You can call it the Night Before the Big Day, the Wedding Eve, or a good old fashioned Rehearsal Dinner, but the evening before a wedding is always full of anticipation. It’s a time for members of both families to meet, and includes the entire wedding party. Dinner is usually served, and sometimes a groom’s cake, maybe a funny toast or two, but there is always good cheer and well wishes for the next day.
Another popular wedding festivity that has become quite common, particularly for destination weddings, is a Welcome Party. It is open to more guests and usually just drinks and/or dessert are served. If you have a lot of out-of-town guests, but can’t have them all at a formal rehearsal dinner, it is a nice way to incorporate more people into the weekend’s festivities.
Traditionally, the Rehearsal Dinner is hosted by the groom’s family. Many families adhere to this tradition, but it is by no means set in stone. If it is being hosted by the groom’s parents, then typically they would issue the invitation. Often the Rehearsal Dinner invitation is a little more masculine, or gives a nod to the destination or the venue of the night’s events. It can be formal, but should not upstage the wedding invitation. It’s a time for the groom’s family to display their personality and send off their son in style.
Rehearsal dinner invitations are sent after the wedding invitations have gone out, typically 3-6 weeks before the event. Be sure and include the location, time, address, and attire. You can also include any information regarding the actual ceremony rehearsal if needed.
If the evening will end with a Welcome Party, an insert can be slipped into the envelope with the Rehearsal Dinner invitation, or a completely different invite can be sent to all guests. It is common for family friends to host the after party. They may want to select their own invitation, especially if they are like us and jump at any chance to pick out some fun paper! If the groom’s parents and other hosts would like to create and send their own invitation, the bride should not interfere with certain specifications. It is one of the pleasure’s of being able to host an event, that you get to pick out your own way to send paper love.