Are there any special things the groom's parents should make sure happen at the rehearsal dinner? I'm a very inexperienced mother of the groom planning from 1,000 miles away.
The purpose of the rehearsal dinner is to provide an intimate setting for the two families to mingle before the big event. There's nothing in particular that must happen, although the groom's parents might want to give a toast just before or just after the meal. You can simply welcome the family and wedding party, express your eager anticipation of the wedding, and declare the festivities officially begun!
Rehearsals + Brunches