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April 7, 2021

Rehearsal Dinner - The Event Before The Event

Rehearsal Dinner - The Event Before The Event
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In this episode, co-hosts Kristina, Mike & Sharon talk about the rehearsal dinner; what it is, why to do it, who traditionally pays, when and where people plan them and more.

Tune in to hear why the rehearsal dinner is an event in and off itself and why you need to budget for it.

Listen in while co-hosts Kristina, Mike & Sharon talk about the rehearsal dinner, who to invite and why separate invitations to this exclusive event are suggested.

The event before the main event is called the rehearsal dinner and is the time to join the two families together, for the wedding party to meet and an opportune time for the engaged couples to thank all the major players!

BY THE TIME YOU FINISH LISTENING, YOU’LL UNDERSTAND why it is just as important to budget and plan for the rehearsal dinner as it is the wedding itself.

Share your rehearsal dinner stories with us and tag us on Facebook or Instagram @theringtheblingandallthethings 

While you’re there, make sure you follow us @theringtheblingandallthethings so you can see behind the scenes where me, Mike & Sharon will take you from engagement to your wedding day and beyond with The Ring, The Bling & All The Things 


Michael Gaddie  0:00  

Did you know the rehearsal dinner is an event all on its own that actually requires planning.


Kristina Stubblefield  0:07  

Guests attending this event should receive an invitation separate from the wedding invitation.


Sharon Rumsey  0:12  

Take a listen to this episode as we talk all things rehearsal dinner cluing you in on how to best enjoy this special intimate time with your closest family and friends prior to your big day.


Kristina Stubblefield  0:24  

You got engaged. Congratulations. Happy. Yes, joyful time. Of course. Now what timelines to do lists and checklists. 100% Don't worry, you're in the right place. Welcome to the ring, the bling, and all the things. Hi, I'm Kristina Stubblefield, one of your hosts, along with my two good friends, Michael Gaddie and Sharon Rumsey. We have over 50 years of wedding industry experience between us. We have seen it, heard it, done it and found a way around it. We are here to get you from down on one knee to down the aisle. Our podcast will cover everything from you saying yes to the I do's and all that happens in between. So buckle up and enjoy the journey. Now let's get started with this episode.


Michael Gaddie  1:35  

Before we get started with this episode, we want to share a review from our listener of the week. Sara from Birmingham, Alabama, informative and all the things such a great podcast for those that need tips and tricks getting ready for the big day. Thank you, Sara, we love getting all these great reviews. If you want to show us some love, leave us a great five star review. We also love to hear your stories about your wedding journey. Visit our website to share your story and you may be our next featured listener. Now let's get this next episode going. All right to all those engaged couples out there we are going to talk about rehearsal dinner today. And I know that Sharon, that's one of her favorite topics. But there's a lot of stuff that I don't know. You know, the bride and groom may not know how to handle it who pays for what? And on. So Sharon, once you start with us and tell us where do we start with this?


Sharon Rumsey  2:33  

I'm excited for this episode because honestly, I get asked every wedding I plan about the rehearsal dinner. Traditionally, the parents of the grim hosts the rehearsal dinner. So it kind of puts the bride in the middle because her mother and soon to be mother in law is gonna want to do an ice event. And she's gonna ask the bride a lot of questions that might be a little bit uncomfortable, because the parents of the grammar paying for this. But let's face it, it's usually the bride that gets asked all the questions. So one of the main things I can tell you is once again, that open line of communication and setting your budget for this event just like you set your budget for your wedding. Okay,


Kristina Stubblefield  3:16  

I have a question. For those out there who may not know, what is the purpose of a rehearsal dinner.


Sharon Rumsey  3:24  

Traditionally, you have a wedding rehearsal, where you are going to rehearse the ceremony and that's a whole episode in itself, how to bring all that off. But you're going to rehearse the ceremony and then the rehearsal dinner is taught a time for those people that are closest to the bride and groom. And the most. Let's just say the major players in the wedding, their bridal party, their siblings, their parents, their grandparents to get together and just kind of celebrate the the wedding festivities and celebrate the couple. But the main point of a rehearsal dinner is a time to join the two families together, but also for the bride and groom to have a chance to thank those major players that have been such an important part in their wedding planning and will continue to be an important part of their life.


