Post # 1
This is my first post here and I was hoping for some rehearsal dinner insight.
I had always been under the impression that a rehearsal dinner was a small, intimate affair for the wedding party and immediate family. Recently, however, I’ve been seeing some huge ones; a friend of mine got married a few weeks ago and had nearly 100 people at the RD—and only 130 at the wedding!
My ideal Rehearsal Dinner is the wedding party and their dates (already a high number since we have 7 attendants each), parents, officiant and grandparents. Unfortunately, I don’t think my future in laws (who will likely be picking up the tab) will want the same. His cousin’s wedding two years ago included a Rehearsal Dinner with at least 100 people.
A little background: the wedding is being held near my family’s summer home, where my family has been going forever. My fiance’s family is from out of state, and many of them have never been there at all. Future in-laws are renting a house along with my two other couples, one of whom is my fiance’s aunt and uncle. I imagine they will want them to attend, but then it gets dicey because then do we have to invite his other aunt and uncle as well? And then do we invite all of mine? Blah.
I really would love a quiet nice evening with the people I know best, not the stress of what would essentially be two weddings.
Any advice on the etiquette here? Thanks in advance!
Post # 3
If your FI’s parents are paying, they get to invite who they want.
So talk to them and come up with a happy medium.
FWIW – we didn’t even have a rehearsal dinner 🙂
Post # 4
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
It completely depends on whose hosting the rehearsal dinner. My aunt hosted her son’s Rehearsal Dinner and it was huge because she invited all of the groom’s family as well as the bridal party and grandparents/siblings of the bride and groom. If you’re hosting (i.e. paying) then you decide on the guest list. If your Future Mother-In-Law is hosting and footing the bill then she decides on the guest list.
Post # 5
I agree, if they are paying they can invite whoever. Our rehersal dinner is just Wedding Party, dates, parents, grandparents, and officiant and is over 60 people, but the wedding is over 300 people. I find it odd to have 100 person RH and a 130 person wedding.
Post # 6
I’d always heard the rehearsal dinner was for wedding party and spouses/dates, immediately family, and any guests coming in from out of town. I think it’s that last group that makes some so big. Most of our guests are coming from out of town. We “solved” that by holding the rehearsal dinner at a venue that only sits 60. So that’s our max number of invitees (vs. the wedding count is about 150). I’m not sure who will be on the invite list, I’m sort of leaving that up to my in-laws who are hosting it. Besides the wedding party and people actually in the wedding, I only have a few family members coming. They’ll all be invited. After that it’s up to Future Mother-In-Law to choose from among her HUGE family. We’re waiting to see who’s planning to arrive the day before and then we’ll invite from there. No need to give people a reason to come in early if they wouldn’t have otherwise.
Post # 7
I found it odd as well, and the bride’s explanation that it was because there were so many out-of-town guests didnt make me feel any better! haha
Post # 8
@august302014: Welcome to Weddingbee!
My Rehearsal Dinner was what you suggested: bridal party and dates, readers and dates, parents of bride and groom, grandparents of bride and groom, ring bearer and his family.
However, if your future in-laws are hosting, you may have to defer to their preferences here. Are you comfortable talking with them about the issue? Another option is to invite all out-of-town guests (whether they all accept is TBD) which might mean inviting more of his family but wouldn’t require you to invite allllll of yours if they are local.
Post # 9
@august302014: whoever is hosting the Rehearsal Dinner can invite whoever, but the Rehearsal Dinner is primarily for just the wedding party and the parents of the bride and groom.
My Mother-In-Law paid for our Rehearsal Dinner, but she is very by the book and only invited the wedding party and she invited her sister that she is really close with. I didn’t mind at all, bc thats how its supposed to be, not a mini wedding! lol
I feel like some people drag out the parties
Post # 10
People “hear” things and think it is either the norm,or the expectation. It is only a recent innovation to invite out oftown guests. It is not required that you do so.
The rehearsal dinner is a way to thank the wedding party for their time and support, and to ensure that both sides of the family have met before the wedding.
If your FIL’s have kindly offered to host the dinner, I suggest you, as a couple, have a chat with them to share yor desire for a more intimate dinner.
There is always room for compromise. They could host the smaller scale dinner, and extend invitations to OOT’s to join them for dessert and coffee after, or for drinks.
Post # 11
- Wedding: July 2013 - The front lawn of our church
I agree that if they’re hosting it they get to invite whoever they want. But I don’t think it would be wrong to casually say that you were invisioning a more intimate gathering with just the Bridal Party, their dates, and immediate family. If they insist on a big gathering then just let it go.
Post # 12
We will have a standard rehearsal dinner followed by inviting anyone in town to celebrate at the bar. My entire family is Out of Town and will love the opportunity to hang out and see each other!
Post # 13
I think this is the difference between a Rehearsal Dinner and a Welcome Dinner. Can you request a small dinner for Bridal Party and immediate family, followed by a cocktail party or Welcome Reception for out of town guests?
Post # 14
I like that idea a lot, have been thinking about a welcome bonfire with cocktails and smores after the rehearsal dinner. I’m just worried people will think it’s rude to be invited to one and not the other..
Post # 15
I wouldn’t think it was rude at all! I honestly wouldn’t expect to be invited to anything other than the ceremony and reception. Anything else is bonus and sounds like fun!
Post # 16
We are having out of towners, bridal party, grandparents and parents. It’s about 50 or so people.
My sister did the same thing, then “opened up” the party after dinner for anyone who wanted to attend. They could have drinks and hang out, but it wasn’t nearly as expensive and the dinner piece was still super intimate 🙂