- 7 years ago
- Wedding: September 2011
We wanted an intimate wedding of about 40 people. Of these family members, many will have to fly in for the weekend. We want our rehearsal dinner to be a chance for all the out-of-towners to visit with the family not just at the wedding. There are also about 20+ distant family members (great aunts & uncles, second cousins, etc) who live geographically close to us. They are not invited to the wedding, because we wanted to keep costs down and keep it small & intimate with just close family. But they are invited to the rehearsal dinner so they can still share in our wedding weekend and so out-of-town family members get to visit with them, too. So we’re looking at about 60 for the rehearsal dinner, about 40 of whom are also invited to the wedding. I’m told this is becoming a popular trend, to have a larger rehearsal dinner and a small wedding, but I can’t find any advice on how to do this.
One of the most perplexing areas is the invitations. For those invited to the wedding, I’m planning to send invitation packets that include a separate invitation to the rehearsal dinner. At the same time, I will send invitations for just the rehearsal dinner to the rest of the family, with some kind of wording that ‘because of space, the wedding ceremony and reception are just for immediate family, so celebrate with us before’. I have some time to figure that part out, but in the meantime I need to send save the dates for my out-of-town guests. For those, do I put only the wedding date or the date of both the rehearsal dinner and the wedding? I’m thinking maybe if they know the weekend’s itinerary and the fact that there will be other chances for them to mingle with family than just at the wedding, it may persuade them to make the trip. Also, I’m not psyched that our wedding date is September 11 so I thought ‘the weekend of September 9-11′ might sound better or not draw attention to it. I know out-of-towners need the save the date, but for locals who are only invited to the rehearsal dinner, an invitation a few weeks before would do (plus a save the date implies they’re invited to the wedding). But it’s the others that I’m worried about – the local relatives who are invited to the wedding. If I send them save the dates, and other local relatives not invited to the wedding see it on their fridge or hear about it, they may be hurt that they’re not invited to the wedding before I have a chance to invite them to the rehearsal dinner, and then they may think I did so as an afterthought, like a lame consolation prize. So should I just only send save the dates to out-of-towners who need it to make travel arrangements, and not to local family members who can probably deal with just the 6 weeks’ notice? Maybe they can just get one inside their invitation instead.
I’m trying to make the rehearsal dinner almost as formal as a wedding since basically it is the wedding for those who aren’t invited to the ceremony and reception. I was wondering if on any signage, printed material, favors, etc, for the rehearsal dinner, I should list our names and wedding date as is traditional, or list the date of the rehearsal dinner? I didn’t know if that would be crass to put the actual wedding date if some of them aren’t invited to the wedding itself.