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  • Writer's pictureIsadora Martin-Dye

Planning a Rehearsal Dinner

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

Firstly, let's address the financial aspect. Traditionally, the bill for the rehearsal dinner is paid for by one side of the family. Unlike the wedding, where the couple usually covers at least a part of the expenses, this tradition is usually maintained. However, it's important to remember that both families can feel excluded during the planning process. Therefore, involving everyone in discussions about the rehearsal dinner can help them feel more included and valued.

Now, let's talk about the various options available for the rehearsal dinner. We will begin with the smallest option and gradually expand from there. As a Rixey Bride or Groom, you have the option to choose a Rixey-specific alternative. At Rixey, we encourage you to be creative and mix-and-match to make your rehearsal dinner unique.

Option 1

Invites: Just immediate family (parents, grandparent, siblings – and their significant others)

Location: At a parent’s home, at a restaurant, in the Rixey Dining Room.

Catering: Mom’s home cooking, ordering off menu, or take-out (we get Chinese and Pizza delivered to the Manor)

Alcohol: That special bottle of Scotch, an expensive bottle of champagne

Activities: Board games, family photo albums

Pro’s: Cheaper, intimate, usually fewer hangovers on the wedding day, if your families haven’t met it’s a great way for them to form genuine bonds

Con’s: You have to ask the wedding party to find something else to do after the walkthrough, does nothing to build the anticipation for the wedding

Option 2

Invites: Family (immediate), and wedding party (with significant others) – basically those gathering for the walkthrough

Location: Restaurant, Rixey Manor front porch, rooftop or bar.

Catering: Pot luck, set menu, catering from restaurants i.e. Chipolte, Italian

Alcohol: Wine, enough champagne for toasts, a small keg on tap

Activities: Speeches, Firepit and Smores, taking turns bartending

Often combined with going into Culpeper or Warrenton to meet the remaining guests for a drink.

Pro’s: Casual, still inexpensive, more of a party, everyone who is needed for the walkthrough is included, still small enough to form family bonds

Con’s: Some out-of-town guests, aunts, and godparents, may wish they were included, Can actually be quite large by the time significant others and children are invited.

Option 3

Invites: Everyone who is invited to the wedding

Location: Cocktail bar, The Manor (including the Ballroom if needed)

Catering: Professional Caterer, Food Truck

Alcohol: Whatever you have for your wedding (minus specialty cocktails), it will give you a good indication on what will get drunk most at the wedding and time to stock up on Saturday

Activities: As above, cornhole, Karaoke

Pro’s: The wedding day is super structured so this gives a great opportunity to have a proper party with your guests, everyone feels loved and important, out of town guests have something meaningful to do with their wedding weekend.

Con’s: More expensive, can lead to hangovers the next day (which in turn can lead to less drinking on the wedding day), can spoil the special factor of having everyone together on the Saturday

If anyone needs restaurant recommendations, food truck numbers, or décor questions just shoot me an email or give me a call!

Photo by Lieb Photographic

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