(Closed) Rehearsal dinner feels a bit to large….will the wedding be overshadowed?

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: Should more than half the wedding guests be invited to the rehearsal dinner?



  • Post # 32
    1755 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2014

    @Miss_Dr.Pepper:  It’s entirely dependent on the sort of rehearsal dinner vs the type of wedding you’re having.  A simple BBQ rehearsal dinner is very different from a formal affair at a 5 star restaurant.

    My wedding is really small and it’s a destination for all but two people.  So we’re having a welcome/rehearsal dinner the night before and everyone including the two locals are invited.  But we’re carefully planning to ensure that while the welcome/rehearsal dinner will be nice, that it won’t overshadow our wedding the next day.  We’re making sure it’s more casual than the wedding venue and meal. 

    Post # 34
    328 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    I can relate thouh my feelings were less of being overshadowed and more of wishing the funds were better allocated. If I had my choice the rehearsal would be a casual BBQ where people could just hang out and have fun and the money would be better put towar the wedding. We will have about 30% of wedding guests at the rehearsal dinner as many are from Out of Town and will be coming in the night before the wedding. My Future In-Laws are planning it and at first I thought it would overshadow the wedding because they like to go all out and tend to be ostentatious. But I know it will be a very different type of event. I’m trying to focus on the things that will make it less formal than the wedding, like the food will be buffet, the restaurant is nice but not nearly as nice as our venue, the guests will likey be tired from traveling and dressed more casually, it will be more about speeches and giving our wedding party gifts than about dances and music. So there will be many differences, and now that I’ve come to terms with it, I think our guests will appreciate having something nice to go to, and the wedding will still be the highlight of the weekend.  

    Post # 35
    866 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: December 2011

    We had a formal welcome dinner the evening before the wedding. Out of 90 wedding guests, 75 were present!!!! The WD was in our venue — an historic inn — but in a different room from our ceremony and reception spaces.

    I would call the formality level of the WD comparable to the wedding itself. The food was completely different, with a large Italian buffet for the dinner and a brunch wedding. I greeted people as they arrived, sat at a table with DH and our parents/siblings, and our fathers gave toasts.

    TBH I never once worried about the WD overshadowing the “main event” because it never occurred to me that it could. With no ceremony, no gowns/suits/decor, the WD felt like a big special dinner. The wedding… felt like a wedding! Everyone’s attitude was completely different, and nobody acted as though they were less enthused about the wedding because of the formal dinner.

    Actually, the only casual event was the after-party, mostly because we invited everyone who stayed that night, and they’d all gone off to their rooms to change and watch the Patriots win (just like we did). It was more enjoyable — dare I say, more *special* — to have people there all weekend, regardless of the formality of each event.

    It sounds like your BBQ will be a fun, relaxing into to the wedding. Enjoy the extra time with your guests, enjoy YOURSELF if you can, and I’m glad to read that you reached a compromise!

    Post # 36
    9541 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2013

    Glad you found a solution that will work for you all.

    When my parents got married was totally lopsided because my dad’s family is more well off than my mom’s. Formal extravagant rehearsal dinner and a cake a punch wedding reception. It turned out fine. People like getting together and don’t really care if it’s at the reception or wedding. Don’t make it a competition.

    In fact, if I could give one piece of advice to all brides about almost everything it would be  “Don’t make your wedding a competition!”

    Post # 37
    5493 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2011

    We had 80 guests at our rehearsal dinner and 150 at the wedding.  So the rehearsal was definitely more than half of all our guests.  like your ILs are proposing, we invited all out of town guests, bridal party and dates and immediate family members.  We had a sit down dinner for the rehearsal but it did not at all overshadow the wedding the following evening.  They were two very different events with different vibes. People raved about how fun and relaxed our rehearsal was.  Honestly, it was great to have the extra time to catch up with all the out of town guests who traveled so far to be with us.

    I say if it’s in the budget definitely go for it.  You’ll be happy to have some relaxed opportunities to mingle with your guests the night before the wedding. 

    Post # 38
    376 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    Just wanted to add this from Martha “The style of the rehearsal dinner can complement the wedding, but it should not copy or overshadow it”. I think you were totally fair to worry and think about this. Glad you came to happy conclusion with the inlaws!!!! Hope you have a happy rehearsal dinner and wedding!!!

    Post # 39
    508 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    So many of our guests are coming in from out of town that the option to have them all at the rehearsal dinner is not even entertained. FI’s family is bigger than mine so we already have 35 people as it is attending! I think you should first talk to your Fiance about your worries and then you both approach Future Mother-In-Law.

    Post # 40
    3373 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: October 2011

    I actually think the larger the rehearsal the better. People love seeing old friends and relatives and it gives a good vibe that carries into the wedding. Just make sure your rehearsal dinner is more casual.

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