Post # 1
My fiance and I wanted a small wedding, but with the way things worked out with our guest list it isn’t really that small.We’re looking at about 75 guests attending.
So we both really wanted the rehearsal dinner to at least be small, so I planned the rehearsal for two nights before the wedding, thinking that fewer people would be in town by that point (and also that it would be a cheaper night), but then my mother-in-law bought plane tickets without saying anything which would prevent her from being there on time. So, now we must have the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding and I fully anticipate there being 55 people in from out of town by then.
We don’t want them to feel excluded, but I don’t see how we can have a more intimate dinner without that happening.
I was thinking about maybe inviting everyone for a brief cocktail hour and then splitting off and going to dinner? or alternatively meeting for drinks after the dinner.
Any ideas? Creative solutions?
Post # 3
As a wedding guest I never expect to be invited to the rehearsal dinner unless I am a part of the wedding party. People’s feeling will not be hurt. You should get to have the small intimate dinner you want!
Lots of our guests are from out of town but we are only inviting the bridal party, immediate family and close close close family to our RD. The guest list is still 50 people but who wants to pay for two weddings really? If we invited all 250 to RD that would be ludacris. No reason it shouldn’t be the same for 75. Good luck!
Post # 4
Only the people involved in the wedding and your parents should go to the rehearsal dinner, imo. We’re having the bridesmaids/groomsmen, ring bearer/parents, flower girl, my parents, his parents, his sister [if she wants to come], and our officiant. It will end up being about 20 people, max. If we invited everyone who was coming from out of town, that would be pretty much everyone coming to the wedding. Forget that!
Post # 5
We’re doing a rehersal dinner with almost everyone from out of down allowed to go. But we are just doing sandwhiches and finger food with a relaxed hanging out vibe. More like a welcome party than anything else.
I feel like we are inviting our out of town guests (aunt and uncle specifically) because they invited us to their daughter’s rehersal dinner. (Even though we are family…)
But that’s what we want. So do what you want! You don’t have to do anything that makes you uncomfortable.
Post # 6
I’ve never been invited to the rehearsal dinner when I’ve been an OOT guest, unless I was in the bridal party. If you just invite bridal party and immediate family, you’ll be fine.
Post # 7
We have a bunch of out of town guests but we are doing the rehearsal dinner first with those directly involved in the wedding (officiant, bridal party, immediate family – no cousins or anything). Then, we’re having a welcome party without food just some drinks that everyone will be invited to.
Post # 8
We also have a high percentage of guests from out-of-town and I know we don’t really HAVE to invite them to the rehearsal dinner, we were kind of unclear on exactly how “traditional” this tradition is.
We ended up planning a rehearsal LUNCHEON; it’ll be around 2pm which is still a bit late in the day for lunch, but it gives the guests the morning free to go knock around town. We are ONLY taking the people actually in the wedding. After lunch, we go rehearse. Then back to the hotel where our out-of-towners are staying.
The best part, though, is that the hotel does a nightly “Manager’s Reception” which for all intents and purposes is a free happy hour. We’re going to invite anyone who wants to drop by to do so. We’re going to have some very light nibbles catered by the hotel but nothing too elaborate, and the drinks are free ( ). People can feel free to make their own dinner arrangements after happy hour.