(Closed) Rehearsal Dinner and OOT Guests? How to handle?

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: What should we do with our (non-immediate family) Out of Town Guests for our nondestination Wedding?
    Invite them to the Rehearsal Dinner the night before the Wedding (even if they're not imm. family) : (18 votes)
    40 %
    Host a separate event for them after the Rehearsal Dinner the night before the Wedding : (5 votes)
    11 %
    Host a brunch the morning AFTER the wedding (Monday) : (6 votes)
    13 %
    Something else (please comment) : (3 votes)
    7 %
    Nothing : (13 votes)
    29 %
  • Post # 3
    3170 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    Some will say that you invite ALL out of town guests but if I did that my rehearsal dinner would be almost everyone at the wedding. We are doing our close family (aunts, uncles, grandparents). and then of course the wedding party. you do whatever you think is best in your situation.

    OR, when I was considering a Sunday wedding, I was thinking about doing a picnic lunch in a park somewhere for everyone else that couldn’t come to the reheasal, so everyone felt included. Not sure if thats an option for you but it could be fun and a nice gesture for those who arn’t invited to the dinner that night.

    Post # 4
    3374 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: October 2011

    I would invite who you want to invite. I really wanted my Out of Town relatives there just because they’d come a really long way for my wedding.

    Post # 5
    2281 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    Some say invite all Out of Town guests, or all family, to the rehearsal dinner. We did all family, but that as a workable number for us. 

    For the other Out of Town guests, we just made sure they had a full list of options for food on Saturday. We didn’t want anyone feeling stranded. So our Out of Town bags had a list of restaurant recommendations within walking distance of the hotel. 

    Post # 6
    1736 posts
    Bumble bee

    We are inviting the wedding party and their spouses/SOs, immediate family and Out of Town family. If we added in close friends from Out of Town … we’d be rivaling the number of people attending the wedding itself! 🙂

    Post # 7
    11233 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2013

    There’s no way in hell we’d be able to afford either Out of Town guests or family for our Rehearsal Dinner. That’s 90% of our guest list.

    Post # 8
    5001 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: September 2013

    My Fiance and I are paying for our rehearsal dinner (actually we’re doing lunch so it’s cheaper) so it will only be bridal party and immediate family (26 people). My parents are hosting a brunch the morning after the wedding, so they will invite more like half the wedding guests. You can do whatever you want!!

    Post # 9
    286 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: November 2012

    My rehearsal dinner is only made up of the wedding party and their SOs/caretakers. We have a small wedding party but it’s still a significant number of people.

    my sister (MOH), bridesmaid, Brides-dude, and their SOs.
    Future Brother-In-Law and his wife
    Our parents
    My FI’s grandparents (I don’t have grandparents)
    My junior bridesmaid and her parents
    My FI’s aunt, who is the caretaker for his grandmother.
    Usher and her SO

    That’s about 20 people.

    That’s it. I’m not throwing a second wedding, and we’re going to be talking about what’s going to happen at the wedding. I don’t want guests to hear any spoilers!

    Post # 10
    11747 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    We’re in a similar dillema – we will have lots of Out of Town guests (all of FIs family).  With just bridal party, parents, grandparents and aunts/uncles, we are already at 55 people!  I don’t know where we should cut it off but I do NOT want a huge rehersal dinner. My sister’s had about 75 people there, it was basically a whole other wedding – it was exhausting to do the night before.  I think I am going to broach the subject with my Fiance and in laws to see if we can just do parents/grandparents and bridal party and “special” Out of Town guests (e.g., godparents of Fiance and family traveling internationally). It just adds up so quickly!


    Post # 11
    5220 posts
    Bee Keeper

    My then Fiance and I got into a huge MASSIVE argument about this before our Rehearsal Dinner. we had a boat load of Out of Town guests and our restaurant stuck us with a ” minimum” number that had to be filled. 

    We wound up inviting pretty much all the aunts/cousins/ex family and  we had about 57 people at our Rehearsal Dinner. It was crazy, fun, stressful and if I could do it again I probably wouldn’t have changed a thing other than making sure me and my Darling Husband were on the same page about what we expected a Rehearsal Dinner to look like!

    In my circle, they’re big events. In his circle– the grandparents weren’t even invited! 

    We wound up doing a head table with place cards ( much like a reception) and a really nice plated meal, drinks, dessert, slide show and some toasts. Everyone loved it and it actually made me more relaxed for the wedding!

    ALL of that to say– you can do what you want! Just make sure it’s what both of you want! 

    Post # 12
    4361 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2018

    Nothing.  They’re old enough to entertain themselves lol.

    Post # 13
    1416 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: January 2013

    99% of our guest are Out of Town for our wedding. Our Rehearsal Dinner is just family and bridal party, the point of it is for his family members who live far away and haven’t met my family yet to mingle and meet. Not to pay more money for guests who are already getting lux treatment the next day. We plan on buying muffins and sending them to guests’ rooms the morning after the wedding for them to eat on the road. It’s too expensive to throw a wedding and then ALSO feed the same 100 or so people AGAIN the day before AND the day after and whatnot…as someone else said…they’re adults, they can feed themselves. We will give info about nearby attractions and restaurants so they know where to go…


    Of course, as with anything, do what makes you happy and what you can afford. Screw ettiquette, don’t listen to naysayers, say “who cares what’s customary?”!!!!!

    Post # 14
    1715 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: July 2012

    We invited everyone (it was semi destination) so we just had a massive BBQ which wasnt anymore expensive than 6 people going to a fancy dinner. It was a blast and everyone (but my inlaws) helped out with the preping and cooking and cleaning up. The only thing I would have chaged was the rain which prevent us from hanging out outside.

    Edit: We also did a small snack the next morning with fresh muffins fruit and yogurt which cost us under 150$ for 45 people (yay for muffin batter at cost). It doesnt have to be expensive you just have to be creative. Also we had more people at the BBQ than at the wedding itself.

    Post # 15
    963 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    Do what you want, OP.  There are no hard and fast rules.  If we’d invited all Out of Town guests, we’d have hosted two receptions.  No way we could have afforded that.  If you are holding the rehearsal dinner at FI’s parents house, it would be odd not to include the people who are staying there.  We held our wedding at a farmhouse where we were using all 9 of the bedrooms for various family members, so we invited the bridal party/SOs and anyone who was staying at the house.  So that brought us up to 30.  After dinner, we brought a bunch of wine to the hotel where our Out of Town guests were staying so we could spend some time with them, without having to pay for their dinners.

    Post # 16
    5660 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    We had an out of town wedding, 3 hours drive from where most of the guests lived.Originally we were going to have anyone that came early enough to be there for it but after trying to make a guest list we ended up with 40 ish people with just family and bridal party so in the end we invites that same list plus all our of state guests. When you are coming that far and don’t really know anyone it’s nice to have something to go do and to be able to be part of things. I know everyone appreciated t that was invited, and in the end most of those out of staters were family anyway

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