Etiquette

How to invite people to rehearsal dinner after party

peachy13peachy13 in my cubicle, doing very important work member
Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
Some of our guests have already mentioned that they plan to make our Saturday wedding into a whole weekend getaway by staying both Fri and Sat nights (the ceremony/reception venue is an hour away from most guests). The hotel we booked can accommodate everyone for two nights and it's totally fine by me --- but unfortunately not everyone staying over Friday night will be invited to the RD, which we plan to be just close family and the wedding party with their dates. Our guests coming up Friday night wouldn't expect to be invited to the RD, but I would love to be as welcoming as possible by inviting them to join us at the rehearsal dinner site for post-dinner cocktails at the bar, or something.

If people are staying Friday night do I have any obligation to host them or do anything special? Is there a proper way to invite people to join us after the rehearsal dinner?

Thank you!
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Re: How to invite people to rehearsal dinner after party

  • amelishaamelisha Canadian Texas member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper
    If they're staying Friday just because it's convenient/preferable for them, you don't have any hosting obligations. But I would be really careful of inviting people to an after-party and not the dinner because it seems kind of b-list-ish to me. I think the only way you can do it is to mention in casual conversation with the people in question "we're probably going to go out for a few cocktails after all our wedding obligations on Friday night - if you want to come hang out with us we'd love to see you for a bit before Saturday's madness. " Then you can just send them a text or whatever once you're at the bar and dinner is over and say "hey, we're at ______ if you're around and want to swing by for a drink!"

    I think once you start to think about formally inviting them for something like that it starts to look tiered, and that's not great. I don't think there's really a way to invite a second large group out for cocktails at a specific time after your RD. But if you keep it very casual I think you're in the clear and anyone who is just hanging out at the hotel will probably be happy to come meet you for a drink.

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  • mikenbergermikenberger In a f'n cornfield member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    I wouldn't formally invite. but definitely word of mouth as its probably an informal event.

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  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    peachy13 said:
    Some of our guests have already mentioned that they plan to make our Saturday wedding into a whole weekend getaway by staying both Fri and Sat nights (the ceremony/reception venue is an hour away from most guests). The hotel we booked can accommodate everyone for two nights and it's totally fine by me --- but unfortunately not everyone staying over Friday night will be invited to the RD, which we plan to be just close family and the wedding party with their dates. Our guests coming up Friday night wouldn't expect to be invited to the RD, but I would love to be as welcoming as possible by inviting them to join us at the rehearsal dinner site for post-dinner cocktails at the bar, or something.

    If people are staying Friday night do I have any obligation to host them or do anything special? Is there a proper way to invite people to join us after the rehearsal dinner?

    Thank you!
    To the bolded, no you have no obligation to host them.  It is their choice to make a weekend out of your wedding weekend.  You aren't forcing them to come early.

    Honestly, I would just skip the RD after party.  Depending on what time your RD is and how long it lasts you may just feel like getting back to your room or your house and putting together any last minute items for the next day and then trying to get some sleep.

    And like PP said, once you start to formally invite people then you will need to host them and it will start to look like a tiered event.  Meaning they are good enough for drinks but not good enough for dinner.  Just enjoy their company at your wedding.  Most people realize that the bride and groom don't really have all the time in the world to socialize the day before their wedding.

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I wouldn't have an "after party" after the rehearsal dinner to entertain anyone who's not invited to the rehearsal dinner.  If you do want to offer these guests hospitality, which you're not obligated to do, you need to do it in a way that makes clear that it's not related to the rehearsal dinner or absence of invitations to it thereof.  Possibly you could arrange for a hospitality suite or some kind of group activity for them if they'd be interested, but inviting them to join you after what you make clear is the rehearsal dinner does run the risk of appearing to offer them tiered hospitality.
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    We had our rehearsal then a dinner  (buffet) at our beach house at 6pm.    Then we invited everyone (100+ people) to an open house starting at 8pm at the beach house.  We had a full open bar and food.  We made it pretty clear the invite was for drinks.  It was word of mouth but we said something like "please come over after 8 for cocktails".   

     Most people ate dinner before they arrived.  We had some people who where just arriving  into town at the that time so we had ordered extra dinner food for those who needed something more than snacks.

    It worked out pretty well.  Being an open house it was understood it was something you just popped in to say hello, have a few drinks and then leave.  I think the last people left around 11:30.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    After our RD, we just went to the hotel where all our OOT guests were staying and hung out with them.  They knew we were grabbbing a drink in the lobby and they came to join us.  Good times.
  • If you do join your OOT guests for a brief cocktail, you need to keep an eye on the time & how much you drink. Because you want to make sure you get plenty of rest (if possible) and limit the booze the night before so you look fresh in all your photos.
  • lc07lc07 Sunny Southern California member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited November 2014
    If you really want to see everyone that night, I would keep it casual like Amelisha suggested. I attended a RD once as a wedding party member where they did something like this. Except dinner ran late, so by the time we exited the private dining room *after dinner, a bunch of people were waiting in the bar and it definitely could have come across as a tiered thing. *edit
  • amelishaamelisha Canadian Texas member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper
    Erikan73 said:
    If you do join your OOT guests for a brief cocktail, you need to keep an eye on the time & how much you drink. Because you want to make sure you get plenty of rest (if possible) and limit the booze the night before so you look fresh in all your photos.

    Or you could trust that the OP is a grown woman who can make her own decisions about how much to drink and how late to stay out? Are you serious with this? I'm sure OP is aware that the night before her wedding isn't a time to go on a bender like she's never done before if she wants to avoid a terrible hangover on her wedding day. I'm sorry, but did you really think this was helpful advice?

    I really do apologize for the excess snark, but seriously. I presume OP isn't a fifteen year old girl who's going to drink 15 Bacardi Breezers and stay out until 6 AM. And I'm sure she's fully aware that getting wasted means you don't usually look your best the following day. This post just seemed super sanctimonious and unneccessary.

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    huskypuppy14peachy13[Deleted User]
  • Most weddings I've been to out of town have had something like this. If it's not hosted, its usually a word of mouth (or informal email/text to friends) saying "hey, if you're around on Friday night we're planning to have drinks at X bar from like 9-11pm, feel free to stop by!". 

    If it is hosted, it's still usually an informal word-of-mouth, but often also included as info in a "welcome bag" when getting to the hotel, that there's a "welcome reception" that Friday evening from 9-11 at X bar. 

    The key to both of these is that dinner has to be 100% over, and there can't be any remnants of there having been a dinner. Essentially, it has to be a completely separate event from dinner. For instance, you could plan the dinner from 6-8pm at a room at a restaurant, and then just go to the bar area after where you invited people to meet you at 9pm. That gives you an hour buffer for timing, and a different space. 
    amelishapeachy13
  • We did a very small RD (immediate family and wedding party/dates).  I have a huge, very close extended family so we knew it would not be possible to invite everyone.  However, we definitely wanted to see everyone the night before.  In our Welcome bags, we put a little note giving everyone the details for the weekend (directions, parking, etc)  On the pack we had listed activities in the area and restaurants.  Next to one of the bars we, wrote that this is where we would be hanging out Friday night, if anyone wanted to join.  We bought some rounds of drinks, but no one expected us to be hosting.

    And on the note about no going out because you have a big day.  I mean know your limits, but I promised myself I would be in bed by 11:00.  At 3:00 AM, I was eating Taco Bell cheese rolls with some of my bridesmaids…wonderful memory of the weekend.  Don't let yourself miss out on something because you are trying to plan or prepare, remember to let yourself enjoy it too.
    amelisha
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