Post # 1
My future in-laws are paying for the rehearsal dinner. We are having it at a restaurant and there is a limit of 55 people in the room. My mom feels really strongly that our out of town family members should be invited (there would be about 22 of them- about the same amount as the wedding party!) Granted some are coming from California to New Hampshire, but some are only travelling from New York to New Hampshire. However none of my fiances family are from out of town, they all live within an hour of the rehearsal dinner.
So do we invite all of my 22 out of town relatives and none of his? That doesn’t seem fair at all. And if we invited everyone who came from out of state, we would have a rehearsal dinner of 120 people and a wedding of 200! So we draw the line with just family? We are getting married in a very populated area- there are plenty of places to eat nearby!
And, if I am going to be truthful, I would rather something small with just the wedding party- more intimate than our 200 person wedding!
Post # 3
@Saccebers: I would put your foot down and say just immediate family and bridal party.
Post # 4
We paid for everything ourselves, but otherwise we sound somewhat similar. ALL of my family had to travel, and most of his family was local. Had we invited all out of towners, we’d have hosted 2 receptions. I would draw the line at people actually in your wedding, and perhaps grandparents. For us, we held our wedding at DH’s family farmhouse, and we did our dinner there as well. It’s a big house, and a bunch of people from both sides of our familes were staying in the house that weekend so of course they were invited to dinner (and it just happened that it was the families of both of our readers in the ceremony, so they would have come anyway). I can’t imagine that your in laws would want to pay for all of your family, when their family isn’t invited. What we did, and might work for you, is that after dinner, we went somewhere (in our case, to the guests’ hotel, and we brought lots of wine) to meet the out of town guests and spend some time with them, without having to pay to feed them. We put a note in the welcome letter telling when and where.
Post # 5
I would just do people who have to be at the rehearsal: the bridal party, anyone doing something special (readings, songs, whatever), and everyone who walks organized down the aisle (parents, possibly grandparents)
Post # 6
The rehearsal dinner is just bridal party, whoever is participating in ceremony and parents of the bride and groom. You don’t do Out of Town, if we did that we would have had half our guests at our rehearsal dinner. The Out of Town can get their own meals.
Post # 7
My family was all local and his was all Out of Town. We invited bridal party, my immediate family & grandparents and all of his Out of Town family. To be fair, his Dad paid for it all and they have a super small family, so that played into it.
Do what you want.
Post # 8
FI’s dad and stepmom are hosting ours, so we decided that was going to be the bridal party and plus ones and FI’s parents. We were going to invite Future Mother-In-Law, but she won’t come, since it’s hosted by FI’s stepmom. We were going to do grandparents, too, but three of the four are probably not coming in to town until the morning of. If we added Out of Town guests, that would be a whole other reception minus like 20 people. :
Post # 9
My family is local, and fi’s family is destination, we’ll be inviting them all.
It’ll be more of a welcoming/precelebration party though.
Post # 10
We are doing a welcome party instead because of this problem. My whole family is out of town (like 5 hours minimum) and FI’s only has a 1 hour drive. So we will do drinks and dessert for everyone instead and Fiance and I are going to grab food with the bridal party between the rehearsal and the welcome party.
Post # 11
Just do immediate families and wedding party. I think it would be really odd to include your extended family but not his.
Unless there are just a few Out of Town guests I will never understand or agree with the idea that they should all be included in the Rehearsal Dinner. It’s supposed to be a more intimate gathering where you give thanks to your nearest and dearest for participating in your wedding day, not a second reception.
…They are adults; surely they are capable of finding dinner for themselves.
Post # 12
Well, since your Future In-Laws are hosting, technically it’s their strong feelings that you should consider, and not your mother’s.
The only local guests at our wedding will be my parents and a few friends of the family; everybody else will be traveling from at least 6 hours away if not several states away. We’re going to host our own Rehearsal Dinner, so we have the final say about the guest list, but I honestly think any Rehearsal Dinner should only include those involved in the rehearsal plus immediate family members. If you have the space/money, you can extend the invitation to significant others, as we’ll be doing. Otherwise it really does become like a second reception.
Our Rehearsal Dinner guest list is currently sitting at 20. This includes my parents, FI’s parents, FI’s 3 siblings and 2 SOs, the bridesmaids/groomsmen and their SOs, the non-related usher and his SO, and the officiant and his wife. If we invited all Out of Town family, it would balloon to 50+ and we can’t afford that (plus, then we wouldn’t fit into the restaurant we’re hoping to use).
If your mother is adamant that your Out of Town family be involved in some sort of gathering, ask her if she’d like to host a luncheon on the day before the wedding, or a breakfast/brunch on the day after.
Post # 13
We had everyone, granted it was a small wedding…so about 38 at the Rehearsal Dinner and 50 at the wedding.
It was soooo much fun…just sayin 🙂 Also, it was the one event we didn’t host and that helped too 😉
Post # 14
We’re doing pretty much just wedding party and immediate family. We figured if we did so many other guests it would be pretty much like another wedding reception.
Post # 15
@Saccebers: I went through this exact same situation. My FILS ended up extending the invitation to all out of towners (at least 150). I don’t think we will get even half of the Out of Town guests at the rehearsal because a lot of them will be traveling late friday or saturday morning. I made sure to put a list of restaurants nearby in case they prefer a low key dinner. I know a lot of people just do immediate family and the bridal party we just decided since so many people are traveling so far to offer them an invite.
Post # 16
Rehearsal dinner should be kept to immediate family and bridal party. Out of town guests should be able to find a restaurant on their own…I was in the same situation as you and once you start including anyone outside of immediate family and bridal party it’s hard to draw the line because if you invite this person then you have to invite that couple, etc etc. Keep it simple. 🙂