Pre-wedding Parties

out of towners and rehearsal dinner

So my FI isn't worried about this, but I sorta am.  We have folks coming from out of town for the wedding and I know for sure some people (on my side) might think that there should be a rehearsal dinner that they attend although they are not in the wedding party or related to it or anything like that.
FI and I are planning for around 35 people to come to our rehearsal dinner (which includes the bridal party, SOs, kids and the usual crew of parents, etc).  FI and I are paying for it ourselves.
Is there an alternative to meeting up with people perhaps after dinner somewhere else?  Maybe an after the wedding brunch? 
Just curious as to you all's thoughts/what you did.

Re: out of towners and rehearsal dinner

  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    We did similar to PP. 85% of our guests were from OOT. Having them all at the RD would have been way too much for us (and our budget). We had a 30ish people RD with those involved in the ceremony and their s/o's. My parents spread the word that they'd be at the hotel bar where we'd blocked rooms later that evening. 

    Most of the OOT guests worked at least a half day Friday and drove in, so they were just getting to town around 8-9.  
  • edited April 2015

    We're inviting pretty much everyone to the rehearsal dinner that is coming from out of town. We're planning a pig roast in the backyard for the evening. It's more party than rehearsal to be honest, since only a few people who will be there will have anything to do with the ceremony. We're using the "rehearsal dinner" as one more opportunity to see the people who have travelled to see us. Much like the post-wedding lunch or BBQ or gift opening or whatever we're having the day after. People aren't obliged to come but we want to spend as much time as we can with them while they are in town.

    Why not see if you can block off some tables or something at a bar or club of some sort and invite the people you want to see? Or if they are the game type, go to Playdium or something and enjoy the evening. Then you get the rehearsal and dinner out of the way and then afterward have some fun.

  • 90% of our guests were OOT, so we kept the rehearsal dinner to the wedding party, SO's and our immediate family.  MIL hosted and she generously insisted we at least invite my grandma and 2 aunts/uncle who we knew were already going to be in the area that day so they were invited as well.  After dinner, my parents had an informal get together back at their hotel where others arriving into town stopped by for a drink.

  • My guests are all coming from out of town as well and was wondering the same thing. I think just sticking to your bridal party and Gma and Gpa is really ok then everyone meet up after at a bar or something to say hi and welcome...if you are doing welcome bags and putting a little welcome not you could include in it that everyone is invited to join us to mingle at wherever so people dont feel left out the first night. Hoping your rehersal isnt going to be too late and you have to be up too late the night before your wedding!
  • We struggled with this as we had a very large OOT wedding guest contingent. We ended up bumping our Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner to Thursday night, and limited it to immediate family and bridal party (with SOs, of course). We invited everyone with a hard copy, paper invitation. 

    Then on Friday, the night before our wedding, we had a get together/happy hour at a local bar. We invited all guests via our wedding website, word of mouth, and also included a note in our welcome bags for people checking into our hotel block. We picked a really big spacious bar in town, that allowed children before a certain time. We opened up a tab, and let all our guests know drinks were on us. We also ordered a couple platters of deli sandwiches. It was THE BEST TIME EVER. I am so, so, so happy we did this. It gave us time to see all my out of town family members, before the insanity of the actual wedding day. I think we did 7-9 on the invite or something, so people would know we would be paying the bill at 9 and they were on their own for drinks after that. Most people had dinner together in their social groups before coming over. The bar we chose had pool tables and shuffle board... and seeing our families and friends mix for the first time, and being able to be a part of it in a way we couldn't really be on our wedding night, was PRICELESS. 

    It was also surprisingly cheaper than we thought. I think we had 30-40 people show up and after 2 hours the tab was around $800. I was expecting it to be more. Worth every cent. 
  • We ran into the same problem where most of my family is OOT but because politics if we started inviting anyone beyond the parents, bridal party and ceremony participants we'd end up doing a second reception (on FI's grandmother's not an option). So instead, we're having our RD as planned and then afterwards FI and I will go to my parents' hotel. My parents have a suite and are sending out invitations to all the relatives to come join us in their room for drinks and to hang out. It's going to be a VERY late evening especially since my parents insisted on a hotel 30 minutes away....but at least we'll avoid giving offense. I feel bad because we won't be hosting all of our OOT friends formally, but FI and I will be picking them up from airport/train/etc. earlier in the day, so we can do something with them then. 
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