Rehearsal Night: 6 Tips to Hosting Your Wedding Rehearsal Dinner in Your Own Apartment

Iris Wisher
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Have It Catered

The easiest way to control your budget is to shop for food and beverages separately. Then once you’ve confirmed your venue, make sure you agree to a final price for food and beverages as well as beverages only. That way, you can make sure you know exactly how much you’re spending and can budget accordingly.

For your rehearsal dinner, you may want to consider having your wedding caterers cater it as well. That way you can ensure everything will be ready to go. However, it’s not necessary to have the caterers do your catering for the rehearsal dinner if your venue can provide the catering.

Another option is to provide snacks and drinks for the rehearsal dinner yourself and have the caterer provide dinner.

Get Some Help

While we can plan and cook most weddings, planning a rehearsal dinner is a unique beast. It’s much like the party itself, just on a smaller scale. Because only your wedding party and family are expected to show up, most couples like to stick to a small budget and scope. And although, you’re likely gleaning ideas from all over the internet, it’s best to seek out a professional to do the heavy lifting.

First, bring on a bartender to help you plan the food and drinks. Don’t worry if it’s your first time hosting a party, a bartender can help you a lot. Next, hire a caterer to provide the food. Most caterers specialize in this sort of thing. Figure out what you’re going to serve and how you’re going to serve it. Then, put it all into a timeline and run it by the caterer. Let them explain how everything will actually fit together. The last thing you want is an overcrowded kitchen or a few separate dishes sitting on the table too long.

Have a great meal and then relax. Watch your friends and family laugh as you walk down the aisle.

Have Pro Cleaners Visit Before and After

You’re hosting a rehearsal dinner for a complicated event. Everyone’s invited “ complete with partners, fiancés, and children. The location is your downtown apartment. If anyone so much as feels a crumb, the place might as well be condemned.

Don’t let your picturesque vision turn into a complete calamity simply because you don’t have your own maids. Book reliable professionals and pay a little more than you probably have to.

Dishes, floors, and your favorite vases are in much better hands when you pay someone else to handle them. If you’re really worried about cleanliness, hire a cleaning crew to visit the day before the rehearsal dinner and then again in the morning after.

Consider a Rental Company

Before you start making reservations and coordinating the details of your giant BBQ, consider hiring a rental company to help you set up the event and break it down afterward.

They have the tools, the know-how, and the experience to ensure that your rehearsal dinner will be beautiful, memorable and stress-free.

Many companies offer a free consultation to discuss your vision for the night, offer recommendations and give a breakdown of costs. Some companies even offer to send you photos throughout the night. A rental company can be very affordable and worth every penny.

Sure, you can manage to plan and host the rehearsal dinner yourself. But think about all the wonderful things you can do with the time you’ll save. Make a list of what the rental company can offer, and if it still isn’t enough to convince you that you need a little help, then think about what the evening will look like if you end up calling in sick the day after the rehearsal dinner. You’ll have an entire wedding to worry about, not to mention the stress that it will add.

Watch That Guest List

Whatever you do, keep the guest list small!

The rehearsal dinner is a chance to gather the important people in your life to celebrate the upcoming union. And although there’s no hard rules by which you have to maintain the guest list — you could even make it a surprise for some, with just one or two people in the know — there is one hard rule: Don’t invite your whole extended family!

Invite the people who are closest to you and who can make it. Extended family and distant friends may be disappointed if they can’t make it. This is also why you want a small guest list – so you can spend time with everyone you wish to enjoy the moment with.

Whether you prefer an elegant sit down dinner or a more casual buffet, make it easy to eat, easy to serve and easy to clean up.

Keep the set up simple and clean. Opt for something eye-catching, like an elegant tablecloth and napkins. You don’t have to go overboard with the decorations because they are likely to be packed up later and moved out of the way during the reception


Whether you’re hosting a rehearsal dinner in a home, an apartment, or in a bar, you’ll need to make sure your guests have a place to park. If you’re the one who will be doing the parking, you may be surprised at how many people’s cars can fit within one block of your apartment.

If making all these cars fit in one block isn’t an option, you could choose a restaurant that’s just a block away from your apartment. Although finding one that’s open late may be a little more challenging.

If you’re hosting a big rehearsal dinner and have a few blocks of guest parking you’d like to make sure gets used, consider hiring a valet service to keep the street clear. This way your guests won’t have to worry about finding a spot because a valet service will be taking care of it for them. But make sure you communicate your plans to the valet service in advance so that they can accommodate your needs.