A tradition as old as time, a wedding celebrates the lasting union between two soulmates—and if we’re being honest—their families.
A Family Affair
Families have been involved with wedding planning since the beginning of time and for good reason. Most of us can’t imagine getting married (or even trying on a wedding dress) without our closest loved ones present. Bringing the families together for a wedding also marks the first of many gatherings for babies, holidays and anniversaries yet to come … and it all starts the night before the wedding.
The original purpose of the “rehearsal” dinner was to include, simply put, those who attended the rehearsal. Immediate family, the wedding party and their plus ones are all traditionally invited. But it’s also said—according to wedding historian and author Susan Waggoner—that the first rehearsal dinners were intended for these guests to “make as much noise as possible in order to drive away evil spirits, and ensure a propitious wedding day for the bride and groom.”
Historically, Who Pays for the Rehearsal Dinner?
Traditionally, the groom’s parents host and pay for the rehearsal dinner since the bride’s family pays for … well, everything else. As generations and wedding trends evolve, however, more brides and grooms are doing away with the traditions of yesteryear—including who pays for what. After all, it’s clear that some traditions evolve for a reason (like certain demon-repelling practices).
Times are Changing
But in this independent-minded day and age, this isn’t always the case. Some couples share the costs of the entire weekend, from the rehearsal to the send-off. So depending on you or your family’s budget, your theme or even the location and time of year—the one thing you need to remember is to have fun with it. Traditions and customs aside, today’s rehearsals should be a fun, relaxing way for your friends and family to spend quality time together before showtime. Whether it’s a brunch, a backyard BBQ for the whole family or an intimate dinner setting at you and you’re fiance’s favorite restaurant—there are plenty of ways to make this tradition totally your own and budget-friendly for whoever decides to take the bill.