Rehearsal Dinner Traditions | Knoxville Wedding Photographer

Rehearsal dinner bride and bridesmaid toast Sarah Keenan Photographer Outer Banks Knoxville Asheville

Ahhh, the rehearsal day has come! This is not just a time to practice for the upcoming wedding day. It is an occasion to gather with those closest to you for an intimate, peaceful few hours over a nice meal and drinks.

There are, of course, several traditions surrounding the rehearsal dinner that many brides and grooms have questions about. This makes perfect sense, up until you are directly involved in planning the event, you might not have had any reason to come into contact with these unspoken “rules”! Here are the ones I am most often asked about:

1 – Who Hosts?

Traditionally – the groom or the grooms’ family traditionally pays for the rehearsal dinner since the brides’ family traditionally pays for the wedding. Modern take – in today’s times, most anything goes and the bride and groom may even host the rehearsal dinner themselves

2 – Who Attends?

Traditionally – Anyone involved in the wedding ceremony (and their dates) should be invited to attend the rehearsal dinner. Modern take – you may want to include other close family members, like grandparents to the rehearsal dinner. Some couples even extend the guest list to out of town guests, making the rehearsal dinner more of a welcome party!

3 – What Do We Serve?

Traditionally – There are really no hard and fast rules on food served at the rehearsal dinner but you do want to stay away from anything close to your wedding day fare. If your wedding cuisine features a 5 course sit down dinner, the rehearsal dinner can be a more casual BBQ buffet. Or if you are serving pork and chicken for the wedding meal, consider a seafood entree for the rehearsal dinner. Modern take – the rehearsal dinner doesn’t have to be a dinner! Some couples now choose to have a brunch or lunch ahead of the wedding day so they have more time the evening before to get ready. Just be sure there is still enough time blocked out to actually rehearse the wedding.

Rehearsal dinner bride and bridesmaid toast Sarah Keenan Photographer Outer Banks Knoxville Asheville

4 – Who Gives a Toast?

Traditionally – the first toast is given by the father of the host (groom) welcoming everyone, after this the father of the bride will often give the next toast. Unlike the wedding reception, during the rehearsal dinner after the key toasts are made the floor is opened up to anyone else wanting to make a tribute. Another difference is that some toasts (like that of the best man) can lean more towards roasting since this is a more intimate gathering than the wedding day. Modern take – Mothers, grandmothers, sisters – women should all feel welcome to make a toast too, just because tradition has men starting doesn’t mean your amazing passionate well-spoken mama can’t give the toast!

What do you think? Do you have more questions about the dress rehearsal or rehearsal dinner? I’m happy to help! Did you know I have wedding photography collections that include the rehearsal? I can also work with you on a custom package or provide coverage at my a la carte rate – just ask!

Happy Wedding Planning!

With Grit & Grace~

Sarah Keenan, Wedding Photographer

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I have an affinity to all things light and airy.  I love color, sunshine, romance, and laughter.  I love inspirational quotes, meeting new people, flowers, and the idea of finishing a great book.  My go-to drink is coffee.  My outlet is dance.  And, aallllll of my free time is spent with my crew, including our German Shepherd, Gaia.   

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Hi there!  I am Real Estate Photographer, Sarah Keenan.  Raised in East Tennessee and a proud graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and all that offers runs deep for this gal.  Having worked in photography for over 14 years, I am excited to be back home and working along side folks like you.

As a small business owner, I personally understand the time, effort, and dedication that goes into leading a life as an entrepreneur. I thrive on efficiency.  I am on your team.  I am your Knoxville Real Estate Photographer. 

Take a look around.  If you like what you see please give me a shout.  I’d love to serve you and your business goals.