Post # 1
We are having a wedding that for all practical purposes is a destination wedding. Everyone, ourselves included, will have to travel several hours, if not several states to get to the town we will be getting married in.
I think the traditional thing to do in the case of out-of-town guests is to invite them to the rehearsal dinner since they did come a long way and would probably appreciate being included in festivities. However, since ALL of our guests are out of town, and we don’t want a huge rehearsal dinner – just immediate family and wedding party – how do we handle this situation? We don’t want to be rude to close friends, but we want a small rehearsal dinner and we cannot afford to feed everyone at the rehearsal dinner as well as at the reception the very next evening. It would be like having two receptions because all the same people would be invited.
Given our situation, if you were a guest would you be terribly offended to not be invited to the rehearsal or rehearsal dinner?
Would anyone out there suggest including an alternate get-together somewhere fun at the same time as the rehearsal dinner on our weekend schedule of events for the out-of-towners not invited to the rehearsal & rehearsal dinner? Or is that just a lame way to try to make people feel better?
Post # 3
I could have written everything you typed above! I would like to honor the traditon of welcoming out of towners, but WE’RE ALL FROM OUT OF TOWN! I decided I really don’t want the rehearsal dinner to feel like the wedding itself with all those people!
We are only including wedding party, parents, siblings, gparents. On our website, I sugguested lots of things to doa nd see on Friday night. A pro baseball game is in town, a concert, museums, amusement parks…etc,etc.. Hoping to give my guests some fun options. TO be honest, I’d rather go to the game than my rehearsal dinner!!!! Lol, I’m jealous!
Post # 4
We are running into the same problem as our wedding is in Chicago and all the fam is on east coast … so we are keeping rehearsal dinner to just immediate family.. found some awesome ideas in this article: http://www.celebrationideasonline.com/rehearsal-dinner-ideas.html… they did a casual pizza and pasta themed dinner which cut on the expenses.. What we decided is that we would do a trolley bus tour around the city the night after the wedding for all the Out of Town guests.. you can BYOB on the trolley and it is an inexpensive but fun way to include all the guests, give them a little sightseeing fun too. We are doing at after dinner that night.. so letting everyone enjoy the city during the day and then meet at 8 for the trolley fun. A trolley is good as kids and older people can enjoy.. the trolley will stop wherever we want.. so can do a couple of bar stops and people can jump off for a drink and others can stay on the trolley and visit.
The perfect solution and the trolleys accomodate like 40 people.. so we can afford to do this in lieu of a brunch, or a huge rehearsal dinner. Mom is actually going to send out invites for the trolley ride.. no one will feel left out.
Post # 5
I think (don’t know proper etiquette) that in this situation, you aren’t required to have everyone at the Rehearsal Dinner. Like you said, you would be having a second wedding reception.
I think it would be fine to point them in some other direction for a fun laid back meet up. I don’t know what your guest list is like. But maybe you can even group them off. Like younger folks, college friends etc. could meet at a club. Older folks can meet up at some restaurant. If there is a way to arange for a private room, or pay for something, that would be great.
And maybe if you have your Rehearsal Dinner start at 7pm, the meet up for other guests could start a 8pm. Then when you’re done with the Rehearsal Dinner, you and the rest of the Bridal Party can go and hang out with the rest of your guests.
But bottomline, I don’t think you have to invite everyone to the Rehearsal Dinner.
Post # 6
Hi, we’re in the same situation, and my Future Mother-In-Law argued with us for months about how we must include all out of towners in the rehearsal dinner because they have made a long and expensive trek. But with our high out-of-town guest count, it would turn out to be more like writing our 5 in-town guests to say that they are NOT invited!
We ended up compromising at Wedding Party, immediate family, and extended family. I put together a really nice list of things for people to do, and I called my most obliging and organized friend from each separate group (college friends, hs friends, etc.) to see if they’d be willing to organize something fun for their respective groups on the night of the rehearsal dinner. I think everyone has nice plans, and I think it’ll be nice to enjoy peoples’ company in a smaller setting, and then enjoy the big mesh the next day.
I also remind myself that when I’ve chosen to fly to someone’s wedding, they have always been a good friend of mine, and I’ve spent the money willingly. I never expect to “break even”, and as weddings are expensive, I’m just honored that they’d save a seat for me. I would NEVER think “omg, I spent all this time and money to fly out here, the least they could do is provide *2* meals and nights of fun for me”.
Post # 7
my brother and sil had this issue at their wedding, which was about 45 mins from where some people lived but most travelled further–they had an rd with just immediate family and the bridal party, and then a dessert welcome reception for everyone. you could do something even more casual–have everyone meet you at a bar or something like that. this is what i expected us to do for our wedding, but fmil and ffil are insisting we feed all out of towners, which is about 2/3 the guests….but i think having something smaller is still very gracious and lovely, and guests understand that the rd is small
Post # 8
I’m in the same situation and there is NO WAY that I am inviting everyone to the rehearsal dinner. Save the get-together for the day-of!
Post # 9
We have struggled with this as well. Our wedding reception is about 1.5hrs from where most people live and we will have numerous family members travelling from further away, including flying. My Fiance and I are paying for most of the wedding and we just don’t have the budget left to pay for a full rehersal dinner the night before. We also would have difficulty deciding who didn’t make the cut because we are having under 100 wedding guests. Already my mom is insiting certain people “must” be invited.
Our solution is to host an open call get together to all guests who have arrived int own the day before, near the hotel, and it will just be drinks and apps and will be finished by dinner time. That way people can do as they wish for the rest of the evening and we have offered some hospitality, although on a smaller scale. Nobody can be offended because everyone is invited – it is their choice whether they attend or not and we will know the people who do attend are doing so because they want to share time with us rather than be taken out for a great free dinner and night out. We are also giving drink tickets at the get together from the point of view that we are happy to buy a couple of drinks for each guest but we can’t keep it flowing for hours at full bar prices. We are offering an open bar the next day at the wedding though.