Post # 1
I’m having a destination wedding with approximately 70 people. Initially I said only bridal party and immediate family for the rehearsal, but now the list has grown to about 35 people. It is mainly wedding party (and now people doing readings) and family (which my mother extended). Is it rude not to invite everyone who will be in town for the wedding? We were planning to tell everyone to meet us at a bar afterward.
Post # 3
I have been to several destination weddings and seen it done all kinds of ways! One rehearsal dinner I attended was fairly formal and they kept it small – family (including extended family) and bridal party. Another one had a more casual rehearsal dinner and invited everyone who was in town for the weekend. My FI and I are going with that option – just our personal preference though! We figure we can help off-set the cost of travel & hotels with an extra meal & night out with everyone.
Post # 4
This ended up being a big fight between us and FMIL. Initially, she wanted to invite her side of the family “since they were traveling so far”. (I’m also having a DW.) My response was “EVERYONE has to travel so far, not just your family. It would be rude to only invite some (and not all) under that pretense.” Then she decided she was going to invite ALL of our guests. And then she wanted a plated dinner, at a place fancier than ours. And then she wanted a DJ for the event. Can you see where this is going? She basically wanted to throw a fancier RD/reception than our actual wedding reception.
FI and I ended up putting our feet down (after a large argument) and now we are hosting the RD, and inviting the bridal party/their SO’s and the readers. We are also hosting a “Welcome Party” after the RD with a limited open bar and apps that is open to all of our guests.
Post # 5
It’s really a budgetary concern for us. We are paying for 90% of the wedding and the full rehearsal. His parents aren’t paying anything. It will be several thousand dollars more to invite everyone, but I kind of feel rude or like I’m not being a good hostes the way it is currently.
Post # 6
We decided not to have a rehearsal dinner simply because we can’t pay it. Even if we have a cheap BBQ on the island, it will still be about $1000 (incl drinks) so we’ve decided to skip it.
However, IF we do decide to have it, we will only invite the bridal party (only have 4) and immediate family. If I decide to go outside this circle, I might as well invite everyone:/
Post # 7
I’ve also seen it done all kinds of ways – I really don’t think there’s a “right” answer on this one, there are so many factors at play that vary from wedding to wedding.
Inviting everyone was taken off the table for us pretty early (the only indoor space big enough on our island is the place we’re having the reception and we just didn’t want to spend the money to rent a full tent with catering for the rehearsal dinner – it’s like having a second wedding). But, we also have 160+ guests, so I don’t think it’s a big deal for us to only have 35 people at the rehearsal, there are enough people not invited that they won’t feel left out (we hope). And we’re also telling everyone to meet us at a bar afterward.
In your case, I feel like it might be a bit different because you’re inviting half of your guests to the rehearsal, leaving just 35 people “stranded” that night. If budget is the concern could you do something less expensive to add the 35 extra people – make it a cash bar with a family style dinner or something? But if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. You have a smaller dinner, the non-RD guests will eat on their own, catch up with you at the bar afterward, and it’ll be great.