Michael Gaddie  4:19  

So how do you determine who comes so when the reason I'm asking that is say if I've got 15 or 20 people that's coming from in from out of town that's already in town, is that something they should be invited to


Sharon Rumsey  4:31  

a hard call and this past year with restrictions being what they were as even become a more difficult call. But what I usually tell couples, it used to be that you invited all your out of town guests to the rehearsal dinner that can that can get to be almost as expensive as the catering for a wedding. So what I normally tell my couples to do is, again, just those major players bridal party We usually do let the bridal party have a significant other at, you know, their spouse or a date. Your parents, your grandparents, siblings, you might even go out to like aunts and uncles go out that far. But you know, if you invite everybody who's coming from out of town, depending on the situation that can really add up. So we usually try to keep it a little more condensed.


Kristina Stubblefield  5:23  

That's really great information, because I'm sure you'll get into some things just like with a wedding reception. How do you how do you really nail down that list? I know that's a big topic for people. And the restrictions have really, I don't want to say helped with that. But when you're only allotted so many people, you know, you can really fine tune who those are, I would think the rehearsal dinner is easier to nail down then your wedding reception.


Sharon Rumsey  5:58  

It is because it's it's usually a much smaller event.


Kristina Stubblefield  6:03  

I don't mean that that doesn't make it stressful, because you're still making a decision based on


Sharon Rumsey  6:10  

the stress usually nowadays is between what used to be the rule. And what is now the rule. Because a lot of older people, parents, grandparents feel like those out of town guests should definitely be invited. But a lot of today's couples, especially those that have planned through COVID, will tell you that they don't feel that that's necessary that just because you know, their dad's friend who traveled from out of state traveled from out of state that they should be at the rehearsal dinner, they want to keep that more intimate. And with those people they're closest to the way I like to get around that is when you send out your wedding invitations. You go through that guest list. And on that guest list, you mark who you would want to come to your rehearsal dinner, you create a separate little card, a separate little invitation, you can do that at Staples or Office Depot, you don't have to spend a lot of money to order anything. But that's your, that's your invitation to the rehearsal dinner, tells you where it's located. And you know whether or not you can, you're bringing a plus one, put that in the wedding invitation. So if you just say only, you know, only bridal party and close family and friends are invited, you're going to have somebody show up that thinks they're invited that wasn't. So I do recommend an actual rehearsal dinner invitation. So that it's clear who's invited and who isn't.


Kristina Stubblefield  7:35  

It's clear, there's no questions, and I got an invitation.


Michael Gaddie  7:39  

Yeah. When it comes to no traditional traditionally, like you said earlier, that the groom's father or mother pays for that. Do you still see that a lot? I noticed, I've heard a lot of people say, Well, maybe the couple takes on that responsibility of their self. I mean, I know a lot of trends are changing. Is that still something you're seen as the groom's mother and father takes care of all that?


Sharon Rumsey  8:05  

Yes, most of the time. There are as many different financial situations as there are couples getting married. So every story is different. And every family has to do what's comfortable for them. Traditionally. And when I, you know, took my classes, I was taught that the responsibilities of the grimms family are the rehearsal dinner, the alcohol at the reception, and the flowers for the girls. I think that's so interesting. That's, you know, that's just tradition that's not set in stone.


Kristina Stubblefield  8:42  

Sure. No, but what I was gonna say is the all of that's interesting that you said, but I love how Sharon said it, because there's so many different people are in different financial states, just as if they're his wedding, you know, number of weddings. And I think the way she said that is just because something is up. This is how it's normally done. You can write your own story, and however that plays out rather than


Sharon Rumsey  9:09  

I've had families that were struggling to pay for the rehearsal dinner, but I've also had the opposite problem where I have two boys. So I was always the mother of a Graeme, I've never got to be the mother of a bride. And sometimes the mother of the groom feels like this is her only time to shine. This is her only event that she gets to plan. And sometimes you have to kind of make sure that you're not competing with the wedding. Because there's a much smaller amount of people so you can afford to spend more per person. So you have to be really walk that line because you want it to be a really nice event but you don't want it to compete with the wedding.


Michael Gaddie  9:51  

Are you saying that you have most of your rehearsal dinners in restaurants or different bars or even having a home in the backyard,


Sharon Rumsey  10:01  

oh my gosh, I've done all of those.


