Rehearsal dinner invite etiquette? Just Bridal Party Or Other Guests too?

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: Who gets invited to the rehearsal dinner?
    Bridal party and their families : (24 votes)
    52 %
    Bridal party, their families and out of town guests : (10 votes)
    22 %
    All of the above plus other people that are important to the bride and groom : (3 votes)
    7 %
    Other (please explain) : (9 votes)
    20 %
  • Post # 2
    1670 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2014

    I voted other because it is at your discretion – I say just pick a rule and stick to it. Some people just do bridal party and dates, some people do bridal party and out of town guests, as long as you have a method you’re fine. Nobody HAS to be invited to the rehearsal dinner except those involved in the wedding and their dates.

    Personally, I never expect to be invited to the rehearsal dinner unless I or my date are standing up in the wedding, so I’m always pleasantly surprised if I am. Why don’t you ask the hosts what they are comfortable hosting as regards to size of party?

    Post # 3
    1590 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: March 2014

    At the very least, bp and their spouses, immediate family and spouses and readers and spouses. The rest is up to the host.

    I was only invited to one reneges simply bc I was an oot guest, and the whole groom’s side was oot.

    Post # 4
    6158 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: October 2013

    the place where we had our rehearsal dinner had a 40 people minimum.

    we invited, bride and groom, wedding party, immediate family, close extended family.  then we had a spot for about 6 other people, so we invited a few OOT guests who came to town early.

    you should invite who you want.

    Post # 5
    1878 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: April 2013 - Valparaiso, IN

    I invited everyone that needed to be at the rehearsal and spouses, and out of town family. 

    Post # 6
    3280 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    Typically the groom’s parents pay for the rehersal dinner and its, BMs + dates, GM + dates, parents, siblings, and grandparents, officiant + spouse. If you’re having a small wedding like 150 or less you could invite OOT guests but it’s not required. 

    Post # 7
    2787 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    You have to invite the people who rehersed and their family/dates.  This would normally be wedding party, readers, and officients if they are a friend.  Absolutely everyone else is not necessary.  If your FSIL wants to invite addtional people as the host, she can.  If she doesn’t, she does not have to.

    Post # 8
    7654 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2012

    MrsGraves59:  I voted other. My in laws hosted the dinner at their house, so they were open to anyone and everyone. They invited their friends and whoever they wanted to as it was their house, and DH and I made the decision to just invite bridal party and their families, close friends, and select OOT relatives and guests.

    Post # 9
    3643 posts
    Sugar bee

    The only people you have to have there are the ones that need to rehearse/are part of the ceremony. If the hosts/FILs want to invite others, it’s up to them. As MOB, I would never consider adding people to their list.

    Post # 10
    3833 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    MrsGraves59:   For your sanity, I suggest keeping it to the bridal party.

    My FI, who is hosting the rehearsal, started with the bridal party, added the OOT guests who were arriving early, and somehow that grew to become a full blown his side of the family reunion.  Started at 12 guests, now over 50 – comprising most of the wedding guests.  

    Post # 11
    2675 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2014 - Madison, WI

    Ours is a mix…

    • Bridal Party + Dates/Spouses
    • Immediate Family – Parents, Brothers & Sisters + nephew
    • Grandparents
    • International Guests – Aunt/Uncle/Cousin traveling from UK
    • 1 Aunt – single & physically disabled, both her kids are in the wedding

    So we don’t fit 100% into any category. If we were to include all out of town guests we’d be looking at hosting almost all but 2 people who are coming to the wedding! Almost everyone is technically out of town. Most are with 90 miles though and will probably drive into town the day of the wedding and not the night before since our ceremony is late enough in the day to accommodate. We’ve even had a few relatives who don’t really drink tell us they also plan to drive home that night too.

    Post # 12
    4956 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    MrsGraves59:  I really think its totally up to you. We are doing bridal party + out of town + immediate family. We are having a BBQ (it will be on July 4) for our rehearsal at my dads house. With about 50 ppl, food will cost a little over $1000 which I think is perfectly acceptable and this way, we get to spend more personal time with our close friends and family that we may be pulled away from during the wedding!

    Post # 13
    42082 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    Traditionally, the rehearsal dinner is a way to thank the wedding party for their time and support.Therefore, minimally, the guest list includes the wedding party and their SO’s, immediate family of the bride and grrom (how far you stretch this is up to the hosts-grandparents, aunts, uncles etc). The officiant is often given a courtesy invitation although they may not attend.

    Any additional guests are the sole perogative of the hosts- the FIL’s. There is no strict requirement to invite OOT’s. The etiquette experts will say there is some obligation to entertain them, but frankly, I don’t belive the hosts have an obligation to entertain them every single day of their visit. They are, in most cases, being invited to a wedding, not a weekend.

    The more guests you have at the actual dinner, the less focus will be on the wedding party. If the FIL’s choose to entertain the OOT’s there are other alternatives to including them at the rehearsal dinner. they can be invited to  join the group later for coffee and dessert, or for drinks.

    In other words, the choice is the FIL’s.

    Post # 14
    1527 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    I think that only the people involved in the rehearsal and their spouses, finaces or live-in/long term partners must be invited.  However, if OOT guests are being invited, they should be from both sides.   I think it is exceedingly rude of a RD host who only invites their OOT guests and not the other side’s OOT guests.  This is another reason I suggest not doing STDs.  I would delay committing on wedding invites if you think in-laws are only going to invite their OOT guests to RD dinner.

    Post # 15
    54 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: March 2014

    MrsGraves59:  We have 23 people in our bridal party so we are doing bridal party only + out of town sposuses/guests of our bridal party. It would just be way too much to include everyone’s families

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