(Closed) Rehearsal dinner invite list, help!!!

posted 12 years ago in Parties
Post # 3
1061 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

i was in this situation. my mom gave me a whiny "well, we’re paying for this huge party the next day, it’s the least they can do." i ended up saying to her "well, they’re the hosts, so i’ll get Fiance to talk to them." that shut her up. if they’re the ones hosting, they should be the ones deciding who is invited.

maybe host a small cocktail party after the rehearsal dinner for those who didn’t come to the rehearsal dinner? i didn’t actually offer this as an option to my mom bc i don’t want to stay up late the night before the wedding, but i know people have done this.

Post # 4
378 posts
Helper bee

Just tell your mom that you don’t want to Rehearsal Dinner to upstage the wedding. 🙂 Personally I feel that the Rehearsal Dinner is for the wedding party/those involved anyway – those are the people that are standing up for you and making you feel special, this is your time to thank them. If you’re going to make it for everyone, why have another reception?

I know my FI’s parents can’t pay for more people than we’re inviting and I wouldn’t even DREAM of asking them to host a ton more people – or if we did, Fiance and I would pay for it ourselves. If they can’t afford it, they can’t afford it, and to invite more and expect them to pay for it is rude and selfish, in my eyes. What would your parents do if they couldn’t afford to throw a huge wedding? They’d have to cut down the guest list and cut out some other things. 

It’s wonderful that your parents have the means to throw an amazing wedding, but they also have to realize that some people aren’t in the position to spend that much money, and they have to respect that. Plus, if you want an intimate affair, tell them that. Just because they’re paying for everything doesn’t give them carte blanche do to whatever they want. Or, like Rebecca said, tell them they can host a welcome reception after the Rehearsal Dinner for everyone they want to invite. 

Post # 5
388 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2020

Maybe you can gently remind your parents that the big party they are paying for should be the focus?  All these people that they want to invite to the Rehearsal Dinner will be at the big fancy wedding the next day!

I, too agree, that the Rehearsal Dinner should be more intimate and be just the bridal party and key family members.  There’s too much going on the day before your wedding to worry about entertaining a big group.  That’s what the wedding is for! You’ll have a lot on your mind. 

Since 80% of your guests will be traveling in, and your parents want them included at the Rehearsal Dinner, how about suggesting a brunch or casual party the day after the wedding?  We had a very casual beach party the day after, and it was so great because the wedding was over, and we got to hang out with everyone in a leisurely setting.  Good luck!

Post # 6
55 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2008

I posted about this exact same issue a couple of months ago!  Here’s my (somewhat panicked) post:


Same thing – parents paying for a huge wedding, lots of out of towners that are mostly my family members, fiance wants an intimate rehearsal dinner.  It’s a tough situation. My parents are going to have a separate dinner that same night for our out-of-town family members, hosted by my cousin.  They’re having it a little later than the rehearsal dinner so that my parents can pop over to say hi at the end.  Hopefully it’ll work out.  Although my parents were disappointed at first, we basically told them that the rehearsal dinner is the groom’s side’s part of the wedding and it’s not their decision.  Very nicely, of course!

Other ideas people gave me: Have the rehearsal dinner on Thursday night and a big dinner for all out-of-town guests Friday.  Or after the rehearsal dinner have people gather somewhere for cocktails or dessert. 

Good luck!

Post # 7
139 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2008

I have a similar issue. A huge chunk of our guests will be coming from out of town, and we want to see them (as do my parents). FI’s father wants to host an Rehearsal Dinner where the wedding party can’t even bring their guests (a whole 3 extra people). What I think is going to end up happening is that FI’s father is just going to give us money, and my parents are really going to host it (catered something at our house, outside if it’s nice) for the wedding party and immediate family.

After the Rehearsal Dinner, they will then host a wine & dessert party for all of the Out of Town people so we get to see everyone.

We would do the post-wedding brunch thing but we are leaving the very next morning early for our honeymoon. My family might have a family brunch, but we won’t be there and we want to see our guests too!

Post # 8
47 posts
  • Wedding: August 2008

Your responsible only to assist the Host.  Host is the Host….


Post # 9
323 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

same situation as you.

We found a rehearsal dinner place that will only allow for 75people max, so it ended up being a GREAT EXCUSE for limiting the number and my parents totally understood.

It is very common to do a small intimate dinner with family and bridal party and then go to the hotel bar where everyone is staying (or a local bar/lounge that is easy for people to get to) and have  cocktails there where everyone just gets their own drinks and see’s you. This relieves the financial stress on EVERYONE. Just announce it in your itinerary that everyone is invited to the bar at XXX time.

Since your folks are paying for the wedding, doing ANOTHER event like a brunch only adds to their bill. If they want to pay it, great, but in my case, my folks have a generous yet firm and limited budget and so doing open cocktails was the best solution.

Post # 10
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

In one way it is nice of your parents to offer to pay for the extra guests they want to invite.  In another way it is sort of a slap in the face to your FI’s parents, and I’m sure they can see that.  Your mom and dad wouldn’t like your Future In-Laws coming in and changing the plans for the party they are hosting (the wedding and reception) and then offering money as a way of making up for the implied criticism.  Plus, when one family has significantly more money than the other, feelings can really get hurt if its perceived that the more-well-off family thinks that the plans made by the other family are somehow inadequate.

I would leave your Rehearsal Dinner the way it is.  If your folks want to throw two big parties for their friends, you could suggest a day-after brunch, or a brunch or lunch the day before (earlier than the RD).  If your Rehearsal Dinner is already at 60-65, that’s pretty big.  Its really not necessary or appropriate for the Rehearsal Dinner to be over half the size of the actual reception. 


Post # 11
1 posts
  • Wedding: September 2008


I have almost the same situation. My fiance’s parents are divorced and have very little money. We’re also tied by our rehearsal site, which requires a small # for dinner- our compromise is this: we’re keeping dinner fairly small (65) and then since pretty much everyone is coming from out of town, we’re opening it up for drinks & dessert for everyone from 8-10pm. My parents are paying for the drinks, his are paying for food. I don’t think it’s rude of your parents to want to invite more, but if his parents are very involved in planning, you are kind of tied to their ideas. You could suggest a few extra people your parents want, but probably not the whole list.

good luck!

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