Who NEEDS to be invited to the rehearsal dinner?

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
2429 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

We had: Bridal party and their +1s, our parents, and the two readers for the ceremony. If we added anyone else, it would’ve been grandparents.

Post # 4
6457 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

We had the wedding party and their plus ones, the parents, and the officiant and his wife. Our siblings were in the wedding party, if they weren’t we would have invited them as well. We were already at 30 people so we decided not to invite grandparents. Some people invite out of town folks as well if they traveled in early.

Post # 5
667 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

We are inviting all out of town guests. You don’t HAVE to but it is curteous to do so.

Post # 6
42166 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

The purpose of the  rehearsal dinner is to thank the wedding party for their time, participation and support, and secondarily to ensure that both families have met prior to the wedding.

Normally the wedding party and their SO’s, parents and siblings of both the bride and groom, and often the grandparents are invited.

Some hosts have started morphing the rehearsal dinner into a welcome party for OOT guests but the focus on thanking the wedding party tends to get lost in the shuffle . While most wedding guests would welcome and appreciate another free meal, by no means is it discourteous not to invite OOT guests to the rehearsal dinner.


@MrsEsteyToBe:  If the wedding is next week, time for the FIL’s to get on this if they are hosting the dinner. The wedding party really should have been given this information before now.

Post # 7
738 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

We had the wedding party plus our families.  But, I do have to mention that we had a small wedding party and my side of the family isn’t that big.  His side of the family all flew in from the other side of the country to be at our wedding.  They arrived the day before the wedding so the rehearsal dinner was the only opportunity for our families to meet and for us to spend time with his familiy before the wedding.  It worked well for us but you have to figure out what works best for your situation.

Post # 8
1771 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

We are having our parents and the wedding party and their dates. Our siblings are all in the wedding party, but if they weren’t, they’d still be invited. My aunt and uncle are also invited because my 9-year-old cousin is in the wedding party. It’s about 25 people, including FI and me.

Post # 9
1520 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

bridal party and their +1, parents, grandparents and out of town family.  Our wedding was 75 people rehersal dinner was around 25 people. 


Post # 10
6980 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

We only had our siblings stand up for us (MoH and BM) so we did a small family-only dinner so everyone could get to know each other a little better.


Post # 11
9092 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

We just had our wedding party (they were offered plus ones, but nobody had one to bring), our parents, and my aunt because she allowed us to host it in her back yard.

If you’re only a week away, I’d probably keep it to a small circle.

Post # 12
697 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

For us, it’s the wedding party and their +1s, my parents, and FH’s mother, her boyfriend, and FH’s little brother — 15-16 people total.

Post # 13
110 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I had a big debate over this with my Mum. She wanted to include grandparents, aunts,  uncles, and cousins but it just gets so big so fast (we would have cleared 80!). I was able to convince her that people would understand if we kept it to wedding party plus dates, parents and siblings. Here is a Martha Stewart article that I used to help convince her http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/228723/etiquette-wedding-rehearsal-dinners/@center/272440/wedding-etiquette-adviser   

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