(Closed) What to expect from rehersal dinner? Who normally gets invited?

posted 6 years ago in Family
Post # 2
1619 posts
Bumble bee

Well it really depends on who is hosting but typically a Rehearsal Dinner involves dinner.  Make sure to take time to say hi to everyone who comes.  Even though you aren’t the hosts you are still the “guests of honor” so you want to at least say hi to everyone.

Depending on the formality of the event will determine what you wear.  If it is a fancier affair then your cocktail dress will be just fine.

Typically only the one’s involved in the ceremony along with their SOs are invited to the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.  But it seems that it is getting to be a trend to extedn invites to a lot more people.  Why?  Not sure.  Many times it is to invite out of town guests to be nice, but sometimes it is about showing off, or just because you want to invite a lot of people.

Just go and have fun and don’t over think it.

Post # 3
30399 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

The purpose of the Rehearsal Dinner is twofold : to ensure the families have all met if they haven’t already done so, and to thank the wedding party and your parents for their time and support – both in general, for raising you, and specifically, for their support of the marriage.

Traditionally, the guests included the parents, siblings and their SO’s, grandparents, wedding party and their SO’s, sometimes the officiant (and their SO if applicable). Sometimes the guestlist is extended to include more distant family members and even Out of Town guests.

It is an ideal time to present your gifts to the wedding party and your parents. Normally you and your Fiance make short little thank-you speeches as you do so.

Post # 4
1242 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Since you are the guests of honor, it’s ok if you are overdressed. You’re kind of on display anyway.

Normally, the only people invited to the rehearsal dinner are the people involved in the actual rehearsal (parents, grandparents, immediate family, the wedding party and their SO’s, and if you’re very familiar with them, maybe the officiant). But as it is traditionally hosted by the groom’s side and as Future Mother-In-Law don’t have much influence elsewhere in the wedding process, some of them get a little crazy. Sounds like yours is one of those. 🙂 But hey – you arne’t paying! Let her do what she wants.

Try to greet as many guests as possible, while also making sure to stay by FI’s side (so much more fun to enjoy all this stuff together) and making sure you get to eat!! If you’re in the south, the rehearsal dinner can turn into a toasting fest. They love to make speeches! Otherwise, it’s usually just a simple dinner party. There’s not usually dancing or games or anything. So yes – just visit with as many people as you can. And make sure not to stay out too late if it’s the day before! You need your beauty sleep! You’ve got a big day ahead of you!

Post # 5
696 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

I really wanted a very small rehearsal dinner (just bridal party and parents; it would have been, like, 8 of us) but my dad felt strongly we should invite extended family as they were traveling from out of town. We ended up having about 30 people, and it was one of my favorite events surrounding the wedding! Leading up to it, I felt like it was unnecessary to host such a large party right before hosting an even bigger party (the wedding itself). But it was a nice, relaxed way to visit with family and catch up. It ended up working as a kind of ice-breaker for the wedding itself, and gave me more time to visit than I would have had just at the wedding alone. We also ended up giving our parents their presents at the rehearsal, and both of our dads said a few words at the rehearsal rather than the wedding–which was fine by me, smaller audience and less formal! Try to just enjoy the time and use it as a chance to catch up with folks. 

Post # 6
337 posts
Helper bee

We are just doing the wedding party, their SOs, our parent’s and grandparents, which somehow is 25 people! Sometimes people open it to all guests if most of them traveled for it, but I don’t think that’s expected. More often, I see a the rehearsal dinner crowd meet up with the rest of the guests for after dinner drinks at a pre-selected location. I like that it gibra guests a chance to mingle before the wedding day. 

Post # 7
604 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2017 - Nashville, TN

It’s just bridal party, their so’s, parents of the bride/groom, and the officiant. 

Post # 8
3756 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2015 - Hotel Ballroom

I kept my rehersal dinner super small! Just immediate family and wedding party at my place. We just wanted it to be about going over the game plan for the wedding, then play some board games and relax. 

Post # 9
6302 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

Everyone does it a little differentely.

We had a sit down catered dinner. I think we had around 50 people total to include immediate family, grandparents, bridal party (6 on each side + spouses), as well as a handful of extended family and close family friends. My DH wore dress pants a shirt, I wore a nice dress – most of our guests dressed in a similar fashion. We rehearsed, and then all headed to rehearsal dinner where apps were waiting on us as well as the bar everyone mingled for a bit. We then all sat down for salad/soup, the meal, and dessert. From there we chatted a bit longer but we were all ready to head home and get to bed. 

Some people who do things a bit more casual might invite more people. 

Post # 11
368 posts
Helper bee


View original reply
Buttercup014:  If your Future Mother-In-Law is paying for the rehearsal dinner, she does.

Post # 12
944 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

I had us, our wedding party and their dates, the musicians (mine are super close cousins), officiant and his wife, our parents, and two sets of aunts/uncles we are really close to. We totaled 25. At the last minute, I had two cousins drive up from 10 hours away and we invited them. They were the only ones in town not originally invited to the dinner. I would have felt so bad if I left them out. We just ate dinner and chatted. I dressed up in a cute little white dress and my husband wore his blingy jeans from Tokyo with a dress shirt and big ole belt buckle. We ate a Mexican restaurant so not super fancy. It was laid back and fun. I had a girls night at the venue after that where we made all the bouts, corsages, and bouquets. So I gifted them pajamas and some make up a few weeks ahead of time so they could wash them if they wanted. We all wear the same eyeliner and mascara (different shades, but I know who likes what) so the make up was appreciated.

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