How much does a rehearsal dinner cost?

If you are wondering, how much does a rehearsal dinner cost? This blog post is for you.

After reading this post, you will better understand how to budget for your rehearsal dinner!

The challenge with planning a wedding is knowing what to budget for with so many changes, such as guests who cannot attend at the last minute.

rehearsal dinner cost
Photo by Fabio Sangregorio on Unsplash

The wedding rehearsal is one of the high costs of your wedding. Your rehearsal dinner cost won’t be as much as the wedding reception. However, it’s near the top of expenses that you will pay for right behind the wedding dress, wedding rings, photographer, and venue. According to the Pearl Source Blog, the average cost of rehearsal dinner food is nearly $1,900.

What’s different about rehearsal dinner costs?

The rehearsal dinner is an important enough event that you will want to be sure to budget how much you might spend. The rehearsal dinner cost is a little tougher to budget for than other high costs like the wedding dress, photographer, or venue because those are more of a one-time set cost. Those costs are also negotiated a little more tightly with those vendors. With a rehearsal dinner, you have more variables and things that could make your cost rise differently.

The rehearsal dinner cost will vary depending on how many guests can attend, what type of dinner you have, and ultimately, how much your guests will spend on food costs. These costs are more difficult to control than with other types of vendors. For example, when you choose your rings, you choose exactly how much you want to spend, nothing more and nothing less. Depending on your vendor, you may be able to negotiate. However, it’s much less likely with this type of vendor. The same goes for your wedding dress and other similar materials-based, non-food, or venue-based costs.

Like your wedding reception costs, you will feel much better having your rehearsal dinner costs planned. Sometimes, the rehearsal dinner cost is neglected because couples focus so much on the wedding day, and rightfully so. But don’t let this important wedding event hang out in your blind spot. You will want to give your rehearsal dinner; of course, your dinner costs the attention they deserve.

Rehearsal Dinner Cost Sample

Here is a sample breakdown of how your $1,900 could be spent on your rehearsal dinner cost:


For a guest list of 30, we will use a cost of $1500 for a conservative cost of $50 per person. This will give your guests a reasonable (not over the top) option to make them feel like they are part of a special event.


Let’s assume a modest cost of your dress for the rehearsal dinner, meaning that you and your spouse need an item to complete your outfits, such as a pair of shoes or an accessory, OR the bride wears a new dress and the groom works with what he has in the closet already. A price point of $200 should cover the dress code for your rehearsal dinner.


Whether it’s planned or you will need to spend money on transportation in an emergency, $200 is also a good healthy number to assume for this cost. This may include calling an Uber for some of your guests or a car service for you and your spouse. This could also be for a shuttle if the wedding party wants to do something after dinner (although the cost might be slightly higher for this option).

We hope you breathe a little easier knowing you are ready to plan your rehearsal dinner cost with a clear budget!

The Next Step

The next step is likely to return to your major wedding planning items, such as your ceremony reception and honeymoon!

What will you do next? We recommend taking a break after planning your rehearsal dinner and working on your wedding reception playlist.

2 thoughts on “How much does a rehearsal dinner cost?”

    • What a great approach, to keep it simple at the rehearsal so that you can focus additional funds on the reception.


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