Pre-wedding Parties

Rehearsal Dinner Questions

I'm trying to plan my rehearsal dinner and it's giving me a massive headache, and I'm getting all sorts of conflicting answers, so I come to you, oh-wise-ones.

1. Who exactly needs to be invited to a rehearsal dinner?
2. How do I invite those who I do need to invite? Does it need to be a formal invite, or does a text/phone call work?


Re: Rehearsal Dinner Questions

  • Whoever is in the wedding needs to be invited to the RD, as well as their SO’s.  You only need a RD if you have a rehearsal, and you really only need a rehearsal if your ceremony is complex (<-only adding that bc although most couples have rehearsals, if it’s causing you a massive headache, you may be able to get out of having one).

    How you notify guests depends upon the formality of the RD.  My sister’s inlaws hosted a RD with open bar, four course meal, centerpieces and favors...we were invited via printed invitation.  H and I had our guests back to our place for pizza and wine...we just texted our guests.
    charlotte989875
  • Ditto @eileenrob that everyone in the wedding needs to be invited to the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner - including readers and officiant- along with significant others.  DD's in-laws sent a formal invitation to the RD. It was a formal dinner at a restaurant in a private dining room.
  • edited December 2017
    First of all, you only need to host an RD if you're having a rehearsal. In the same way there is no gap between wedding and reception, there should be no gap between rehearsal and RD (or lunch if your venue only lets you practice in the afternoon - you get the idea). 

    In terms of who to invite, the only people required are the ones you ask to be at the rehearsal and their SOs, plus immediate family and their SOs. Sometimes, couples go beyond that and invite grandparents, aunts/uncles, OOT guests....you decide whether to go outside the required guest list and how far.

    The invitation should match the formality of the event. If you're ordering pizza to your house afterwards, a call or a text is probably fine. If you're reserving space at a restaurant or getting a private room, a written invite is probably more appropriate. How fancy the event is can dictate how fancy the written invites are....same as a wedding. Vistaprint, Weddingpaperdivas, Zazzle and even Michael's have nice, cost-friendly options.
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    charlotte989875InLoveInQueens
  • Only the people you're asking to come to the rehearsal need to be invited to the RD, so it's usually wedding party, immediate families + any significant others. That being said, in parts of the US (maybe elsewhere too), it's common to invite out of town family to the rehearsal dinner. My ILs hosted our RD, and invited all of our extended family members who were invited to the wedding. 

    Since we were inviting a lot of people, we had a separate insert printed up that we included with the invites, and put my MIL's email & phone number on there for RSPVs. I know some people will say that's not super etiquette-approved, but we thought that was the least confusing way. My family wouldn't have expected to be invited, and a separate mailing would have thrown them off. 

    I've been in weddings with smaller RD's though, and the invites pretty much matched the formality of the event. One bride emailed the WP the details of the rehearsal and the dinner, one of them gave us a card with the info (must have been at a shower?). 
    charlotte989875InLoveInQueens
  • Thanks everyone - I was always under the impression that it was those involved in the actual rehearsal (which I would like to have - I'm a worrier and going on the fly the next would drive me nuts) needed to be invited, but people were telling me all out-of-towners and grandparents etc. and that would take our number from 13 people to upwards of 40-50.  I just need to discuss with my fiance and let him know the difference in numbers and cross my fingers he's fine with something more intimate. That would really open up our possibilities, as we're trying to stick to around $1,000. 
    charlotte989875eileenrob
  • MRDCle said:
    Thanks everyone - I was always under the impression that it was those involved in the actual rehearsal (which I would like to have - I'm a worrier and going on the fly the next would drive me nuts) needed to be invited, but people were telling me all out-of-towners and grandparents etc. and that would take our number from 13 people to upwards of 40-50.  I just need to discuss with my fiance and let him know the difference in numbers and cross my fingers he's fine with something more intimate. That would really open up our possibilities, as we're trying to stick to around $1,000. 
    I think immediate family (I would include grandparents with that) are normally included. The out-of-towners thing goes back to when most people got married in their hometown and most guest were local. Few guests were from out of town so it was considered good hosting to entertain them the night before. Now this doesn't hold true. Most guest are not local. It usually depends on family tradition.
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