Rehearsal Dinner and Groom’s Dinner for LDS Weddings

grooms dinnner for LDS engagment parties
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One of the more nebulous parts of wedding planning is the groom’s dinner (also known as the rehearsal dinner.) What is it, who pays for it, and do you need one if you’re getting married in the LDS temple?

The Traditional Rehearsal Dinner

For non-temple weddings, most couples have a trial run called a “wedding rehearsal” the day before. They go over the minutiae of the ceremony: where to stand, when and how to walk down the aisle, how to hold your flowers, which way to face, and so on. After the rehearsal, everyone involved usually goes out dinner. This is the traditional rehearsal dinner or groom’s dinner.

Should LDS Temple Weddings Have a Rehearsal Dinner?

But the story is a little different if you are being married in the temple. The LDS temple sealing ceremony is short, simple, and sweet, with no need to rehearse. So should you still have a groom’s dinner?

Of course! Even if you aren’t rehearsing the ceremony, it’s nice to get the immediate family of the bride and groom together an evening or two before the wedding to celebrate over a good meal. This gives both sets of parents the chance to interact more than they probably will be able to at the wedding, and they can give private toasts and well-wishes to the bride and groom in a setting much more intimate than the reception.

Who Pays for the Groom’s Dinner?

Historically, the groom’s family has paid for the rehearsal dinner. But modern couples often buck tradition and pay for it out of their own pockets or let their families combine finances to pay for the dinner together.

grooms dinner for LDS weddings
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Whoever pays for the dinner should decide the guest list (should wedding party members, extended family members, or children be included?) and the dinner location (anywhere from a five-star restaurant to the father-of-the-groom’s backyard).

No matter what your groom’s dinner looks like, the only important thing is being together. There’s something about eating together that brings a family closer, so even if you’re planning on a temple sealing and won’t be having a “rehearsal,” you still should make the rehearsal dinner a definite part of your wedding plans.

♥ Jenny Evans
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