Groom Rehearsal Dinner Dos & Don'ts

Make your rehearsal dinner a memorable one. Here's everything you need to know to keep your parents and your bride happy.
by Robert Mortiz

It's rehearsal dinner time. After so much planning, your wedding will finally begin to feel like reality. This is the one big event that is traditionally paid for by the groom's parents, so its success rests squarely on your shoulders. Lucky for you, you'll be guaranteed a great party as long as you stick to these five tips:

Be on your best behavior. This may be the first time you'll meet many of your fiancee's out-of-town relatives, so remember to keep your language clean, your tie straight, and your fly zipped.

Know thy cousins. Before the evening begins, have a cram session with your parents to gather a working knowledge of the relatives and family friends you're likely to encounter. Your main responsibility this evening is to make sure everyone from your side meets the bride. Without preparation, you run the risk of a nasty deer-in-the-headlights episode that nobody is likely to forget.

At the rehearsal proper (the part where you'll be practicing the actual ceremony), do a last-minute cross check of all social histories and screen for conflicting data. You don't want a groomsman cruising down the aisle with the bridesmaid who dumped him for his older brother in 11th grade.

Once you've made it to the dinner, let all your guests feel they've got a piece of you. Tonight, you're the man -- and your parents are probably footing the bill -- so work the room and schmooze it up. Just don't forget to attend to one small detail...

Your bride. With all the boozing and back-slapping required of you tonight, it's easy to neglect the person who needs the most attention. Do not let this happen. Tonight's a good night to remind your fiancee why she's going to say "I do" to you, so stop by periodically and offer small doses of TLC. A kiss, a cuddle, or simply holding hands under the table will suffice. Matching tequila shots are not recommended.

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