(Closed) Bridal party/fam rehearsal dinner? Welcome party required for DW? Both? Neither?

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: Should we do a rehearsal lunch/dinner? Should we have a welcome party? Both? Neither?
    Do a rehearsal lunch/dinner even though other guests will see it happening. : (8 votes)
    25 %
    Don't do a rehearsal lunch/dinner. : (2 votes)
    6 %
    Have a welcome party. : (10 votes)
    31 %
    Don't have a welcome party. : (1 votes)
    3 %
    Do both a rehearsal lunch/dinner and a welcome party. : (9 votes)
    28 %
    Do neither. Nice, separate luncheons for groomsmen and bridesmaids on the day of are enough. : (2 votes)
    6 %
  • Post # 3
    46404 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    I see no reason why you cannot have a rehearsal dinner for just the family and wedding party. I don’t think most people expect to be invited just because they are from Out of Town.


    Post # 4
    20 posts
    • Wedding: April 2015 - Now Sapphire Resort

    All of your guests made the trip for your wedding so I would say it’s only polite to host a welcome event that includes everyone.  That’s what we intend to do.  I plan to have a small bridesmaids breakfast the day of, so they get the special treatment they deserve and I think that is enough.  If you have a rehearsal dinner that excludes people who travelled all that way for you, you run the risk of hurting feelings. 


    Post # 6
    580 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    FWIW, I personally don’t understand inviting people other than those in the wedding party/immediate family to the rehearsal dinner.  My friend did that, and it kind of made the rehearsal dinner less special. (She invited friends from college, etc that were not in the wedding. They ended up sitting with her, and the rest of the wedding party got scattered to different tables. Poor etiquette, IMO.) 

    I don’t think just because they are out of town they should be invited. I think it would be nice to do some sort of welcome thing, maybe drinks and dessert? 

    Post # 8
    753 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    im doing a destination wedding in tennessee, everyone but 8 people are coming from out of state or country. A lot of our guests are turning it into a week long vacation and will be there early so I’m planning on doing the rehersal with just the bridal party and then having a welcome bbq for anyone who’s there. 

    we’re not doing anything super fancy or huge. we’re doing skewers with chicken, sausage, veggies, shrimp and bbqing them and then pasta salads and other odds and ends. we’re also doing s’mores. 

    i’d do a seperate thing for the wedding party but not all of them will be there friday before lunch so that’s out of the question. 

    hotels over charge for food and drinks so that’ll matter for your budget. you could always do the dinner at a restaurant in town before you reherse and then do a cocktail welcome party at the hotel if you want. or if there’s a park near by do it there? nothing says it has to be at the hotel. 

    Post # 9
    350 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2016

    I think you should have a quick rehersal and then invite everyone to a welcome/rehersal dinner. I get it, weddings are expensive, but it cost your guests money to attend your dw. You want them to feel welcomed and appreciated for attending. 

    Post # 11
    514 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    @Shkragoldfish:  we are having a Destination Wedding and instead of a Rehearsal Dinner we are doing a wecome party the night before the wedding with heavy appetizers and wine/beer. I woud rather have something fun with all the people who have travelled than a formal sitdown dinner. 

    Post # 12
    911 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2013 - The Down Town Club, Philadelphia

    We are a Destination Wedding, and we are having a small (40 ppl) rehearsal dinner followed by a “meet & greet” at a local bar. It will be a cash bar, but we are hosting apps and deserts. 

    This way, we still get to see people before the wedding, and no one can feel left out. 

    Our wedding is a full top-shelf open bar, so I don’t feel badly about not hosting the welcome party bar. I don’t want everyone getting drunk the night before!

    Anyway, my point is: You could/should so both – a small dinner, followed by a low-key welcome party. 

    Post # 13
    569 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2013


    Would it be possible to ask the hotel for a small private room to hold the rehearsal lunch/dinner? I don’t know what the norm is for your social circle, but for ours, it really is not expected for Out of Town guests to be invited to the rehearsal dinner unless they’re in the wedding party. For a Destination Wedding that size, I honestly would not expect a welcome party either. It becomes like hosting a second wedding reception, unless it’s just welcome drinks.

    We are also doing a domestic Destination Wedding and we are having the rehearsal dinner for wedding party and relatives only. We have small extended families, so it’s only 30 people including cousins, aunts and uncles. It will be a private party held on a different part of the venue property, away from the other guests. I’ve been to other weddings where this was done, and it was fine.

    To honour my family’s cultural traditions, we’re having a tea ceremony the day after the wedding and inviting everyone to come for a dessert evening. I guess it’s sort of like a farewell party instead. The costs per head are working out to be not much cheaper than the reception!


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