Kristina Stubblefield  10:03  

And there's nothing wrong with any of them right


Sharon Rumsey  10:05  

now. One of the nicest rehearsal dinners I ever was part of was actually in someone's backyard. It was a beautiful backyard. They rented tables, they had gorgeous florals, like it was really, really nice. They had it catered. Traditionally, I hate to use that word. Most of the time. I'm in a nice restaurant for the rehearsal dinner, just because it's easy, the catering, you know, your food's right there. And most restaurants have private rooms. here where we're located. We're in Louisville, Kentucky Bourbons a huge thing. I do a lot of rehearsal dinners at distilleries, and have the food catered in. That's kind of a trendy thing and kind of gives the guests more of an experience, they can do a bourbon tasting and have dinner. But, you know, wherever they want to go, we'll make it work.


Kristina Stubblefield  10:56  

I don't know that I had put as much thought into it about all the moving pieces and everything with a rehearsal dinner, but even separate than the actual rehearsal itself for the ceremony. But the rehearsal dinner is really at an event and its own event. Yeah,


Michael Gaddie  11:14  

well, and I know I've been seeing a lot more in them, especially with the weddings I've been doing with you that the mother of the groom will order flowers from us for the rehearsal dinner, and then somehow we will carry those over to the rehearse the reception at the wedding. Now they're not the major pieces of centerpieces or anything like that. But usually they go on cocktail tables or bars or entrance paces or something like that. And that's a good way to double dip on decorations.


Sharon Rumsey  11:43  

Yeah, I love to do that. Because you want to make sure that the the flowers that you did rehearsal dinner kind of match the wedding. But you don't want to just toss him at the end of the night when there's another big event the next day. So like Mike was saying, I think that's a really smart way to do it.


Michael Gaddie  11:59  

I've noticed too, a lot of our Brides, especially our out of town brides. Now this is crazy. But the bride and groom, I'm doing one from Chicago coming up, and all their party and everybody is coming in the week before. I know this is strange. And they're spending the whole weekend Lobel and they're doing different, you know, going to Churchill Downs for a they're going to the zoo for a day and they're doing all these different activities. Are you seeing more that that the rehearsal is the week before than the night before?


Sharon Rumsey  12:29  

I I've never done the week before. But I've done like the weddings on a Saturday, and we maybe rehearse on Wednesday or Thursday, so that they have three or four days. I have a wedding coming up in May. And it's going to be like a week long event. And there's something planned every night. So I am seeing that more where it's more of like a almost like a vacation experience for the guest. So that's definitely a trending thing to


Michael Gaddie  12:57  

go. I think what the younger generation to and we've had brides on here that has told us and showed us different things that they do. But the brides and grooms nowadays, are doing things so different out of the box thing out of the box, and I absolutely love it. I mean a very unique, unique and different Yes.


Kristina Stubblefield  13:17  

And you're not going to go somewhere else and see it in it. What you're gonna say is it fits them. It fits like a theme for them. They


Michael Gaddie  13:25  

pick a theme, their own theme run through it,


Sharon Rumsey  13:27  

right my favorite rehearsal dinner that I've ever done. I had a couple that got married the last week of October. And they had a very formal, very traditional wedding day wedding ceremony married in the church. You know, black tux is very traditional. But for her rehearsal dinners, that was last week of October and they both loved Halloween. So we went with kind of an Edgar Allan Poe theme. And we did the florals. Were kind of a dark moody floral. We did like black magic roses. They're really really dark, like blood blood rhinos or flowers. Christina a couple


Kristina Stubblefield  14:08  

think she had a good teacher.


Sharon Rumsey  14:09  

We did a lot of black feathers. They had those pictures that change when you look at the picture from something nice to something scary. We hung those all over the venue. The florals had like a black Raven setting in them or a hand coming out, you know of these beautiful flower arrangements. And everything was kind of dark and moody candle lit and then they ask so their guests all came to the rehearsal and we rehearsed in normal rehearsal of clothes, you know, dress clothes, but then everybody went back to the hotel the rehearsal dinner was at the hotel, and they changed into a costume. So everybody had a costume on we played Moody, scary music, you know more of a Halloween mixing music and I loved it. It was so much fun and something I didn't you know, you don't get to do All the time. So it was a super fun wedding. I think that you can take a rehearsal dinner and like Mike said, come up with a theme and just make it your own. And


