traditional event, you should also consider rehearsal dinner etiquette.