Post # 1
What is the deal with the invitations to the rehearsal dinner? I thought you were supposed to invite everyone from out of town- the problem we are having is that basically all of my friends are from out of town, none of his are. So basically we are looking at a huge rehearsal dinner with 50 of my friends, his parents and siblings and my parents and siblings. We aren’t having a wedding party, so we can’t cut it down that way. I have no clue what to do.Please help.
Post # 3
- Wedding: May 2007 - Wynbrick Center - a historic mansion in my hometown.
Rehearsal Dinner ‘rules’ are pretty flexible today…it’s all based on who’s paying, how much they can afford, etc.
If you’re searching for a type of Rehearsal Dinner that can accommodate all your Out of Town friends, there are lots of options that you might not’ve considered already…you don’t necessarily have to have the standard sit-down dinner in a fancy restaurant, y’know! To host a Rehearsal Dinner with space for everybody and a more bearable price, you could have burgers in the park, a potluck (food provided by you and your family who are in town–you wouldn’t want to ask the OOTers to bring food!), or even a really fun and unusual location like a bowling alley or an amusement park. Depeding on your wedding venue, they might even let you stay at the venue after your rehearsal, and have the dinner there. (since I don’t know the specifics of your situation, I don’t know if these are viable options or not)
But if you’re looking for ways to cut down your list (so you *can* have that fancy sit-down dinner), you can reduce your list to family + a few close friends (since there’s no wedding party to include). You’re not at all obliated to invite all the OOTers (though it can be a nice gesture!), thouh a considerate thing to do for the uninvited OOTers would be providing a list of good local restaurants close to their hotel.
Post # 4
- Wedding: June 2008 - Winery in the Gold Country
My Rehearsal Dinner will be 50-60 people as well (and my wedding is only 120!) because we want to host all out of town guests. The food costs will be as much as our wedding food costs, but we dont care. We hate to think that people have spent $500 for plane tix, $300 for hotels, car rentals, etc, and we cant do so much as feed them the night before the wedding.
If costs are an issue to you, host a barbecue or backyard affair. RDs dont have to be fancy. But I always like to keep in perspective the fact that these people traveled SO far to be with you on your day, so the $60 a head (or whatever you plan on spending) may be well worth it.
Post # 5
Over 75 of our ~120 guests will be from out of town so we decided to invite all of our guests to a very casual rehearsal dinner in the outdoor patio of our favorite wings/burgers place. The casual atmosphere should help people mingle the day before the wedding and we’ll be able to move around and talk to people. We considered a more formal sit down dinner and quickly realized that we’d rather be able to freely invite all of our wedding guests than to have to pick and choose who can come because of cost. We’ll have a more formal dinner at the wedding reception. We’ve received really positive feedback from the friends/family that know of our plan.
Post # 6
We had immediate family, relatives (that were flying from Out of Town and would be at the hotel early) and the wedding party only. The Rehearsal Dinner etiquette as blueberry said is very flexible especially when it comes to cost, who’s paying, and capacity.
This might not be the case but the impresion I got from a lot of guests were that they were kinda "too busy" to attend "another" dinner. If they are coming from Out of Town, many times they are tired and just trying to get settled. It actually gave me kinda a headache because most weren’t sure if they could come or not.
Informal RD’s are great because it allows ppl to mingle and if it’s a buffet, people can come and go and the cost/capacity won’t be a huge problem.
Post # 7
do you absolutely have to serve a meal? all of my family was technically Out of Town and none of his were. we had a rehearsal dinner saturday night w/ the wedding party, but in addition, we had a party friday night with our friends and his cousins (pizza and snacks), and then after the rehearsal dinner we had my Out of Town family come over for dessert. everything was at our house (absolutely exhausting but well worth seeing everyone, and both sides were really comfy with each other by the wedding day). it was a lot cheaper that way, and in our Out of Town bags we put in recommendations for nice restaurants nearby for dinner. my aunts and uncles LOVED the one they went to and were in really good moods by the time they got to our house.
my sister had a rehearsal dinner in their yard, had BBQ catered. it was over 50 people, but that was fun too. but since everyone was eating it wasn’t as easy to meet new people.
Post # 8
Ours got a little out of hand, too, since 75% of our guests are Out of Town. We ended up doing a traditional Chicago deep dish pizza buffet (with salad and regular thin crust pizza, too) and what started off as just 30 ppl coming ended up becoming more like 60 ppl and we even had some people (that weren’t even invited to the wedding) crash it.
Post # 9
Another good issue. 80% of our guests are Out of Town, so it would not make sense for us to invite all Out of Town people (unless we want Wedding Part 1 and Wedding Part 2, which I personally am not in the mood for – plus we are paying). We plan to invite wedding party, parents, grandparents – which still amounts to approx. 30 people considering my wonky broken home. I like the idea of restaurant suggestions in the Out of Town bags.
Post # 10
i’m not exactly sure on how Rehearsal Dinner etiquette goes, but we were planning on just having the wedding party, our immediate family, and only those involved in the ceremony at the Rehearsal Dinner. my FI’s parents are hosting it at their house and i didnt think it would be right to invite all of the out of towners since most of our families don’t live here.
i hope this is ok???!!!
Post # 11
danibel, that’s exactly what we did..
we had our wedding party (and any bfs/gfs or dates of theirs), our immediate family, flower girl and parents, ring bearer and parents, officiant and his fiance (they ended up not coming), however, where we went wrong is that the immediate family began inviting Out of Town family and next thing you knew, our entire group had doubled.
other than that, our venue was fabulous is providing more food and it’s done and over with 🙂
Post # 12
Hi May – we actually had about 40-50 people at ours – 5 bridesmaids + SO’s, 6 groomsmen + SO’s, plus H’s 4 siblings and their children and SO’s… We did it for about $2K, we did it buffet-style at a hotel. Hotel restaurants (we did it at a Marriott) have surprisingly good food and will definitely work with you.
Another suggestion is to do a "hospitality suite" at the hotel where all of your out of town guests are staying? Then you can just do finger foods, cookies, snacks, etc.
Post # 13
Our best friends just got married at a destination wedding at Niagara Falls, where every single guest was from Out of Town. So they wanted to invite everyone to the Rehearsal Dinner, and what they did was just host a wine & cheese party with a few extra appies in addition to the fruit & cheese. It was held at a winery. It was great and much cheaper per head than hosting a full sit-down dinner.
Another good option is to host the Rehearsal Dinner for just immediate family and anyone participating in the wedding itself (readers?), and then have a later reception for desserts only for all your Out of Town guests.