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9 Tips on Having the Best Rehearsal Dinner Bergen County NJ

It is official. You and your significant other are about to celebrate the next big milestone of your lives and walk down the aisle. You have picked out the wedding venue, caterer, videographer, photographer, and DJ. You know who will be in your wedding and who will be attending it. The only task left on your wedding list is the wedding rehearsal itself. Will it be formal or informal? Where and when will it be? Is there a plus one? Traditionally, the wedding rehearsal celebrates you and your significant other’s love for one another, as well as thanking those in your wedding for their support. You want to throw the best rehearsal dinner Bergen County NJ to show your friends and family how much you care about them but are not sure where to start.

In this article, you will learn:

  • Whether you should have a formal or informal rehearsal dinner
  • The number of people you’d like to invite
  • If there is a theme
  • If the rehearsal wedding should be before or after the dinner
  • And more so your rehearsal dinner Bergan County NJ turns out beautiful!

1. Do You Want It Formal or Informal?

Traditionally, while wedding rehearsals are not as formal as the wedding day and reception, they still are more formal events than your typical get-together. However, nowadays, the wedding rehearsal could be an informal celebration in your soon-to-be in-laws’ backyard or simply a dinner at your favorite restaurant.

Still, some couples enjoy taking it up a notch by celebrating at a more luxurious restaurant. It comes down to the couple’s preferences, budget (whether you or the groom’s family is paying for it), guest count, and availability.

2. How Many People Are You Inviting?

Typically, those in your wedding (i.e. maid of honor, man of honor, bridesmaids, groomsmen, etc.) are invited to the rehearsal dinner. However, you can always extend the invitation to include plus ones and family of the wedding party. Again, it depends on the budget and how many people your rehearsal dinner venue can hold. If you (or the groom’s family) have room in your budget and strongly believe in the more, the merrier, why not give your wedding party a plus one option?

Just be sure to include this option in the rehearsal invitations or verbally tell them several weeks before the dinner. That way, your wedding party and plus ones have enough time to take time out of their busy schedules for the dinner. And, you can finalize the guest count with the venue at least a few weeks before the official date so they have ample time to prepare.

3. Will There Be a Theme?

Depending on your preference and if there is a theme to your wedding and reception, you may want to extend it to your rehearsal dinner. For instance, if your wedding will take place on a beach, you may want to tell your wedding party to wear beach-themed attire for the rehearsal dinner, and provide themed decorations for the special events coordinator and team at your venue to set up. Still, if this is an extra cost you cannot afford or don’t want to accrue, not having a theme at your rehearsal dinner is perfectly fine.

4. Will the Rehearsal Dinner Be Held Before or After the Wedding Rehearsal?

Traditionally, the rehearsal dinner is after the wedding rehearsal. However, you can have it before. This may be a good option if several of your wedding party’s schedules conflict—especially out-of-town guests.

However, with food and alcohol involved, many people may feel too tired to rehearse for the wedding after dinner. If schedules are not a problem, we recommend to hold the rehearsal dinner Bergen County NJ after. That way, you can celebrate longer without needing to check your watch every half hour.

5. Will the Rehearsal Dinner Be a Dinner?

Similar to the rehearsal dinner not having to be after the wedding rehearsal, it does not have to be a dinner. A lunch is a great option too! Again, this depends on schedules and your preference.

6. When Are You Having the Rehearsal Dinner?

Ideally, you want to give your wedding party (and their plus ones, if you decide on that option) enough time to plan for the rehearsal dinner. The truth is, you do not know what is going on in their lives: whether, work-wise that month is a busy time for them, their family is coming in to town, or their children need a babysitter.

To make sure everyone can attend, the more time you give and plan ahead, the less stress you and your wedding party will feel when making arrangements. In general, we recommend that you schedule the rehearsal dinner at least a month or two out. That way, you have enough time to finalize the guest count or check in with the venue if something last-minute comes up (i.e. one extra guest, etc.).

7. Will the Rehearsal Dinner Be Adults Only?

This is largely a personal choice. Because the rehearsal dinner can go late into the evening and involve alcohol, some couples may not feel comfortable having kids present. However, other couples may not mind—especially if the kids or their parents are in the wedding.

Remember, if you want an adults-only rehearsal dinner, you need to notify your wedding party several weeks beforehand so those with children can arrange for a babysitter. Also, know that some of your wedding party may not be able to attend because they need to watch their kids.

8. What Food Will Be Served at the Rehearsal Dinner?

Will it be steaks, lobsters, or chicken dinners? Or will the rehearsal dinner have more homemade food options? This depends on budget, eating requirements and preferences, and, possibly, the theme. You also want to make sure everyone can eat the food you are serving at the rehearsal dinner. You can always include the menu with your rehearsal invites or have vegetarian-friendly options available for the one or two vegetarians in your wedding party.

9. Where Will the Rehearsal Dinner Be Held?

Will it be held in a family member’s backyard? On the beach? Or perhaps at a luxurious restaurant? Visit a few venues that you and your significant other are considering so you know what to expect and can see if one would be a good fit.

As a side note, logistically, we recommend that you do not have the rehearsal dinner an hour (or more) from the rehearsal wedding venue. Your wedding party may be tired during the drive and you could risk the dinner being cut short.

Final Thoughts on the Best Rehearsal Dinner Bergen County NJ

Having the best rehearsal dinner Bergen County NJ takes time and preparation. There are many options you and your significant other need to weight before finalizing the rehearsal dinner—number of invitees, rehearsal dinner venue, catering, adult-only or not, etc. No matter what you choose, your rehearsal dinner will be beautiful simply because of the special occasion: This is a time and event to celebrate what we care about most—family, friends, and love. Happy Celebrating!

Have other rehearsal dinner suggestions or advice? What was your rehearsal dinner experience like? Did you have the rehearsal dinner Bergen County NJ? Share with us by leaving a comment below!


  • Wedding rehearsal dinners are a special time to celebrate the love you and your soon-to-be spouse share, as well as thank your wedding party for their continual support
  • To ensure you have the best rehearsal dinner Bergen County NJ, decide whether the rehearsal dinner will be formal or informal
  • Traditionally, rehearsal dinners are not as formal as weddings but more formal than a typical night out
  • Consider how many people will you be inviting: normally, the wedding party is invited and at least a plus one
  • Decide if there will be a theme for the wedding rehearsal dinner
  • If there is one for your wedding, you may want to extend it to the dinner
  • Choose if the dinner will be held before or after the wedding rehearsal
  • Usually it is held after but, if there are several scheduling conflicts, it may be better to have it before
  • Dinner or lunch? Typically, the meal is a dinner, however, it comes down to preference
  • To ensure your wedding party can attend the event and that there is availability at the venue, schedule the rehearsal dinner Bergen County NJ months in advance
  • Decide if the dinner will include kids or not; if not, tell guests about this in advance so they can make arrangements for a babysitter
  • Decide on the food choice; no matter what you decide, it is recommended to have some vegetarian options
  • Check out several venues before choosing one. Make sure it is not an hour (or more) from the rehearsal

Wedding Rehearsal Dinners at The Brick House

The Brick House offers special event services, hosting wedding rehearsal dinners, weddings, private parties, bridal showers, holidays, and more. From our elaborate and customizable menus to our small and intimate setting, we guarantee you will have a memorable time. Contact Brick House if you have questions about these services or want to book a special event.

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