(Closed) Rehearsal Dinner Guest List…Who needs to be there?

posted 5 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
9954 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Hi @sChaconZapp:  first and foremost… a BIG Welcome to “the Hive”

When it comes to the Rehearsal Dinner, the norm is to invite ALL who participated in the Rehearsal (sort of as a Thank You for all you are doing for us) and a few other “necessary” family members etc.

The idea being that the Rehearsal Dinner is a time when folks get together to and finally meet one another (socialize) before the Wedding… especially so if they haven’t had the chance to do so before the event (ie his family meets your family etc)

So generally if one is having a Family Wedding… then the Invitees would look like this



Groom’s Parents who are the Hosts

*Traditionally the Groom’s Parents issue the Invites and Pay for the Rehearsal Party… not the B&G. If it is a joint-hosted event (you guys have money in the mix, then you’ll want to work it out with the Groom’s Family so as no one is offended in the mix in regards to their roles and a loss of face to others)

Bride & Groom (Guests of Honour)

Bride’s Parents

All the Bridal Party (and their SOs)

*So if Cousin Sally is one of your Bridesmaids she gets an Invite along with her SO… but no need to invite her Parents or her brothers & sisters

Bridal Party Children – such as … Jr. Bridesmaids, Flower Girls, Ring Bearer  (and their Parents)

The Wedding Officiant (and if they have a spouse)

Any one who has a “special” role in the Wedding… Reader, Soloist, Musicians  (and their SOs)

Siblings of the Bride & Groom (and their SOs)


Add on…

Grand Parents, God Parents, and Any Special Guests who are coming to the  Wedding (like Aunt Martha & Uncle Phil who flew in from Australia)

And in some cases… where money isn’t a concern… the Rehearsal Dinner can  also be open to all the Out of Town Guests who are in for the evening before the  Wedding

EDIT TO ADD —> OR in the case of your situation, if the Groom’s Family has the cash, and wants… they can invite whomever is also related (so Cousin Sally’s Parents and sibs)

— — —

The Rehearsal Dinner is the official occasion when the Groom’s Parents /  Family shines.  (Bride’s Parents get all the limelight day of)

It is also a great opportunity for everyone to meet one another… in that  there are usually some folks who haven’t done so beforehand

It can be a fun time for memories and speaches… and Best Wishes for the  next day

Sometimes it is an occasion for gift exchanges…

Bride & Groom often giving their Bridal Party their Thank You Presents  then

Or ones to their Parents

Or to each other

(all of these gifts given in public is optional)

If it is an “intimate group” sometimes Wedding Presents from the members  within the group are opened… but again this is optional… and sometimes  dependent on local customs or how the B&G feel about doing so in public

Food is typically served, but there is no strict guidelines on what it must  be… could be sandwiches in the Church Hall… Munchies at a Pub / Bar… or a  sit-down Meal

And lastly… there is often a FUN cake served… known as the Groom’s  Cake.  And it features a theme that corresponds to the interests of the  groom (ie sports, cars, etc are popular ones)

Hope this helps,

PS… If the Wedding is being held in the Bride’s Hometown, and the  Groom’s Family is coming in from Out of Town, then often the two families will work  out the plan together on WHERE to hold the Rehearsal Party… as one assumes the  MOB / FOB will know possible venues better etc.  It is OK for the  Groom’s Family to ask for advice in this regard.

When I was married the first time… My Parents actually co-hosted with my  Fiance’s Parents… as they were coming in from Out of Town to our small town,  and there weren’t a lot of places we could go (ideal for the  situation).  My Parents had a large home, so they offered it up as the  location.  My mother and her church group did a lot of the  eats (finger sandwiches, squares etc).  Not a huge issue, because it  was the same church ladies who were going to be doing our Midnight Dessert  Buffet at our Wedding… lol, they just made more.  (Of course the Groom’s  Parents paid for the food… and took the role of Hosts… so they provided all  the liquor etc for the house party.  It was a FANTASTIC Party, and a great  night, I have very fond memories)

PPS… as you get to know WBee you’ll discover that a lot of Questions have been asked many times… so you can also use WBee SEARCH (box upper right hand corner on any page) to see what has been said in the past.  This reply here is one that I gave another Bee recently on her topic = http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/who-is-normally-invited-to-the-rehearsal-dinner#ixzz2OklhI54O

EDIT TO ADD – It is usually well-known that the Rehearsal Dinner is a smaller get-together for those participating in the Wedding Ceremony… so no hard feelings if one isn’t invited.  It is the RARE case where money is no object and this event is a big one (altho I’ve read here on WBee where some Grooms’ Families has the luxury of lots of cash… and invited tons of people to the event… with all the Out of Town Guests etc present… lol, even the Brides in those cases said they were like “mini Weddings” with so many in attendance)

Post # 4
4284 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

We had parents, grandparents, wedding party and their spouses/SO’s. We also had a couple aunts and uncles who were here from out of town.

Post # 5
903 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

This is something that has plagued me as well – we’ll probably be going with the short list that This Time Round talked about, but I’ll still feel guilty about not including all out-of-town family.  However, we’re getting married in my hometown, where ONLY my parents live, so pretty much every single family member on both sides would be Out of Town, and it’s a small town with very few options for feeding such a large group of people, AND my fiancé and I will most likely be paying and we are poor.  

Your mileage may vary 😉

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