Post # 1
After reading the rehearsal dinner cost post, I decided to ask about this. We’re having about 225 people to our wedding, and about 80-90% of those people are coming in from out of town. As it is, we are already paying for our rehearsal dinner (fiance’s family isn’t sure how much they can contribute, so I wanted to remove that stress on them). Bridal party & dates, parents, grandparents, and siblings comes out to be about 40-45 people, a number I’m quite comfortable with. I’ve read that it’s good etiquette to invite all the out of towners to the rehearsal dinner as well. What I’m asking is (in my best 6 year old whiny voice) "do I have to??" I really don’t want a rehearsal dinner of 100-150+ people, hello! That’s bigger than most weddings! I will have Out of Town bags with plenty of local information, local restaurants, etc. and there’s even a fabulous restaurant in the hotel! I’ll also say something about mingling in the hotel bar/lounge/lobby area that evening. Is this good enough? Or am I being a terrible hostess?
Post # 3
I think its a nice gesture but if you can’t afford it I don’t think they will hate you for it. If you’re leaving them a nice little bag and there’s places in the area for them to go they will be ok. They probably wouldn’t want you to stress out about it anyway.
I got lucky…we have only 5 people coming in from out of town the day before the wedding…and 2 of them declined the RSVP because they wouldn’t be in town yet! (We’re doing a 2pm rehearsal "dinner" and quality hang out time at home after…)
Good luck and don’t stress. You’re treating everyone to a wonderful dinner the night of the wedding.
Post # 4
- Wedding: July 2021 - Rainforest wedding, beachfront restaurant reception
Sounds like we are in a similar boat, though our guest list is smaller the vast majority of our guests are from out of town. We’re planning to do a BBQ at our house so that everyone can come and so that we can actually afford it. I’ll be posting about this soon.
Post # 5
Oh, no. About 90% of my guests are from out-of-town, and if we were to invite them, it would be like another wedding. It may be proper etiquette to do it, but it completely diminishes the fun part of the Rehearsal Dinner (getting together with your closest friends and family before the most important day of your lives).
I’ve heard of people having a small Rehearsal Dinner and inviting all Out of Town guests for cocktails afterwards. While we won’t be doing this (I’m not staying up late drinking the night before the wedding!), it’s a smart way to include everyone the night before.
Post # 6
We’re inviting all out of towners (about 100 peeps) to our Rehearsal Dinner. But, I don’t think it’s necessarily "proper etiquette" to do it. I think it’s an "extra" that is nice, but not required. I’ve only been invited to 1 rehearsal dinner where I was not in the bridal party or a family member. Don’t feel pressured to do it!
Post # 7
I am NOT doing that. Our guest list is 80% Out of Town and we just can’t afford it. I think people will understand, especially if you give them other options.
Post # 8
Nope, can’t do all of them, too much of our guest list is from Out of Town.
BUT…is it ok to invite some and not others?
Post # 9
i’ve never heard it’s proper etiquette to invite all OOTs to the Rehearsal Dinner, just the wedding party and their significant others. if you can do something else to include the OOTs (like a post-dinner cocktail) i’m sure they’d appreciate it.
i don’t think most people expect to get invited to the Rehearsal Dinner unless they’re really close to you – some people will probably be offended, but some will be relieved to get a chance to hang out with other friends for a night and do non-wedding stuff. so i say invite who you (or whoever’s paying for it!) want.
Post # 10
same situation, smaller guest list.
my Future Mother-In-Law wanted to invite most of the Out of Town guests to the wedding, but I don’t think she realized just how many guests were Out of Town and how much it would end up costing (in LA dinner out is rarely cheap). I checked with a friend who is good on etiquette and traditions and she said there was nothing saying we had to invite Out of Town guests.
So fiance and I put our foots down and said the rehearsal is wedding party only. We had been planning all along to have an open house the day after the wedding so that our guests can drop by our condo to see it while they are in town, we asked Future Mother-In-Law if she would like to take responsibility for planning the food for that day so we won’t have to think about it. She was more than happy to do it and things have worked out.
So I say formulate a plan you and your fiance agree on and put your foots down.
Post # 11
I think this is one of those old etiquette standbys that made sense when families lived closer together. My Fiance and I (and some friends) are the only ones that live up here, and we plan on doing the rehearsal dinner with close family and bridal party / cocktails afterwards with everyone else. I plan on including a list of recommended restaurants along with the invite to give them an idea as to where to go.
Post # 12
i believe oot guests are invited to Rehearsal Dinner, but you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. fi and i have a lot of oot guests coming to our wedding, but we’re only doing the rd for our bridal party and SOs. we’re not even doing oot bags. it’s just not in our budget to do it.
Post # 13
I don’t think you have to invite all OOT’s either. We are inviting ours but only because we are having a really small wedding party and so we’re inviting all family and anyone we would have had in our wedding party had it been larger. Then it got to where we were thinking that if we invite _ then we have to invite _ and _…. you know how it goes. So it got a little out of control and now we are having about 100 people there. But it’s going to be really casual- BBQ, kegs, etc. and it’s probably going to be more fun than the wedding! We did just send out invites though and a lot of people were surprised that they were invited since they are not family or in the wedding party so I certainly don’t think people expect to be invited. I wouldn’t worry about it!
Post # 14
Only out of town close family needs to be invited (no 2nd cousins, etc…) Or, if you are keeping it small, you only need to invite the people who need to be there for the rehearsal. Initally the rehearsal dinner was just a way to feed and thank those that would actually be participating in the wedddng. It has grown into something much larger (as have all wedding customs it seems).
Post # 15
You only need to invite the people who are in the wedding – and therefore are in the rehearsal – and their SOs. We are also inviting a few Out of Town guests – primarily those who are travelling alone and don’t know many other guests, and a few that we don’t see very often and really want to spend some extra time with. We have a lot of Out of Town guests, and most of them know each other and are coordinating travel plans and hotel reservations, so they will just get together in groups for dinner the night before the wedding. You are absolutely not obligated to feed and entertain all your Out of Town guests for the whole weekend! If there are a few of them you would like to include in the Rehearsal Dinner, certainly go ahead and do that, but don’t feel obligated to turn it into an early wedding reception.
Post # 16
We also have a lot of Out of Town guests and cannot invite everyone. We’re just inviting the bridal party and family up to first cousins. We wish we could have all of the Out of Town guests come, but our venue wouldn’t accomodate that, and it would be cost prohibitive.