Rehearsal dinner toasts and speeches

Rehearsal dinner is one more thing you should go through before you can go to your actual wedding. Unlike the actual wedding reception, rehearsal dinner is a small intimate celebration, where you don’t need to meet tons of people. Usually, only the closest ones are invited to the rehearsal dinner, like your immediate family and close friends and everyone that would have an actual part during the upcoming wedding reception. Sometimes it’s also a good idea to invite guests who have traveled especially far to be at your wedding.

Although it’s called a rehearsal dinner, this is an actual event that should follow the traditions and wedding etiquette norms.

What is the difference between rehearsal dinner toasts and wedding reception speeches?

Rehearsal dinner is usually less structured and planned ahead than the wedding receptions. Remember, that this is the celebration for your close circle, to share your sincere emotions and thoughts with each other. Ideally, the rehearsal dinner should be an intimate gathering of people, where they are welcome to speak up and share their excitement and love for each other. Thus, toasts during rehearsal dinner are less structured than during wedding reception. Everyone is welcome to speak up, whenever they have something that they want to share. Traditionally, there are some toasts that just can’t be omitted. Toasts from the best man, maid of honor and the father of the bride are planned in advance. Others can join too if they want, no reservations are needed in advance.

Who should toast first at a rehearsal dinner?

There are actually some rules that should be followed to make sure everyone has the opportunity to speak up and no one is interrupted:

  • The rehearsal dinner is traditionally hosted by the groom’s parents. If this is your case, normally the groom’s father will make the first toast by welcoming everyone at the gathering.
  • After the groom’s parents say their welcoming words, the bride’s family is expected to make a return toast. Usually, the bride’s parents will say a couple sweet words about the couple and thank everyone for coming. Although the toast is traditionally made by parents, any relatives from the bride’s side are more than welcomed to join.
  • Then the mic should go back to the groom’s side and next to speak up is usually the best man. He can make some jokes about his best friend and reminisce on their times together.
  • After the last key player of the wedding – the maid of honor – made her toast, everyone is welcome to speak up. There are no strict rules or order, it should be about your couple and your family. Get close and sincere.
  • The toasts can be less formal and can take more time than they would at the wedding.
  • After all the toasts, the couple should stand up and thank everyone who toasted them. This is usually the time for the thank you gifts for your parents and members of your wedding party.
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