Pre-wedding Parties

Rehearsal Dinner guests?

So my fiance and I were discussing the rehearsal dinner, whether or not to have one, who actually has to attend, where to have it, who pays, etc. After deciding to have one and where to have it, it became the first mini argument of wedding planning. (His mom and dad do not get along and he doesn't want them in the same enclosed space for any longer than they have to be.) So my question is other than the bridal party, who attends the rehearsal dinner?

Re: Rehearsal Dinner guests?

  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    Usually anyone involved in the wedding or in the procession. Bridal party, parents, flower girls, etc. Also, any spouses of any of the aforementioned. I've also seen people invite OOT guests if the rehearsal is held the day before. I think that's a nice touch if you can afford it. That said, we were married at our reception venue. We had a small bridal party with no flower girls, etc. Our officiant told us he'd walk us through everything 30 min. before the ceremony. Our coordinator at the venue lined us up and had the timing. It all worked smoothly and because we had no true rehearsal, we were able to skip the dinner.
  • Anyone you have at the rehearsal would attend the dinner (plus significant others and the parents of any children in the wedding) and I've only seen a parent not attend the rehearsal twice.  Both were because of relationship issues between the parent and their child who was getting married.  
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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    dcaviston said:
    So my fiance and I were discussing the rehearsal dinner, whether or not to have one, who actually has to attend, where to have it, who pays, etc. After deciding to have one and where to have it, it became the first mini argument of wedding planning. (His mom and dad do not get along and he doesn't want them in the same enclosed space for any longer than they have to be.) So my question is other than the bridal party, who attends the rehearsal dinner?

    Stuck in box...

    The bridal party and anyone else involved in the ceremony, along with their SOs, should be invited to the rehearsal dinner.  Also, usually, that would include immediate family members of the couple.  

    How does your FI plan to handle both his parents at the wedding (assuming both are invited and attending, along with their SOs, if any)?  Can they be counted on not to engage in inappropriate behavior then?  If not, maybe he needs to tell them that this needs to extend to the rehearsal dinner also-and seat them as far away from each other as possible.
  • Thanks Ladies. We only have our attendants, no children in the processional and our parents aren't being a part of the ceremony. We are footing the bill ourselves, so this is why the mini argument over a silly dinner, he only wants the bridal party there and I had been to dinners as a BM and one just because I was family. @Jen4948, we plan on keeping his parents separate during the ceremony and reception, also monitor alcohol intake because we know how loose lips happen when alcohol is over abundant. We're not worried about his parents' Sos just his parents, mostly his mom. We might just forgo an actual dinner and just invite the bridal party and anyone else that wants to out for a drink as a thank you, since the majority of his attendances and family are the OOT guests.
  • edited June 2014
    It is perfectly fine to have a dinner with just your attendants and their SOs. By this time, his parents realize that they don't like each other, so it is no big deal if you just have a dinner with friends.
  • dcaviston said:
    Thanks Ladies. We only have our attendants, no children in the processional and our parents aren't being a part of the ceremony. We are footing the bill ourselves, so this is why the mini argument over a silly dinner, he only wants the bridal party there and I had been to dinners as a BM and one just because I was family. @Jen4948, we plan on keeping his parents separate during the ceremony and reception, also monitor alcohol intake because we know how loose lips happen when alcohol is over abundant. We're not worried about his parents' Sos just his parents, mostly his mom. We might just forgo an actual dinner and just invite the bridal party and anyone else that wants to out for a drink as a thank you, since the majority of his attendances and family are the OOT guests.
    Absolutely do not do this.  If you expect your bridal party members to attend your rehearsal you need to provide them with more than one lousy drink.  You say thank you to them for taking the time out of their day to attend your rehearsal by providing them with a meal.  
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  • hellosweetie1015hellosweetie1015 Where the skies are so blue member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    mysticl said:
    dcaviston said:
    Thanks Ladies. We only have our attendants, no children in the processional and our parents aren't being a part of the ceremony. We are footing the bill ourselves, so this is why the mini argument over a silly dinner, he only wants the bridal party there and I had been to dinners as a BM and one just because I was family. @Jen4948, we plan on keeping his parents separate during the ceremony and reception, also monitor alcohol intake because we know how loose lips happen when alcohol is over abundant. We're not worried about his parents' Sos just his parents, mostly his mom. We might just forgo an actual dinner and just invite the bridal party and anyone else that wants to out for a drink as a thank you, since the majority of his attendances and family are the OOT guests.
    Absolutely do not do this.  If you expect your bridal party members to attend your rehearsal you need to provide them with more than one lousy drink.  You say thank you to them for taking the time out of their day to attend your rehearsal by providing them with a meal.  
    I don't know if I quite agree with you here. If it's meant literally here, then I absolutely agree that it needs to be more. But - at least where I'm from - "going out for a drink" doesn't mean literally going out for ONE drink and nothing else. It means more going out, getting food, spending time together and getting - yes - at least one drink.
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  • mysticl said:
    dcaviston said:
    Thanks Ladies. We only have our attendants, no children in the processional and our parents aren't being a part of the ceremony. We are footing the bill ourselves, so this is why the mini argument over a silly dinner, he only wants the bridal party there and I had been to dinners as a BM and one just because I was family. @Jen4948, we plan on keeping his parents separate during the ceremony and reception, also monitor alcohol intake because we know how loose lips happen when alcohol is over abundant. We're not worried about his parents' Sos just his parents, mostly his mom. We might just forgo an actual dinner and just invite the bridal party and anyone else that wants to out for a drink as a thank you, since the majority of his attendances and family are the OOT guests.
    Absolutely do not do this.  If you expect your bridal party members to attend your rehearsal you need to provide them with more than one lousy drink.  You say thank you to them for taking the time out of their day to attend your rehearsal by providing them with a meal.  
    I don't know if I quite agree with you here. If it's meant literally here, then I absolutely agree that it needs to be more. But - at least where I'm from - "going out for a drink" doesn't mean literally going out for ONE drink and nothing else. It means more going out, getting food, spending time together and getting - yes - at least one drink.

    Stuck in box
    The OP specifically said they might not have a dinner and just invite people out for a drink.  That absolutely implies buying them one drink.  It does not imply that there will be dinner.  If someone invites me out for a drink, I'm going to assume it's a drink and that's it.  
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  • No it does not ABSOLUTELY imply that we intend to buy them one drink. It means exactly what CaitTDid23 inferred it might mean. Where I am from going out for a drink means meeting up and deciding as a group what to do. Perhaps some people are not hungry and I do not feel like dragging these people out to an actual meal, others might not want an alcoholic beverage. Some of us would like a drink and perhaps something small to eat. I do not understand where you get off 1 telling me what I can NOT do with close friends and 2 what exactly was meant. Especially when my original question was about who gets invited to a rehearsal dinner, not asking at all about what to do or not do inplace of a dinner.
  • If you expect people to participate in your rehearsal you provide them with a meal.  That is what is polite and proper.  If you don't want opinions don't post on a public forum.  You opened yourself up to it and those of us who respond are not required to follow your parameters for an answer.  If you want to be rude to your family and friends then by all means don't have dinner.  
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  • That's the point of asking a question on a public forum, to get answers based off the original question. While I appreciate the response, I don't appreciate or want the attitude that is inflicted upon your written word.
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