Rehearsal Dinner Getting Out of Control

posted 7 months ago in Etiquette
Post # 31
468 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

We were told by that it was etiquette to invite all out of town guests to the rehearsal dinner.  That stems from decades ago when people didn’t generally leave their home town, so most guests were local.  With our wedding, old etiquette wouldn’t work – most everyone was from out of town, including us (we got married where I lived for several years, which was 4 hours from where we live now).

I’m introverted.  We invited 200 people (100 came).  I couldn’t have done that 2 nights in a row!  Would’ve stressed me out!

I echo other PPs.  Stand your grown.  Host your rehearsal dinner for those you want to invite.  (We had parents, siblings, and bridal party and their families.  And a couple of other select special family members… maybe 30 people total?). Good luck!  I’m annoyed for you!!

Post # 32
595 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2018

We had a domestic destination wedding and so invited all 100 guests to our rehearsal dinner. We set up it pretty casually with a taco bar and hosted wine and beer. It was very low key and honestly it was great to see everyone that I knew I probably wouldn’t have time to socialize with for very long the next day.

In my circle whether it’s a destination wedding or not typically a big chunk of the crowd are out-of-towners and so everyone is invited to the rehearsal dinner. Honestly I much prefer it that way because than you get to meet everyone the night before and I find it makes the wedding much more fun because people have already mingled and gotten to know each other a bit. Honestly if they’re paying for it I don’t see what the big deal is. Darling Husband and I didn’t stay till the very end of our rehearsal dinner. Everyone understood we’d want an early night as the next day was going to be a big one.

Edited to add that I also consider myself an introvert, but as it was my wedding I was still happy to spend time with my people. Anyway it kind of sounds like it’s your parents who are rubbing you the wong way, and you might find that with such a large crowd it’s easier to avoid them than you think!

Post # 33
1170 posts
Bumble bee

I come from a culture in which 3+ days of wedding events, involving all guests, is extremely common so I wouldn’t see this as strange per say.

However, regardless of what any I’d feel about it, it’s your decision ultimately and if you’re paying, you have 100% right to host as you wish (assuming no unfair or rude exclusion is happening which in this case, is not. Your desired guest list is very fair and inclusive of those needed). I’d perhaps ask the venue if they can strictly only allow people with a physical rehearsal dinner invite into the dinner? That way if your parents orally invite others, they can’t come in. But the issue with this is that the rejected guests may take offense upon being turned away, which would also be understandable even though it’d be your parent’s fault. I think your best bet it to get a rehearsal dinner venue that can just fit your desired number of guests and tell your parents once it’s booked that you’re at capacity. Maybe at that point they’ll listen 🤷🏻‍♀️

Post # 34
12814 posts
Honey Beekeeper

You are entitled to refuse to host a large rehearsal dinner if you are the one hosting. It is not inappropriate to keep it small just as it is not uncommon these days to include close family, wedding party and out of towners. That said, I think with everyone staying at the hotel, it gets a bit messy to have an exclusive event right there under the other guests’ noses. People will invariably see the signs or the people dressed for the event. If you opt for small I’d personally do it elsewhere. 

To me this comes under the etiquette rule, make an effort not to flaunt a party to which others are not invited. 

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