You’ve planned your wedding AND a bridesmaids lunch (and maybe even something for your groom’s party too). You’re done, right? Don’t forget the rehearsal dinner!
If you are doing things the traditional way with bride’s mom and dad paying for the wedding, the rehearsal dinner is traditionally given by the groom’s parents. And if your soon to be MIL is the one paying for it, she gets to plan it. Hopefully she will be open to your preferences but keep in mind that you aren’t paying for it.
Also keep in mind that saying “rehearsal dinner” is a little like saying “morning sickness” – you can have your dinner at any time of day. Maybe for some reason you are having a morning rehearsal – feel free to do a rehearsal brunch afterwards! Not that one must immediately follow the other…but if you are planning something at a restaurant, pre-dinner menus are always more affordable. And don’t forget to consider off times too. By having a late lunch or early dinner party, you may be able to negotiate better deals.
But much like your bridesmaids lunch, don’t limit yourself to only restaurants. Have a casual cook-out at home. Grab some take-out from a local favorite eatery and take it to the in-laws. Take a dinner cruise on Town Lake and see the bats. Why not take everyone to the Drafthouse for dinner and a movie – or for karaoke and bowling at The High Ball? Or for something really different – how about dinner on an old, working steam train?
There is one other thing to consider when planning your rehearsal dinner and that is who to invite. Obviously your parents, siblings, and wedding party – and their assorted families. It is polite to at least invite out-of-town guests that you know are coming in early. And yes, if your wedding guest list is small enough, this has the potential to have as many people as attending your nuptials. If budget is tight, keep it to just your immediate families and the wedding party (with significant others). And provide the out-of-towners with a list of your favorite places closest to their hotel.
Whatever you decide to do, and whoever decides to host it, remember to relax and have fun. Enjoy this time.