Rehearsal Dinner

August 7

Rehearsal Dinner Ideas

We had a bride-to-be write in looking for some rehearsal dinner inspiration and provided our ideas below!

Here is what Judy asked:

“What are some suggestions for the rehearsal dinner?  The location will be at a bed and breakfast inn in Vermont in the fall.  Should we have music? Toast? Slide show of pictures of bride and groom?  Thanks for suggestions.”

This sounds like a great location for a fall wedding and rehearsal dinner and you already have some great rehearsal dinner ideas! Remember the focus of the dinner is for the wedding party and the two families to relax and enjoy each other’s company and to celebrate the bride and groom. It is important for the couple and the parents to make sure everyone is introduced to each other upon arriving as it could be the first time most people will meet.

By tradition, the rehearsal dinner is highlighted by toasts, toasts, and more toasts. The guests of the dinner may have sentimental toasts to share or even jokes or tales but should always keep them light-hearted and in good taste. It is also common that the bride and groom will end the toasts by making one to their respective parents and then to the rest of the attendees. The rehearsal dinner is also a nice setting for the bride and groom to distribute their gifts to the bridal party and to their attendants (if they have any).

Music would present a lovely touch as the guests are entering the dinner so be sure to speak to the bride and groom about what type of music they prefer and ask for their ideas. Music would be wonderful as the guests are finding their seats and settling in.

A slideshow of the couple would be very fun for the guests to watch and the couple would definitely appreciate it. You could collect photos of the bride and groom from their childhood and first show the bride then the groom. The end could be a story and slideshow of their relationship, how they met, and end with their engagement photos.

Depending on the theme of the dinner and the wedding you can complement it with some beautiful rehearsal dinner invitations as well. This will let your guests know if it is more on the formal side or a casual dinner.

Hope these rehearsal dinner ideas help. Good luck with planning!


May 22

Ask Etta: Non-Wedding Events—Who to Invite and How to Invite Them

While we dish about the hottest trends and latest designs (aka the fun parts of wedding planning!) we also know how stressful prepping for the big day can be. So, we would like to formally introduce you to Etta, our new etiquette expert. She’s ready and happy to delve into your every etiquette dilemma.

Quite a few people have asked about who to invite to non-wedding events and how to invite them. So here’s what Etta had to say…

Who to Invite

When it comes to weddings with a large amount of out-of-town guests, it is completely normal to have pre and post-wedding activities to entertain them while they’re in town. It’s also fine to to invite only certain people to these activities, as long as you have defined guidelines for who those people are. For example, it is totally acceptable to invite only out-of-town guests to your events, and to leave the local people out. This is done regularly for weddings and most guests will completely understand that your goal is to entertain the people who do not live there and have to stay in hotels, pay for travel, etc.

If, however, you decide to invite some local people and some not, you may end up hurting feelings or causing resentment between guests unless you have clear guidelines for your decisions. Since your wedding is meant to be a celebration of a joyful time, make sure that your events either include everyone, just out of towners, just bridal party, just family,  or a combination, etc. You want to try to avoid inviting some local friends but not others, or some local family but not all. If you decide you want some local people, etiquette states there really is no choice but to invite them all. You may also want to mix events; for example, have one event that includes everyone and then have a collection of smaller events only for your out-of-town guests. This way, everyone will feel included in something!

How to Invite Them

It is customary to send a separate invitation for the non-wedding events. This allows you to invite the people you want included for that particular event. Keep in mind, this invitation does not need to be as formal as the wedding invitation nor do you need to include formal response cards. It is perfectly acceptable to have email, phone or online RSVP for events like the rehearsal dinner, post-wedding brunch, etc.

If you are having multiple events that the same people will be invited to, another idea is to create a little packet to inform guests of all the events. This informational invite can outline your pre-wedding events as well as post and also be sent separately from your wedding invite. Think of it as a little itinerary for the weekend.

Are Non-Wedding Events Mandatory?

It is perfectly fine not to have additional pre and post-wedding events. However, it is recommended to have a rehearsal to practice the details and logistics of the next day. But, a postrehearsal party isn’t obligatory although a nice opportunity for the couple’s families to come together. Another nice gesture for out-of-town guests is to provide a list of local restaurants and/or things to see and do in lieu of or in addition to a physical event.

Hope this helps clear up all the trickiness around the non-wedding events!

Have an etiquette question for Etta? Email us at and she’ll post an answer for you.


April 16

Flourish Rehearsal Dinner Inspiration Board

Today’s rehearsal dinner inspiration board is all about elegant flourishes with a bit of a French flair. We went with a beautiful taupe and fuchsia color combination that makes a subtle impact. Delicate details make all the difference.

rehearsal dinner inspiration board

L to R: Wedding Paper Divas Flourish Focus rehearsal dinner invitation, Centerpiece, Cork Place Card Holders, Cappuccino, Taupe Damask Linens, Taupe Drink, Hazelnut Macarons, Kate Spade Celeste Slingbacks


March 27

Ask Etta: Who’s Invited to the Rehearsal Dinner?

While we dish about the hottest trends and latest designs (aka the fun parts of wedding planning!) we also know how stressful prepping for the big day can be. So, we would like to formally introduce you to Etta, our new etiquette expert. She’s ready and happy to delve into your every etiquette dilemma.

Mary Asks…

I’m getting ready to order invites for my rehearsal dinner… who exactly should be on the guest list?

Etta Says…

We get this question all the time. Must-haves include:

  • your wedding party and their significant others
  • parents of any youngsters playing a part in your ceremony, like your flower girl or ring bearer
  • you and your hubby’s close relatives
  • any special guests, like your officiant and their significant other

You’re not obligated to invite out-of-towners, but if your dinner space and budget allow, it’s nice to include them as well. Happy planning!


November 3

Rehearsal Dinner Inspiration Board

For a simply chic rehearsal dinner, try a neutral color palette of white, ivory, and kraft paper brown. Combine casual, crafty elements with slightly dressed up accents for unexpected elegance.

rehearsal dinner inspiration board

L to R: Wedding Paper Divas Rose China invitation, Burlap Chair Tie, Doily Cupcake Wrappers, Kraft Paper Favors, White Floral Centerpiece, Macarons, Place Setting


August 18

Bordeaux Rehearsal Dinner Inspiration Board

Take cues from the fashion scene when deciding on a color theme for your Fall rehearsal dinner. Bordeaux and shades of deep red are the “it” colors for the Fall season. We used one of our favorite new invitations in this rich hue and created our mood board around it.


 L to R: Wedding Paper Divas Majestic Monogram party invitation, Red Velvet Cupcakes, Florals, Chanel Nail Polish, Elie Saab Front-Slit Ruched Gown, Wine Glass Gel Candle