Grooms. Men. Gifts.

Groom 101

Rehearsal Dinner Planning Timeline

Chris Easter

One of the largest responsibilities for the groom and his family will be Planning the rehearsal dinner. How will you remember everything without losing your mind? This checklist offers a helpful timeline for what should be done and when.

9-12 Months Out

  • Locate and secure a venue. Determine what the deposit amount is and when the final balance will be due.
  • If you’ll be using a caterer, book one as soon as possible (caterers are often booked up to a year in advance).
  • Get a list of menu options from the venue or caterer. It’s also helpful to ask for a list of the venue’s and catering company’s policies. d
  • Carefully review your vendors’ contracts and make sure everything fits your needs before signing on the dotted line.

5-6 Months Out

  • Decide on the specifics (menu options, open or cash bar, etc.) and try out the different types of they offer.
  • Begin preparing the guest list. For a small event, you may decide to invite only the wedding party. For a larger affair, you’ll also want to consider inviting any out of town guests and extended family members or life-long friends.
  • Begin compiling the addresses of all invited guests.
  • Select and order invitations.

1 -2 Months Out

  • Address and send out invitations.
  • Begin keeping detailed record of responses.
  • Choose any special linens, flower arrangements or decorations you’ll be using at the venue.

1 Week Out

  • Notify the caterer of your final head count.
  • Also inform them of any small children who will be attending (their meals are typically provided free of charge).
  • If you’ll be using an assigned seating chart, draw it up.
  • Purchase name cards to place at tables for assigned seating.

Day Of

  • Visit the venue during the day to make sure everything is properly set up.
  • Relax and enjoy the night!
  • After the event, make sure that any personal belongings are removed from the venue If required, clean the area (or recruit family members to help).
  • Pay any outstanding balances to the caterer or venue.


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