(Closed) Rehearsal Dinner – Who to invite?

posted 6 years ago in Family
  • poll: Who did you invite to your rehearsal dinner?
    Only bridal party (those participating in the ceremony somehow) : (2 votes)
    4 %
    Bridal party + dates : (19 votes)
    37 %
    Bridal party + families : (15 votes)
    29 %
    Any OTT guest coming the night before : (14 votes)
    27 %
    "Open" dinner party : (1 votes)
    2 %
    Did not have a rehearsal dinner : (0 votes)
  • Post # 3
    1638 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    @MadTownGirl:  I’ve found that rehersal dinners vary by culture and region. I’m Black and from the South and all the Black weddings I’ve been to hosted the dinner for those in the bridal party and those involved in the wedding only. However my friends who were White here invited those in the wedding AND out of town guests.

    That being said, it depends on your budget. My rehersal dinner was a potluck at my aunt’s house where she cooked food and ordered food from Farm Fresh and Olive Garden. I had my whole bridal party, their families, and my out of town guests as well from DH’s side (all 10 of them) So we had 50 people crammed into a two store house and had a ball!

    I say bridal party, all involved in the wedding, and their families and if you have room and money your out of town guests.

    Post # 4
    963 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    You can do whatever you like and is within your budget.  If we’d invited all Out of Town guests, we’d basically have hosted 2 receptions, so we just had people involved in the wedding.  Afterwords, we brought a bunch of wine (which had been gifted to us) to the hotel where Out of Town guests were staying and spent some time with them, without having to pay to feed them.

    Post # 5
    4 posts
    • Wedding: May 2013

    We’re having a rehearsal dinner at a nice restaurant with just those involved in the ceremony (2 bridesmaids, 2 groomsman, our 2 siblings that are reading with their SOs, parents, musician and his partner, the minister and his wife, and a friend who is our day-of coordinator with and her husband). Then we’re going to have a big, casual, bonfire party at my parents’ house for out-of-towners and some of the close friends that we couldn’t invite due to venue/$$ constraints. 

    That made the most sense to us, especially since Mother-In-Law is taking the money for the rehearsal dinner out of the $$ they plan to give us. 

    Post # 6
    2287 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: Central Park

    We are only inviting bridal party plus spouses/SOs and our parents.

    Post # 7
    1599 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    Until recently, I had never heard of a rehearsal dinner involving anyone more than the bridal party, parents (maybe grandparents) and their dates.

    But apparently it’s “proper etiquette” for your rehearsal dinner to involve 50+ people, including great aunts, 2nd cousins, neighbors, and pet hamsters. 

    I personally do NOT have a budget that would allow anywhere CLOSE to that many people (we are paying for pretty much everything ourselves. NO help from groom’s mom AT ALL).

    We are probably going to have our parents, the bridal party and their dates, and that’s all.

    Obviously the size of the rehearsal dinner will depend on your wedding party, family size, and budget. I can understand inviting people  who are ushers or who will be doing a readings, or even people from out of town, but if we followed those rules, our rehearsal dinner would have 100+ people and that is just not possible or logical in my book.


    Post # 8
    1835 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: November 2012 - Oak Tree Manor

    You can do whatever you like, I think there’s a lot of different ways to approach the rehearsal dinner guest list. We have 6 BMs, 5 GMs, 3 readers, and a lot of out-of-town family coming to the wedding, so we invited the whole wedding party, all wedding party spouses/significant others (NOT GF/BF of a few months, but those who have been together for awhile and who we’ve meet several times), and all out-of-town guests. We did not invite the children of the wedding party – the only children invited were the ring bearer and flower girl, who are also my FI’s niece and nephew so they’re part of the immediate family. Our total guest list for the Rehearsal Dinner is ~55 people (the wedding guest list is ~130 people), which is a lot, especially since my Fiance and I are paying for it, but it was important to us to welcome the out-of-towners, most of whom are family we haven’t seen in a long time.

    Post # 9
    8882 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper

    We invited the entire wedding party and our parents.

    Post # 10
    257 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: November 2012

    we are just having our bridal party, their SO’s and our parents. we also invited our officiant to join us

    Post # 11
    16213 posts
    Honey Beekeeper

    We did bridal party and their dates, our readers and their dates, our ringbearer and his parents, our parents, and our grandparents. Pretty standard. If you can’t afford to invite the others, I wouldn’t worry about it too much because it sounds like what you’re planning is the norm!

    Post # 12
    476 posts
    Helper bee

    I think the answer to your question depends on a lot of variables. If you have a lot of out of town guests, then to me it doesn’t make sense to invite them all. If you only have a few, then maybe it would be nice to include them.

    My boyfriend was in a wedding this summer were all the groomsmen’s SO’s were bridesmaids except for me. He and I have been dating for 8 years and I have known the couple for just as long. It was slightly awkward that he wasn’t invited to bring me as his date to the rehearsal dinner as he ended up being the only one there alone. I realized they had opted for Bridal party and family only, but it wouldn’t have been a big undertaking to have invited SO’s (as that probably would have been only me). He ended up being uncomfortable as he kept having to tell people I wasn’t invited…. everyone kept asking where I was.

    Of course, if the other groomsmen’s SO’s had not been bridesmaids and were also not invited it wouldn’t have been as weird.

    Post # 13
    6 posts
    • Wedding: February 2013

    It’s my understanding that traditionally, it’s just family, bridal party, and their dates.  That ended up being almost 50 people for our Rehearsal Dinner, which we thought was already on the high side, but we were ok with it.  Unfortunately Future Mother-In-Law vetoed that and is inviting all these extra Out of Town people, so we’ll have close to 80 at ours.  She thinks that Out of Town guests “expect” to be invited – I disagree, I would never expect it unless I’m actually IN the wedding.  I would say do whatever makes you most comfortable and happy!!

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