Kristina Stubblefield  15:08  

I have a question. For those out there who might not be familiar. Could we maybe just go through? Like, from the beginning to the end? What normally goes on? in what order at a rehearsal dinner? Can you touch on a little bit? Now I know some of them are unique and have some chairs and others don't. But just kind of a baseline for people that may not know at all what goes? That's


Sharon Rumsey  15:31  

a great question. So the way I kind of do rehearsal dinner is, you know, all your guests come from rehearsal. So you want to make sure that you choose a venue that is close to where you're getting married, especially if you have a lot of town out of town people because you don't want to have to worry about them driving, or provide transportation. So we get to the rehearsal dinner, everyone is seated, usually the parents of the Grimm will speak, because the parents of the bride traditionally speak at a wedding reception. So once again, this is their night to shine, they will usually thank everyone for coming. thank everyone for the love and support of the couple, and then welcome the bride into their family. Then usually you serve dinner. And then after dinner, usually the bride and groom, say a little something and thank their parents and thank their bridal party. And traditionally, gifts are given out to the parents and to the bridal party. And that's done at the rehearsal dinner. So I usually will do that at this time and everybody opens their gifts, and then I'm, I'm not a huge fan of a groom's cake at a wedding. They never get cut, and they don't get noticed. So I like to make my groom's cake all about the Graeme something he's really into. And I like to serve that as my dessert at the rehearsal dinner, it saves a little money, saves a little money and the cake gets its focus. So and that's honestly about it. I mean, and then it's just a nice time for the broader party to mingle. And if they don't know each other, it's a little nice way for them to get to know each other before the wedding.


Michael Gaddie  17:18  

Well, sometimes too, when it comes to family introducing or meeting other parts of the family of opposite sides. I think that's a good time to do that.


Sharon Rumsey  17:26  

Yeah, it's just uh, usually, I usually get to go, I'm really lucky, I usually get invited. And it's such just a fun night. Like, it's a relaxing, you know, you know, the next day is going to be a long day and not stressful, but you're going to have something to do every minute. So I really enjoy rehearsals.


Kristina Stubblefield  17:44  

My that was going to be my next question is normally rehearsal dinners. Always the night before the actual wedding day itself?


Sharon Rumsey  17:52  

It honestly depends on the availability of the venue where you're getting married.


Kristina Stubblefield  17:56  

So because it's normally right after the rehearsal, so


Sharon Rumsey  17:58  

you're getting married on a Saturday? Well, if that venue has a Friday wedding, you can't go in there and rehearse.


Kristina Stubblefield  18:05  

You may have to do it on Thursday comes out on


Sharon Rumsey  18:07  

Thursday, you have to do it on Thursday, I even have done twice now. Where my venue wasn't available. But the couple really wanted that day before rehearsal because a lot of their bridal party couldn't come in until say Friday before Saturday wedding. I've done rehearsal brunch. So the venue let us rehearse in the morning, the day before, and then you go off to a nice brunch versus a supper.


Kristina Stubblefield  18:35  

That's a really good point, I didn't like that I


Sharon Rumsey  18:37  

did something different. Actually, the brides both have really liked it, because it gave them the rest of the day, to be free, and you know, rest and do go get their nails done whatever they wanted to do before the wedding.


Michael Gaddie  18:52  

I think that's great. I mean, there's so much more information that we could cover. But I mean, you have covered the basic


Sharon Rumsey  18:59  

and I'm really comes up every single client, they asked how to pull off the rehearse. And


Kristina Stubblefield  19:03  

I'm really glad we decided to separate out the actual rehearsal itself. Because I think there was great things that may not have gotten touched on if we tried to combine the two together. So I really think that that will be packed with its own information. Because I don't think many people know what actually goes on for the


Michael Gaddie  19:25  

love to be, you know, here and be curious of what couples would really do for rehearsal dinners, because I know there's so many things that they can do or choose. So maybe we'll get some comments on, you know, hey, we did this and give other bridon I'm always


Sharon Rumsey  19:39  

up for an out of the box


Kristina Stubblefield  19:41  

idea. We'd love feedback. So visit our website, the ring, the bling, and all the things calm, and you can click the contact button or we've made it easy you can click the microphone and record us a message that we may feature on one of our upcoming episodes and or use it on our social media. Thanks you all so much for listening. We love bringing you tips and information to help with your wedding planning. So we hope you've enjoyed it. And don't forget, connect with us and make sure you check out the video of this recording on our YouTube channel. Until next time, take care.


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