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Pre-wedding Parties

What is a Rehearsal Dinner?

I sort of know what a rehearsal dinner is, but I haven't the slightest idea who you're supposed to invite and what to expect like is it more of a party, more formal? I just don't know. My dad had started talking to me and asking me to think of where we want to have the rehearsal dinner or what we want to do for it as well as he wants us to give him a guest list of who we want there. I hadn't really thought about this yet and the only thing I thought about for it is to invite the out of state guests, my immediate family, and my bridal party, is this an ok list or am I making it too large or too small? And what is an appropriate type of place to hold it?

Re: What is a Rehearsal Dinner?

  • It can be as formal or as informal as you like (we went out for pizza for ours). You need to invite anyone who is involved in the rehearsal (and their significant others if they have them). Typically, immediate family and their SOs (like siblings and grandparents) even if they are not involved in the rehearsal are invited. Some people invite all or some of their out of town guests, but this is not mandatory. 


    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
    image
    doeydo
  • The only rules about rehearsal dinners are:

    1) Someone other than the couple must host them
    2) All persons involved in the ceremony must be invited
    3) SOs of all persons involved in the ceremony must be invited.
    4) They must follow rehearsals, but need not be at dinner time if the rehearsal is earlier in the day.

    There is no rule that they be held at all if there is no rehearsal.  Out-of-state guests need not be invited unless they are also in 2 and 3, but it's a nice gesture to offer them some sort of hospitality.
  • Jen4948 said:
    The only rules about rehearsal dinners are:

    1) Someone other than the couple must host them
    2) All persons involved in the ceremony must be invited
    3) SOs of all persons involved in the ceremony must be invited.
    4) They must follow rehearsals, but need not be at dinner time if the rehearsal is earlier in the day.

    There is no rule that they be held at all if there is no rehearsal.  Out-of-state guests need not be invited unless they are also in 2 and 3, but it's a nice gesture to offer them some sort of hospitality.
    I disagree with number 1.  A rehearsal dinner is not a party for the bride and groom.  It is a thank you from the bride and groom to their wedding party for taking time out of their day (and possibly missing dinner) to be a part of the rehearsal.  Therefore it is not rude of them to host it.  If we had not hosted our own then we would not have had one and I'm sure everyone agrees it would have been incredibly rude of us to ask everyone to attend our rehearsal and not feed them. 

    OP a rehearsal dinner is simply a dinner.  The bride and/or groom often give a short speech thanking everyone and hand out gifts to the bridal party.  The majority of the ones I've been to have been in a private room at a restaurant.  There was no meal choice with the exception of a vegetarian option that had been pre-ordered by the couple for the known vegetarians.  I attended one that was in the groom's parents' back yard.  It was buffet style.  We held ours in an Irish pub.  We were in a private area but not a separate room.  The restaurant had us select 5 entrees from their menu to be placed on a special menu that was presented to our guests.  They could then order from there.  We were then presented with a bill at the end of the evening. 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    MairePoppy
  • We hosted our own rehearsal dinner. It's not a party thrown in the couple's honor. It's a thank you, like the reception. That would be like saying you can't host your own wedding. 


    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
    image
    MairePoppy
  • The wedding party are the guests of honor at the RD. The b&g are responsible for hosting it, unless someone else offers.


  • Jen4948 said:
    The only rules about rehearsal dinners are:

    1) Someone other than the couple must host them
    2) All persons involved in the ceremony must be invited
    3) SOs of all persons involved in the ceremony must be invited.
    4) They must follow rehearsals, but need not be at dinner time if the rehearsal is earlier in the day.

    There is no rule that they be held at all if there is no rehearsal.  Out-of-state guests need not be invited unless they are also in 2 and 3, but it's a nice gesture to offer them some sort of hospitality.
    No, the couple can (and often does) host them.  They are not in honor of the couple getting married, they are to thank the guests of the rehearsal, like a wedding reception is to thank the guests of the wedding ceremony.
    image
  • Okay, thanks for letting me know that anyone can host a rehearsal dinner.

    But the rest of what I said still holds.  They're only required if there is a rehearsal, they need to follow the rehearsal although not necessarily immediately after, and the only persons required to be invited are the couple, all other persons involved in the ceremony, and their SOs.  It is not necessary to invite out-of-town guests unless they are involved in the ceremony.
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