Advanced search

To Not Understand American Weddings...Rehearsal Dinner??

(77 Posts)
CaptainCrunch Thu 25-Feb-16 16:00:17

I've seen this in countless US sitcoms and films. A friend is going to a US wedding next month and we were chatting about the "Rehearsal Dinner" and realised none of us actually knew what it meant.

I realise movies are not RL but the Rehearsal Dinner looks like a really big deal, with people all dressed up in a fancy restaurant. Does this mean the wedding itself doesn't have a meal? Do they have the meal the night before?

Anyone help? Thanks in advance.

Yankeetarts Thu 25-Feb-16 16:02:36

I would also like to know if most American wedding are in the evening

rookiemere Thu 25-Feb-16 16:05:25

So for US weddings traditionally there is a big meal the night before which is hosted and paid for by the groom's family - it doesn't replace the wedding meal as far as I know. Kind of makes sense as most people will be there then anyway.

I don't know about the evening thing. My cousin's was after sun down ( ultra late) but that was because it was a jewish service. We had our meal afterwards about midnight which was interesting.

catsinthecraddle Thu 25-Feb-16 16:09:50

I thought it was just a way for people to come together before the actual wedding, it's not uncommon for families to not know each other.

It seems a much more structured diner than the informal diners we have here. When friends and relatives are travelling, they normally arrive at least the day before the wedding (the majority does), so the bride's family normally hosts a diner, or invite everybody to the nearest pub/ restaurant. At least that's how things normally happen around me.

I am pretty sure that most american weddings do include a meal!

megletthesecond Thu 25-Feb-16 16:10:11

It's a less formal evening meal. I've been to a couple of family weddings in the States.

They still had a meal after the wedding the next day.

TeenAndTween Thu 25-Feb-16 16:13:26

Surely it is a dinner after the wedding rehearsal (where you go through with the vicar when to stand, how the vows will be done etc). So as all key people are there, they then go out to dinner too?

MrsJayy Thu 25-Feb-16 16:13:51

So whats the cocktail hour then whats that about I have seen it on 4 weddings US ? I assumed evening weddings were for outside in hot parts of America iyswim

CruCru Thu 25-Feb-16 16:17:22

I had a Rehearsal Dinner. It was for our families, people in the wedding party and all the people who'd flown over for the wedding (as we knew we wouldn't get as much of a chance to hang with them at the actual wedding).

I've only ever been to evening weddings in the US but they were all Jewish weddings.

MrsJayy Thu 25-Feb-16 16:21:41

Why are jewish weddings at night ?

Out2pasture Thu 25-Feb-16 16:23:56

Teenandtween has it right. After the rehearsal the people get together for a meal. Sometimes other members that are not part of the wedding party like grandparents or the parents of flower child ring bearer attend as well.

specialsubject Thu 25-Feb-16 16:24:03

they don't have to be!

Out2pasture Thu 25-Feb-16 16:26:14

After the wedding service the bridal party usually go for professional photographs. During that time the guests gather at the reception site and have drinks; cocktail hour

MrsJayy Thu 25-Feb-16 16:27:03

Oh ok just pp said they went to Jewish evening weddings I thought it might be a tradition

MrsJayy Thu 25-Feb-16 16:28:52

We have photo drinks too usually luke warm wine and volu vents no cocktails <sigh>

ZiggyFartdust Thu 25-Feb-16 16:29:32

Well Saturday is a common day for weddings for many reasons, and obviously you can't have a wedding between nightfall Friday and nightfall Saturday, so Saturday evening is a very popular choice for a Jewish wedding.

lurkingfromhome Thu 25-Feb-16 16:32:53

Don't American weddings all have a million bridesmaids? Or six, at least. That seems to be the norm rather than the two you'd expect here.

I am, of course, making a huge sweeping generalisation based on (i) one wedding video of a distant American cousin (ii) the film Bridesmaids grin

InsufficientlyCaffeinated Thu 25-Feb-16 16:33:33

I always thought the rehearsal dinner was like a practice dinner for the main event blush

Pico2 Thu 25-Feb-16 16:36:15

So we have 'cocktail hour' in British weddings, but it is called 'the standing around bit'. Perhaps if we renamed it to 'cocktail hour' it would be more enjoyable. At most weddings I've been to there are insufficient canapés and lots of booze. That combination along with awkward timings meaning people have missed lunch results in people getting drunk at 4.30. But 'cocktail hour' sounds so much better.

GinandJag Thu 25-Feb-16 16:38:12

The rehearsal dinner is traditionally a meal funded by the groom's family for everyone at the wedding rehearsal, which traditionally takes place the day before the wedding. This usually means immediate family and attendants.

CaptainCrunch Thu 25-Feb-16 16:38:57

Lol, agree cocktail hour needs to be a thing grin

CaptainCrunch Thu 25-Feb-16 16:39:43

Thanks for the explanation everyone.

MadamDeathstare Thu 25-Feb-16 16:41:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

shoeaddict83 Thu 25-Feb-16 16:43:27

ive seen this cocktail hour on 4Weddings US and it just seems a waste of money to me! They all stuff themselves on numerous food stations then go straight into a sit down 3/4 course meal and all complain they are too full!
I get doing cocktails and canapes whilst waiting for the photos etc, but the US seem to just supersize it and literally have every food known to man in the cocktail hour as full plates - not canapes - just before a it down main meal! And no - definitely dont understand the rehearsal dinner, just another excuse to drag out the wedding celebrations isn't it?!

LarrytheCucumber Thu 25-Feb-16 16:46:38

My friend's son married an American girl and they were expected to host the rehearsal dinner. They live in England and the wedding was in America, where their son lives. As far as I remember the son booked and organised it for them. My friend said it was a big deal and had to be done.

ZiggyFartdust Thu 25-Feb-16 16:46:45

(American here that gets pissed at the number of threads on Mumsnet where people look down on us as being bossy, rude, arrogant, uncultured and dim)

To be fair, I've used a couple of US forums and plenty look down on Brits for being bossy, rude, arrogant, snobby, and with bad teeth etc. It goes both ways.
Being neither British nor American I can see both sides wink

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now