(Closed) Do I need to have a rehearsal dinner?

posted 5 years ago in Parties
Post # 3
1536 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

@mvg120:  If your not having the rehearsal in the evening then ther’s no need for a dinner. However, having a BBQ sounds great. It’s a great way for everybody to get to know each other a little before the wedding.

Post # 4
2685 posts
Sugar bee

You definitely don’t need a rehearsal dinner if you can’t rehearse the night before.  I like your pre-wedding dinner idea and agree that it would be a nice way for people to break the ice before the wedding day.  If you don’t have the budget for a full meal before the wedding, a happy hour with light refreshments would be another good way for people to meet and socialize.

Post # 5
2556 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I’m really liking your idea of a pre-wedding BBQ.. sounds like it would be a great time!!

Post # 6
1668 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

We skipped it.  In your situation, it would be nice to have something so everyone can meet.  But like you said it doesn’t have to be formal at all.  I would go totally casual.  We just had people meet us at a nice city bar/lounge the night before and we had a few drinks and socialized. 

Post # 7
9952 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Etiquette Snob here… lol

It is called a Rehearsal Dinner, ONLY Because that is what normally happens… Rehearsal followed by Dinner

BUT that doesn’t mean that is the ONLY possibility

Rehearsal can happen any time before the Wedding

And a Get Together (Meet & Greet) for all the Key Players is the primary reason for having the traditional Rehearsal Dinner any how

And that could be done over Dinner, Cocktails, Cake & Coffee… whatever works

(A BBQ would be fine)

Now I’m gonna tell you how this all typically goes down, and then you can work from there…

Where the Bride & Groom are the stars for all the Wedding Events, traditionally the Bride’s Parents “shine” on the day of the Wedding and the Groom’s Family the day before.

They are the usual Hosts of this Get Together / Meet & Greet.  So you really need to be discussing the details with them and what they have in mind.

(Nothing says that the B&G can’t help out… even financially… BUT you don’t want to be stepping on toes here… as this is traditionally the Groom’s Family BIG Event… and you don’t want to lose face if they don’t have to)

As for Invites…

That all comes down to what can be afforded there is a SHORT LIST (the must haves) and a LONG LIST (the nice to haves) for this Event… so make sure you have all the required bases covered and no one who should be there is left out… a HUGE faux pas and can read as a SNUB.


Groom’s Parents who are the Hosts

*Traditionally the Groom’s Parents issue the Invites and Pay for the Rehearsal Party… not the B&G. If it is a joint-hosted event (you guys have money in the mix, then you’ll want to work it out with the Groom’s Family so as no one is offended in the mix in regards to their roles and a loss of face to others)

Bride & Groom (Guests of Honour)

Bride’s Parents

All the Bridal Party (and their SOs)

*So if Cousin Sally is one of your Bridesmaids she gets an Invite along with her SO… but no need to invite her Parents or her brothers & sisters

Bridal Party Children – such as … Jr. Bridesmaids, Flower Girls, Ring Bearer  (and their Parents)

The Wedding Officiant (and if they have a spouse)

Any one who has a “special” role in the Wedding… Reader, Soloist, Musicians  (and their SOs)

Siblings of the Bride & Groom (and their SOs)


Add on…

Grand Parents, God Parents, and Any Special Guests who are coming to the  Wedding (like Aunt Martha & Uncle Phil who flew in from Australia)

And in some cases… where money isn’t a concern… the Rehearsal Dinner can  also be open to all the Out of Town Guests who are in for the evening before the  Wedding

Hope this helps,

PS.. If you have more Questions about this Event… just ask.


Post # 9
845 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

@mvg120:  I’m having a “rehearsal lunch” since our rehearsal is scheduled for 10am (there’s a wedding that day). I think you should provide food! 

Post # 10
9952 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

 TO @mvg120:  Glad to help

I doubt my Future Mother-In-Law or Future Father-In-Law would be offended by  not hosting the rehearsal, as Fiance and I are paying for the whole wedding  ourselves and they haven’t really been involved too much in the planning. I was  hoping to maybe have the get together at their house (but still pay for it  ourselves), but they haven’t offered and I feel awkward asking

Altho you “doubt” they’d be offended to forego the role of Host cause you and Hubby-2B are paying… the only way to find out is to have a sit down and discuss “their vision” for the event as well.  And if they don’t seem jazzed to Host, you could still drop it into the conversation “the reason we ask is of course usually the Groom’s Parents Host, and we don’t want to take that away from you if that is your wish”… and if it is about the money, you could make it clear, that you don’t mind paying and Co-Hosting, or just putting up the money and them still being the Hosts

The latter of course would the classy thing to do… not steal the spotlight off of them

Likewise, even if a B&G Host / Pay for their own Wedding it is important to give the Parents their traditional nod / respect (so Parents are the last seated… Groom’s First, then Bride’s Mom… with Dad, if he isn’t walking her down the aisle).

And don’t forget to toast them at the Reception… all little things that mean a lot (you can fiind out more about what is appropriate by reading up on Wedding Speaches).

Also, while I’m bending your ear…i have a 15 year old Bridesmaid or Best Man, my cousin. Do I  need to invite her parents and brother since she’s on the younger side, or not  since in your cousin example you said not to, and that’s pretty much my exact  situation.

My example above, was if Cousin Sally was an adult… as a Jr Bridesmaid, your cousin at 15 would not have a SO / Date… so for the Rehearsal Dinner it would be “assumed” that she’d be accompanied by her Parents… (Good time to verbally thank them for allowing her to be in your Bridal Party… as it means so much to you).  And YES, if there are minor aged siblings involved, in this situation they’d be invited as well.

Hope this helps,


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