This Is How Much It Costs to Host a Rehearsal Dinner Today

Here's how much to budget for this prewedding soirée.
sarah hanlon entertainment and celebrity editor the knot
by
Sarah Hanlon
sarah hanlon entertainment and celebrity editor the knot
Sarah Hanlon
Entertainment & Celebrity Editor
  • Sarah is the Entertainment & Celebrity Editor for The Knot, with special focuses on pop culture and celebrity wedding news.
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Sarah was a contributing writer for Bravo at NBC Universal.
  • Sarah has a degree in journalism and resides in New York City.
Updated Feb 22, 2024

Once the ceremony and reception are planned, it's time to focus on one of the most important prewedding events: your rehearsal dinner. Not only is this an ideal time to greet out-of-town guests, it's a great way to kick off your wedding weekend. The average cost of a rehearsal dinner tends to be on the higher side, but it's for good reason. Not only is it necessary for, well, rehearsing, it's also a special time for you to enjoy your wedding weekend before the excitement of your big day. Whether you keep it intimate or invite a large group of your loved ones, planning a rehearsal dinner is a must.

From invitations to catering, it's important to set a realistic budget while browsing rehearsal dinner vendors on The Knot Marketplace. So, how much does a rehearsal dinner cost? The Knot Real Weddings Study, an internal study of nearly 10,000 couples who got married in 2023, reveals all.

In this article:

Average Cost of a Rehearsal Dinner

So, how much does a rehearsal dinner cost? The Knot Real Weddings Study reveals that the average cost of a rehearsal dinner is $2,750. This is representative of all related expenses, including venue, invitations, catering and decor. If you're debating whether you should have a rehearsal dinner, know that it's among the most popular prewedding events (tied with bachelorette parties!). Over 75% of couples hosted one, making it more common than wedding showers and honeymoons.

According to traditional wedding rehearsal etiquette, the groom's parents host and pay for the rehearsal dinner. But since it is 2024, after all, couples are putting their own spin on wedding planning and etiquette rules. Whether you host your own rehearsal dinner or you're a loved one preparing to host in honor of the couple, it's important to have an honest conversation about the average cost for a rehearsal dinner. It's certainly not an inexpensive event, so be sure to budget accordingly.

Rehearsal Dinner Cost Considerations

There are several factors that come into play when it comes to the cost of a rehearsal dinner.

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Destination or Hometown Wedding

Those hosting destination weddings spent an average $3,855 on this prewedding celebration, much more than those who had hometown weddings (average cost: around $2,500). This would make sense as couples hosting destination weddings tend to invite their entire wedding guest list to the rehearsal dinner, making for a pricier event.

Location

And as with the average cost of a wedding, regionality comes into play here, too. Those marrying in the West spend, on average, about $3,000 on their rehearsal dinner, while those in the Midwest spend the least, around $2,000.

Guest Count

An intimate party consisting solely of the wedding party, immediate family members and very close friends means the cost will be lower, but this could also be a great time to welcome out-of-town guests and loved ones you don't see often. The guest list is up to the discretion of the host. However, our study showed that those hosting larger weddings tended to have a pricier rehearsal dinner—couples with over 100 guests spent an average of $3,185 on their rehearsal dinner, while those with 50 or fewer guests spent $1,622 on average.

Venue

The venue will also play a large factor in your rehearsal dinner budget. Some reception spaces offer packages to host a rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding. If this is an option, you may be able to book the space at a lower cost. However, this is also a great way to introduce guests to the location of the wedding, especially if it's a sentimental spot for the couple. Scope out local restaurant private rooms, event spaces or party halls for potential rehearsal dinner venues. Or, host something in a loved one's backyard for a casual and affordable evening of toasting.

Food and Decor

Once you've nailed down the location, you'll want to finalize the decorations and food. While you don't have to serve a five-course meal, hors d'oeuvres and a selection of entrées (along with beverages) is suitable for a rehearsal dinner menu. Restaurants or caterers may offer service packages for rehearsal dinners, so always check with your pros to consider all possible options before making any final decisions. Booking a venue that's already well decorated (like a restaurant) means you can skip the expense of added decor.

Attire

Attire will also be an added cost for the to-be-weds. Take the opportunity to rock a bold rehearsal dinner outfit or a trendy accessory that you won't be wearing on your wedding day, like a bridal headband.

How Has the Cost of a Rehearsal Dinner Changed Over the Years?

The average cost of a rehearsal dinner is a notable increase from previous years. In 2022, couples spent $2,400 on average for their rehearsal dinner, and it was $2,300 in 2021.

Remember that the price of a rehearsal dinner is a reflection of the national average. Cost varies by region and event style, so use this as a general baseline to guide your budget. Ultimately, what you spend on your event is completely up to you. Whether you opt for an upscale soirée or you keep things casual with a backyard party, one thing is certain: Your rehearsal dinner is an important prewedding event, and it'll serve as the ultimate beginning to your nuptials.

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