Trying to avoid family drama – who gets invited to the rehearsal dinner?

posted 2 weeks ago in Guests
  • poll: do all members of the bridal party get +1s for the rehearsal dinner?
    yes, always : (31 votes)
    65 %
    no, it isn't a must but it's nice : (7 votes)
    15 %
    no - only if their guests are coming from out of town, live together, or are engaged/married : (9 votes)
    19 %
    some other answer (in comments) : (1 votes)
    2 %
  • Post # 2
    153 posts
    Blushing bee

    What I’ve always heard for the rehearsal dinner is:

    – Both sets of parents-

    – Bride & Groom

    – Bridesmaids & their significant others

    – Groomsmen & their significant others

    – anyone else with a role in the wedding & their significant other or parents they’re a minor

    …so ring bearer & flower girl probably need their family there if they’re minors, but your cousin’s family being invited really depends on if they’re still children. If they’re adults, there’s no reason for their parents to come.

    Also, I hate the argument that all out of town guests get invited.For some people that’s basically like having a second reception.

    Post # 4
    3504 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: June 2017 - Cottage in Bobcaygeon

    michelleh12 :  All members of the bridal party and their plus ones. Yours and his parents and their significant others. Yours and his siblings and their significant others. 

    Post # 5
    436 posts
    Helper bee

    The only people REQUIRED to be extended an invitation to a rehearsal dinner are those participating in the rehearsal and their significant others (or in the case of children, their parents).  The rehearsal dinner is to thank those people participating in the rehearsal for taking even MORE time out of their schedule to participate in your wedding and the rehearsal. 

    Anyone invited above and beyond that is not required and at the discretion of the people paying and/or hosting it.  The solution to having complete control is to completely pay for it yourself.  Otherwise, as long as those who are required to be extended an invitation are extended one, then I would probably just leave it be if the financers of the party choose extra above and beyond that, even if you don’t feel it’s fair.  If you are completely paying for the rehearsal dinner yourself, then put your foot down with both sets of parents when they try to dictate the guestlist.


    ETA:  Also, just because save the dates already went out doesn’t mean you can’t add more people.  I’m not saying you should, but save the dates are a relatively new concept and in no way required.  You can always add additional people come invitation time even if they didn’t get a save the date originally – you just can’t NOT send an invitation to people who got save the dates because the save the date is a promise of an invititation to come. 

    Post # 6
    272 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2017

    What a nightmare.  I suspect we will be going through a little of the same, we are dead set on keeping it at 100-110 and FI’s mother has asked to see the list.  We don’t want random people, we were vocal about family and close friends/family friends we BOTH have met.  As far as rehearsal, I’m hoping for just parents, grandmothers, siblings and their families, and bridal party + significant others.

    Post # 7
    153 posts
    Blushing bee

    I think you’re misunderstanding what I meant. Those are simply the rules I’ve always heard. I think you have a leg to stand on with the MOH/BM if you & your FI really want to fight this, but are your cousins/bridesmaids really young enough that they can’t go without parents? I’ve just never seen bridesmaids that young, while flower girls/ ring bearers are always at an age where they need their parents with them.

    But ultimately, your new in-laws are paying. As long as they’re inviting everyone with an active role in the wedding and their SO’s, they’re free to invite or not invite additional people as they please. As you’ve shown them with the reception, just bc the host gets to invite everyone they want, they don’t have to invite everyone that anyone else wants to invite.

    Post # 9
    3119 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2017

    They offered to foot the bill for their guests, and you said no. I would assume the same thing would happen with their RD. They are hosting, they get to choose.

    Personally I think its weird to invite the BMs entire family to it, but if he’s a close family friend whatever. As long as they are inviting the pertinent people they arent doing anything ‘wrong’. If your mom wants to host a welcome party for all of her out of town guests she’s more than welcome to, but I too disagree that they should be invited to the RD.

    Post # 10
    77 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: August 1983

    My impulse would be to pay for the reheasal dinner myself, ignore both mothers’ grandiose plans, and serve pizza and beer to the minimum required people–parents, bridal party, SOs.

    Post # 11
    515 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: March 2015

    I would have your fiancé talk to his parents and say that the two of you want to keep it small: just immediate family, bridal party and their plus ones (or parents of minors), and maybe aunts/uncles—or whatever cutoff you agree on.

    If they aren’t interested, I would just graciously decline their offer to host.

    (Also, I don’t think it would be a problem to invite more guests after STDs have gone out, but I don’t think you should feel pressured to do that either.)

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