The Beverly Hilton’s Top 5 Tips for Planning a Wedding Rehearsal Dinner

20 May, 2015

By The Beverly Hilton




Life’s greatest moments happen at your wedding. But, there is a lot that goes into making your day so special and it all starts with the rehearsal dinner. The rehearsal dinner is a great opportunity for the families of the wedding party to meet and enjoy a relaxing gathering for introductions, confirmation of wedding plans and a ceremony rehearsal with your wedding coordinator.

Today’s most asked question: WHO PAYS FOR IT?  I have seen this responsibility fall to just about all different parties involved. There is no right, no wrong; the answer is… whatever works best for your family. However, try not to let the financials get in the way of what is supposed to be the most memorable day of your life (well that is unless you have children).

The rehearsal dinner sets the stage for the festivities that are to come and there are some key elements that cannot be overlooked:

> The wedding coordinator walking the bridal party through the timeline, and if your venue allows doing a mock walk-through is always recommended.

> The Bride and Groom should take this opportunity to thank their families and their bridal party.

> FEED the people, it is called a dinner, isn’t it?


Top 5 Tips to Planning the Rehearsal Dinner

With the above key elements out of the way, here are our top 5 tips when planning a rehearsal dinner.




1. Location, location, location!

If getting married at a hotel, try to keep the rehearsal dinner either within the hotel or in close proximity to the hotel. This allows you to do the mock walk-through, while keeping everyone in one location. Having the rehearsal dinner in the same location eases all sorts of concerns, as you will not have to coordinate transportation, provide directions, worry about people getting lost or drinking and driving. However if you are not getting married at a hotel and your venue doesn’t provide a rehearsal dinner option for you, I cannot say it with enough conviction; provide your guests with transportation. With your special day around the corner, it is extremely important you avoid any unfortunate incidents from occurring so it is important as your guests are enjoying their night with a few glasses of wine, they do not get behind the wheel and face any possible tragedies. However, if the additional cost is not in your budget, limit your guest’s alcohol consumption to 2 drinks or less or make sure you let them know your expectations for the night.




2. Choose a different menu than that of your wedding day

Most rehearsal dinners are going to be a prefix menu, prefix can still be sexy and fun if you work with your catering manager to explore themes, custom menu options, and if possible, providing your guests with options. Most wedding day meals are preselected so allowing your guests options the night prior is truly a treat.




3. Give your guests a gift!

It goes without saying you should be giving your bridal party something special as a thank you for their love and support. These special people have supported you and your future spouse not only during the wedding planning process, but also have impacted you through the different stages of your life and relationship. Previously noted in the “key elements” section, as you are thanking your guests and saying a little something extra special about each bridesmaid and groomsman, use this as an opportunity to present them with a gift. However, don’t forget about the rest of your rehearsal dinner attendees. As your guest list typically includes family members, long distance travelers, and other important guests, gifting them with something from the heart is always cherished.




4. Who do you invite to the rehearsal dinner?

This is absolutely up to the family and whoever is paying for the dinner to dictate the invite list (However it’s best to be flexible if you’re soon-to- be mother-in-law is adamant about inviting Great Aunt Alice.) Staple invites are, of course, the bridal party and their guests, immediate family and their guests, and the officiant (the polite thing to do is offer the officiant a guest even though it is unlikely they will bring a guest or even attend the dinner.) Now that being said, it is always considerate to invite extended family guests that have traveled from great distances to be part of your special day.




5. Not too much wine, salt or carbohydrates for the bride

The dress has been through its last fitting and should fit like a perfectly placed glove… like it was made for you. (I mean, it basically was, wasn’t it?) Brides need to be careful that they do not indulge too much the night prior to avoid having a wardrobe crisis or worse, a malfunction on their big day!


It goes without saying, have fun, enjoy every minute, from the second you say YES to every little detail in between. It is important to revel in every moment! Don’t sweat the small stuff but find joy and uniqueness as the night goes on. You will never forget the details of planning your wedding and will be talking about them for years to come!




About the Author

The Beverly Hilton is one of LA’s most iconic hotels.  Opened in 1955 by the legendary Conrad Hilton himself, the hotel has hosted countless key moments in Hollywood history and continues to host some of the city’s biggest events – The Golden Globe Awards, the annual Oscar Nominee Luncheon and Pre- Grammy Gala to name a few.  With a landmark location at the intersection of Wiltshire and Santa Monica Boulevards, the Beverly Hilton boasts over 500 guests rooms including panoramic city view rooms, cabana rooms adjacent to the hotel’s famous pool deck, and decadent penthouse suites.  The hotel is renowned for its spectacular event spaces – both indoor and outdoor – hosting everything from red carpet events and celebrity galas, to lavish weddings and private celebrations.

For more information on rehearsal dinners, and Beverly Hills weddings at The Beverly Hilton, please contact wedding specialist, Catherine Hairabedian –

All Images Via: The Beverly Hilton