(Closed) Out of Towners invited to the rehersal dinner?

posted 7 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 17
9524 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

@apierce30:  the bridal party and immediate family are the only must.

everyone else is optional, depending on your budget.


Post # 18
12244 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

@apierce30:  40 of our 44 guests had to travel at least 6 hours, so we just invited the entire guest list! If you do something affordable (like a cook-out/BBQ/pizza), the cost really isn’t bad.

Of course, the WRONG was to handle it is to agree to host 44 people at the rehearsal dinner (I’m looking at you FIL!) and then to only order food for 20. And everyone goes hungary.

Post # 19
1584 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@apierce30:  It’s kind of flexible etiquette. You ought to but just like it is up to you if you get married at a church or Disneyland or if you wear white or magenta, you decide and deal with the repercussions.


For us, we invited 85 people. My future Mother-In-Law originally wanted to invite everyone (because her sister’s kid is in our wedding party, so if her sister went, all of her siblings had to go, and all of mine because it isn’t fair that only her side is invited ) which meant about 60 of 85 people would be going. It was insane and out of control. I just wanted a small rehearsal dinner which was cozy and the immediate party who needed briefing on the next day.


When she calculated the costs and realized that she would essentially be throwing a second reception, she finally (thank goodness) relented. Until that point, I was resigned to just show up, put on a happy face and go with it. It was her thing and she got to decide on it.


Thankfully, she finally realized how insane it was, so now we’re down to 15 people which is the wedding party and immediate family only. No dates, no one else so no one feels left out because EVERYONE is left out. Sucky for them, but we’re going to be in the heart of NC. They’ll find stuff to do.

Post # 20
1344 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013 - Vine Street Church

When my parents got married, they had a huge rehearsal dinner without out-of-towners because my dad’s entire family came from California to Tennessee for the wedding. We’re not going to have out-of-towners at our rehearsal dinner, however.

Post # 21
173 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

@apierce30:  We were starting to run into this problem too since all family will be coming from out of state to our wedding. Even my fiance’s parents were suggesting that we needed to invite everyone to the rehearsal dinner. I basically told them that I didn’t want to have a rehearsal dinner that would rival our brunch reception. 

How we resolved this is that we decided we would have a really small rehearsal dinner only for parents, grandparents, and possibly a couple aunts and uncles (at most 14-15 people). Then after the official dinner we are having a dessert social get together for any other out of town guests that would like join. That way the out of towners feel like they are being included and everyone can mingle and meet, but it’s not so huge that it overshadows the wedding and it isn’t crazy expensive. It’s helping us too that we are getting married at a resort that we are hoping most will be staying at which will make it easy to get everyone together for dessert. Good luck!

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