(Closed) Do we have to invite siblings and spouses to rehearsal dinner?

posted 4 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
5778 posts
Bee Keeper

The question is for only one sibling and spouse? I’d invite them and let them decide whether or not to attend. That certainly doesn’t mean you need to start inviting all the rest mentioned. It’s pretty common to invite siblings, but not all extended family.

Post # 3
355 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I would definitely invite siblings but wouldn’t invite cousins to the rehearsal.

Post # 4
11747 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I would. Inviting a sibling doesn’t mean you have to invite cousins and friends. Siblings are immediate family.

Post # 5
1725 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2014 - 13th ~ TN

Cordellia:  +1 to the previous posters. Siblings are not the same as cousins. Why is the sibling not a part of the bridal party? Even if you are not too close, she is still his sister.

Post # 6
578 posts
Busy bee

I’d do the sibling+spouse (assuming your Fiance and his parents want them there), but definitey not all the others. 

Post # 7
2729 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I thought the rehearsal dinner was for your bridal party & their significant others. I don’t understand why you would have to invite a sibling who isn’t in the wedding?  Weddings these days are all about doing it however you want.  

Post # 8
4948 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Cordellia:   Rehearsal dinners are generally for the bridal party and spouses.  I’d suggest keeping it that way, although my opinion is heavily biased!!  Our rehearsal dinner went from 12 to 38 because my sweet, generous Fiance didn’t want to “leave anyone out.”  

Post # 9
7271 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

I don’t think you need to invite cousins just because you invite a sibling. I personally would invite my sibling (actually our siblings were in the wedding party) but it seems like your family dynamic is a little different. What does your Fiance think? I personally would just invite her because it’s only two more people.

ETA: I’m kind of surprised at the posters asking why the sister isn’t part of the wedding party. It sounds like they aren’t close to his sister so why should she be in the wedding party just because they share a bit of DNA?

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by  .
Post # 10
1608 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

You don’t “have” to invite anyone other than people partipating in wedding (so wedding party and parents of bride, which to me means both parents) and their spouses, fiances.  If you want to allow long term partners, fine, but you dont have to invite every Girlfriend or Boyfriend or Best Friend.  For a small wedding, I would do a very small Rehearsal Dinner, very informal.   If you go with every suggestion that someone says would be nice, it will get out of hand.  

Post # 11
3039 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I’ll eco pp’s. I would include the sister and her partner, that’s only 2 people so not a huge addition. However, I would definitely not extend the invitations further – there’s no need to invite cousins just because you’re asking your FI’s sister to attend.

Post # 12
1696 posts
Bumble bee

Cordellia:  The rules for polite behaviour do not change just because you are having a wedding, or a rehearsal. You do not get any breaks for being a bride — but you also do not lose your right to self-determination just because you are a bride.

So, at a formal dinner — any formal dinner– if you a married person, you must invite their spouse. This being the twenty-first century, the spouse is allowed to decline and the original guest may still attend (a hundred years ago, even fifty, they would have been expected to accept or decline as a couple.) So as far as inviting spouses goes, it sounds as though you are in the right: your wedding party spouses have either declined, or ar attending.

However, no etiquette rule exists requiring siblings at formal dinners. The rehearsal dinner serves a purpose — to provide basic hospitality to the people who have done you the favour of showing up to rehearse. Does the sibling in question have to rehearse? Unlike parents, siblings do not process down aisles or escort people on their arms. Neither do cousins — unless they are doing readings or singing solos or something. So invite the people who need to be there (and their spouses, whether legal, incipient or de-facto), and leave off entertaining everyone else until the wedding the next day.

Post # 13
9790 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

Yes immediate family and their spouses should be invited to a rehearsal dinner. 

Post # 14
451 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Cordellia:  Are you asking her to be at the rehearsal? If so, you need to invite them to the rehearsal dinner.

The point of the rehearsal dinner is to thank the people who showed up to rehearse. You don’t need to invite anyone who isn’t rehearsing, except SOs.

Post # 15
271 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

merpitymerp:  +1 to this.

To answer your question, it can be just the wedding party, officiant, and parents (plus everyone’s spouses).  Spouses definitely need to be invited, but not necessarily siblings.  My understanding is that it’s only the people who are required to be at the wedding rehearsal.  I would think that if you were close to a sibling, they would be a member of the wedding party anyway, and this wouldn’t be an issue.  I’d also worry about the “slippery slope” effect of inviting one person nobody’s close to, and then others questioning why an exception was made for THIS person and not them…yeah, just a road I’d rather not do gown.

The topic ‘Do we have to invite siblings and spouses to rehearsal dinner?’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors