Rehersal Dinner, who to invite, proper etiqette question

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
2851 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Everyone in the bridal party and parents. Out of town guests are generally invited too.

I do wonder if it’s proper etiquette to have significant others of those in the bridal party to come as well. I really hope not.

Post # 4
42157 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@FutureArmyWife12:  The purpose of the rehearsal dinner is to thank everyone in the wedding party for playing a role in the wedding and donating their time for the rehearsal.

It is courteous to invite their SO’s but not necessary to invite their children.  If you have members of the wedding party who are from out of town, you will have to make decisions about including the children, if they bring them, or help to arrange childcare if necessary.

The secondary purpose of the rehearsal dinner is to ensure that both sides of the family have met prior to the wedding. The guestlist therfore includes siblings and SO’s of the bride and groom, parents and often grandparents on both sides. It is not necessary to extend invitations to aunts, uncles etc.

Out of town guests are not generally invited.  This is one of those things that you read about but most of us do not practice- finances being a huge consideration. Some hosts do invite OOT’s but that takes away the focus from the wedding poarty and tends to make it more of a family reunion. You will all see each other the next day after all.

If they want to include their family, it’s pretty hard to control that if they are paying. You could suggest a smaller affair for the dinner, then inviting others to join you later for dessert, coffee and drinks.

You do not need to invite the pastor or coordinators .


Post # 5
11300 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

We are inviting the bridal party and their SOs, and my in-laws (FFIL and his wife are paying, though FMIL probably won’t come). No one else. Inviting out of town guests for us would mean that it would be another reception, and none of us wants to pay to feed another 30 people on top of the 20 already invited. :

Post # 7
42157 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@FutureArmyWife12:  In the context of the rehearsal , the coordinators and pastor are more like employees, not members of the wedding party. Obviously there is no one rule that covers every situation, some couples are very close to their pastors for example, and would likely invite them to the dinner.

Tell the coordinator that you will go over details at the rehearsal.

Post # 8
1729 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013 - Walt Disney World

The only people we invited to the rehearsal dinner were the bridal party and their spouses (and kids), our parents, and my grandparents.  I did extend an invitation to our officiant but he declined (as I expected).  I believe we had a total of 25 guests for dinner.  We paid for the entire thing.

Post # 9
1148 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

Thinking back, we had a ridiculous amount of people for only having six in our wedding party. Here is a list of who was at our rehersal dinner:

Me, fiance

My parents

MOH and then boyfriend



GM and his girlfriend

GM and his wife


Two ring bearers, plus their parents and their sister (husband’s sister’s family)

Flower girl, plus parents and brother (my sister and family)

Fiance’s paternal grandparents

Two ushers and their girlfriends

My aunt and uncle


So 32 total (unless I counted wrong, lol). Anyone who showed up at the rehearsal bascially was invited to the dinner, except the pianist, pastor, and his wife. They were all invited, but politely declined. The grandparents weren’t at the rehearsal, but had given us quite a bit of money towards the dinner, so they were of course invited to join.

It would have felt odd, to me, to not invite the families of those in our bridal party, but then we only had two that did have children, and those children were in the wedding to begin with.

Two of my cousins used to live in Kansas, and our family (parents, sister, and I) were invited to the rehearsal dinner, but more because we were coming in from quite a ways out of town, and my aunt and uncle wanted us to be incldued. It was nice, but I don’t think it’s necessary to invite all out of town guests, unless you really want to.


Post # 10
5935 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

We are inviting our bridal party plus their SO’s (potentially 12 people), our ushers and their SO’s (potentially 4 people), my parents (4, both divorced and remarried), his parents (4, both divorced and remarried), and my MOC (who is also my cousin and one of my BM’s mother) + her husband and daughter who are also my family (so 3 people). I will invite my officiant to be polite, altough I doubt he will stay for dinner. My FI’s dad/step-mom have 2 kids so I’m not sure if they’d bring them :

Post # 11
2137 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Most of our guests are coming in from out of town.  Inviting them all to the rehearsal dinner would almost be a second reception, lol.

We are inviting bridal party and SOs, grandparents and parents.  That alone is over 30 people (we each have 5 B/GMs, and almost all of them are in serious relationships).

Post # 12
26 posts

My fiance’s parents are handling our dinner.  They will be inviting:

– all of our parents (as well as my stepmother and my mother’s boyfriend)

-my fiance’s grandmother (she is our only surviving grandparent)

– his aunt (who lives in the same house as his grandmother)

– some family coming from out of state

– the bridesmaids and groomsman, along w/their significant others/spouses

We have a flower girl and ring bearer, who are brother and sister.  We are inviting their parents to the dinner and letting them decide if they want the kids there. We aren’t inviting any clergy, since we aren’t close with them. 

I don’t think it’s necessary to invite an entire side of a family to the rehearsal, that’s almost like having another wedding reception!

Post # 13
209 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Including my fiance and I, we have 28 people for the dinner, I believe.

Us, parents, one step-parent, bridal party, groomsmen and one child who is the flower girl and her parents are both in the wedding party so she’d be there regardless.  We did invite our JP to the dinner, also.  She is running the entire rehearsal so I thought it would be appropriate to invite her to have dinner with us.

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