The night before the wedding, a rehearsal dinner (in the American tradition) is usually held after the wedding rehearsal. The guests usually include the couple, the wedding party, and the parents. It may include the out-of-town guests, too, or really anyone.
The purpose of this gathering is for all of the relatives and friends of the bride and groom to meet each other and have a good time. Often the bride’s family has never met the groom’s family until the rehearsal dinner. The groom’s family is responsible for this dinner party. Sometimes the groom’s family takes this opportunity to show the world that they have more money or better taste than the bride’s family! In fact, sometimes the rehearsal dinner is bigger and better than the wedding reception! The bride and groom usually give their bridesmaids and groomsmen a very nice gift.
Activities generally include toasting or roasting. One of the best toasts I have ever heard went like this, “Every man has three women in his life…..the one he loves….the one who loves him….and the one he marries. Let’s raise our glasses for all three….this bride tonight! Cheers!”
I can remember the rehearsal dinner for one of Ross Perot’s daughter in Dallas. Ross kept standing up wanting to give his toast. Everybody kept interrupting him. Finally, his daughter told him to please be quiet until all the rest of the guests had finished! Not too many people have ever told Ross Perot to stop talking!