Rehearsal dinner guidelines


Photo: Emily Harmon/Iowa State Daily

Iowa State’s Memorial Union features the Campanile Room, a spacious option for rehearsal dinners. The Campanile Room can be requested through the Memorial Union, as well as catering services. 

Lindsey Schwarck

You have made it through months of planning, countless bridal showers and an unforgettable bachelorette party. On the night before your wedding, take a step back and unwind with friends and family through a casual rehearsal dinner.

This relaxing night of food and fun also allows you to thank those who have helped along the way. Be sure to recognize your family, bridal party and other helpers through a special toast or small gifts to show your appreciation.

Traditionally, the groom’s family hosts the event and determines venue and dinner options. Casual or formal, appetizers or dessert bar, the dinner should be a reflection of the new couple.

Choose your location based on guest count. Estimate 40 to 60 people, allowing extra room for dates and out-of-town guests. Many restaurants or catering halls are good options, as they offer banquet rooms for large groups to gather and socialize.

Lucullan’s Italian Grill on Main Street specializes in groups and accommodates to parties of any size. Whether you need space for 80 or an intimate setting for 20, Lucullan’s brings everyone together over an authentic meal and warm atmosphere.

“Many families choose three or four entrees prior to the event, which really cuts down on time and runs smoothly,” said Terry Lowman, owner of Lucullan’s. “Our family-style meals are also great because you get to try a little of everything.”

More causal venues may include a backyard barbecue, pizza parlor or outdoor picnic.

While food and drinks are the main attraction, keep the night lively through icebreaker games such as darts or newlywed trivia. After all toasts are made, turn it around for the bridal party to roast the couple about embarrassing childhood memories or crazy college nights.

After a final round of drinks and jokes, end the night by thanking guests for attending and turn in early to prepare for the big day ahead.