How much does a rehearsal dinner cost?
Ashburn, VA

How much does a rehearsal dinner cost?

Ashburn, VA

How much does a rehearsal dinner cost?

$20 – $70per person
$500 – $2,000average total cost

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$20 – $70 per person

$500 – $2,000 average total cost

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
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Jennifer Carlson
Written by
Jennifer Carlson
Edited by
Kristen Cramer
Fact-checked by
Tom Grupa

Rehearsal dinner cost

A wedding rehearsal dinner costs $20 to $70 per person or $500 to $2,000 total on average. Prices depend on the venue and the number of guests. The rehearsal dinner is traditionally hosted by the groom’s family, takes place the night before the wedding, and is 2 to 3 hours long.

Rehearsal dinner cost
Guests Average cost
10 $200 – $700
15 $300 – $1,100
20 $400 – $1,400
25 $500 – $1,800
30 $600 – $2,100

Average cost of rehearsal dinner

The following table shows the average cost of a rehearsal dinner.

Average wedding rehearsal dinner cost - Chart
Average wedding rehearsal dinner cost - Chart
Average rehearsal dinner cost
National Average Cost $1,300
Minimum Cost $100
Maximum Cost $3,700
Average Range $500 to $2,000

Rehearsal dinner cost per person by type

Rehearsal dinner cost by type
Type Average cost per person
Casual hosted events $10 – $20
Casual restaurant dinners $25 – $65
Elaborate venue and catering $55 – $100

The following factors affect the total cost:

  • Number of guests – Many restaurants and caterers charge per person. A large dinner party costs more to serve than a small group.

  • Venue – A restaurant or party hall is more expensive to reserve than a loved one’s home or backyard.

  • Catering optionsWedding catering costs $30 to $200 per guest on average. Wedding food truck rentals cost $15 to $40 per person and are less formal.

  • Menu – Some cuisines cost less than others, depending on region and availability. Having a simple cocktail hour with hors d’oeuvres and dessert costs less than a full dinner.

  • Theme and decorations – A wedding decorator charges $550 to $800 on average to design and set up wedding décor.

  • InvitationsWedding invitations cost $3 to $8 per suite, which may include an RSVP card for the rehearsal dinner. Because the rehearsal dinner is typically small, the couple may opt for a more informal invitation method.

  • Floral arrangementsWedding flowers cost $50 to $600 for centerpieces. Many hosts use reception centerpieces at the rehearsal dinner to cut costs.

A dining table set up for a wedding rehearsal dinner.
A dining table set up for a wedding rehearsal dinner.

Frequently asked questions

How long is a rehearsal dinner?

A rehearsal dinner is typically 2 to 3 hours long, including a cocktail hour, dinner, and toasts. If you opt for appetizers and dessert instead of a full meal, it may be shorter.

What to do at wedding rehearsal dinner

A rehearsal dinner is a time to celebrate with loved ones, relax before the wedding, and make toasts. The specific agenda or schedule is customizable. The rehearsal dinner also provides an opportunity for the bride and groom to distribute gifts to the wedding party and parents.

Who plans the rehearsal dinner?

The host of the rehearsal dinner, typically the couple or the groom’s family, plans the evening.

Who should pay for the rehearsal dinner?

The groom’s parents traditionally pay for the rehearsal dinner. However, many couples pay for the dinner themselves.

Where to have rehearsal dinner

Most rehearsal dinners take place in a restaurant, the reception venue, or a loved one’s home.

When to do the rehearsal dinner

The rehearsal dinner takes place the night before the wedding, after the wedding rehearsal.

How far in advance to book the rehearsal dinner

Book the rehearsal dinner 3 to 6 months in advance. This gives you the most flexibility and makes it easier to stick to the budget. Invite guests 4 to 6 weeks in advance and confirm your booking with the restaurant or venue at least 1 to 2 weeks before the dinner.

Who do you invite to the rehearsal dinner?

Most hosts invite immediate family, the wedding party, and the officiant to the rehearsal dinner. The guest list is up to the host, who may include friends or other loved ones.

How to save money on a rehearsal dinner

Follow these tips to save money on the rehearsal dinner:

  • Keep the guest list short.

  • Have a picnic at a park or beach.

  • Shop around for an inexpensive restaurant.

  • Host the dinner at a friend's or family member’s home.

  • Ask your reception space if they offer a discount for rehearsal dinners.

Finding and hiring a wedding planner or caterer

Before hiring a wedding planner or wedding caterer near you, be sure to:

  • Get at least three estimates to compare.

  • Read their reviews on Fash and Google.

  • Browse their portfolio or ask for recent references.

  • Get a detailed quote in writing before the dinner.

  • Avoid choosing the lowest estimate as quality may suffer.

  • Never pay in full before the event.

Questions to ask

  • How long have you been in business?

  • How long do you need to set up?

  • Will you provide wait staff?

  • Does the estimate include drinks, desserts, or cleanup?

  • Does the estimate include a gratuity?

  • What other fees can I expect?

  • Can this space accommodate all my guests?