Etiquette

Out-of-town guests invited to rehearsal dinner?

I am curious as to what the proper etiquette is here, so I don't offend any of my guests.  My wedding is 2 1/2 hours from my relatives.  We purposely hosted our wedding later in the day on Saturday, Sept. 5th so that the guests from my side of the family would be able to travel that same day without issue.  However, about 10 of them have decided to get hotel rooms for Friday night, and one approached my grandmother about times for the rehearsal dinner.  FI's parents are currently paying for the rehearsal dinner.  Should my FI and I offer to take over the costs of the rehearsal dinner so there is no issue with all 10 of those guests being able to attend it?  I would feel bad asking my FIL's to pay for more people, and I never expected all those guests to choose to stay over the night before.  Financially, we can handle taking over the rehearsal dinner costs.  What is the etiquette here?

Re: Out-of-town guests invited to rehearsal dinner?

  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's
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    You do not have to invite these people to your RD.  Is it a nice offer if you can?  Sure.  But you are under no obligation to invite them because they made a decision to come in the day before and spend the night.

    SP29PrettyGirlLost
  • I think you should let you FI's parents continue to host, as you planned, and let your grandma and whoever else asks know that only xyz people will be invited to the rehearsal dinner. I think it would be rude to ask them to pay for more people and insulting for you to offer. You don't need to invite people just because they are around.
    adk19
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall
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    I, too, think it was rude if that person to invite him/herself to the rehearsal dinner. No, you do not need to invite OOT people to it if you don't want or can't afford to.
    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
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    PrettyGirlLost
  • AddieCake said:
    I, too, think it was rude if that person to invite him/herself to the rehearsal dinner. No, you do not need to invite OOT people to it if you don't want or can't afford to.
    I was surprised to say the least, considering I wasn't expecting it.  I was curious if there was some etiquette rule I missed, and didn't want to be a bad host to my guests!  Thanks for the quick response everyone, and I believe for now I will continue to let FI's parents host with the rehearsal guest list as is!  I'm sure grandma can spread the word fairly quickly.
  • My mom also believed it was traditional for out of town guests to be invited to the rehearsal dinner. I think that maybe was how it used to be. My inlaws were doing a bbq buffet so a few extras didn't matter much but you can just tell your family member that only wedding party members can be accommodated.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    scribe95 said:
    My mom also believed it was traditional for out of town guests to be invited to the rehearsal dinner. I think that maybe was how it used to be. My inlaws were doing a bbq buffet so a few extras didn't matter much but you can just tell your family member that only wedding party members can be accommodated.

    I think rehearsal dinners are pretty new and that it was only traditional to invite the immediate family, wedding party members, and those actually participating in the ceremony along with their SOs.  That said, there's no requirement that anyone beyond those particular people be invited to a rehearsal dinner, or even that it take place if there's no rehearsal.  But I agree with the second bolded in your post.

    SP29
  • I am curious as to what the proper etiquette is here, so I don't offend any of my guests.  My wedding is 2 1/2 hours from my relatives.  We purposely hosted our wedding later in the day on Saturday, Sept. 5th so that the guests from my side of the family would be able to travel that same day without issue.  However, about 10 of them have decided to get hotel rooms for Friday night, and one approached my grandmother about times for the rehearsal dinner.  FI's parents are currently paying for the rehearsal dinner.  Should my FI and I offer to take over the costs of the rehearsal dinner so there is no issue with all 10 of those guests being able to attend it?  I would feel bad asking my FIL's to pay for more people, and I never expected all those guests to choose to stay over the night before.  Financially, we can handle taking over the rehearsal dinner costs.  What is the etiquette here?
    Nope.  Your family members are rude.  It's called a Rehearsal Dinner because people who need to attend the Rehearsal can be hosted for a meal afterwards as a Thank You for their time attending the rehearsal.  You can, however, agree to meet these people at hotel bar after dinner.  Tell grandma to spread the word that you'll be hanging out at the hotel bar around 10-11pm if they wanted to meet up for a drink and to catch up before the real party begins.
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
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    Jen4948 said:
    scribe95 said:
    My mom also believed it was traditional for out of town guests to be invited to the rehearsal dinner. I think that maybe was how it used to be. My inlaws were doing a bbq buffet so a few extras didn't matter much but you can just tell your family member that only wedding party members can be accommodated.

    I think rehearsal dinners are pretty new and that it was only traditional to invite the immediate family, wedding party members, and those actually participating in the ceremony along with their SOs.  That said, there's no requirement that anyone beyond those particular people be invited to a rehearsal dinner, or even that it take place if there's no rehearsal.  But I agree with the second bolded in your post.

    Not sure if RD are really that "new".  My parents have been married for 47 years and had one.   

    Back in the day people generally didn't move away from their home towns.  They often married someone local too.   It was traditional for the random OOT guests to be invited to the RD to thank them for traveling so far for their wedding.   My family was the only ones to move from my mom's hometown.   Out of 200-300 people we were often then ONLY OOT guests at my cousins' weddings.  My family still believes in inviting OOT guests to RDs.   Since we had 100% OOT guests we did have a welcome reception for them.

    Fast forward to now and a lot of people move away, marry people from different parts of the country or even world.   Thus creating way more OOT guests than ever before.  Making that tradition more of a financial hardship for people.

    OP - you do not have to invite them, but if you want to you can.    Or you can agree to meet them at a bar or lounge after the dinner.






    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. 
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  • SP29SP29
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    I'm with Maggie. You are not required to invite these guests (the only people you are required to invite are those who will be present for the rehearsal and their SOs), and it was rude of this family member to ask to be invited to the RD.

    Sure, lots of families do host a larger RD to include OOT guests, or more family in general, but it is still rude for someone to ask to be invited to a party. If they were invited, they would have received an invitation.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    edited August 2015
    lyndausvi said:
    Jen4948 said:
    scribe95 said:
    My mom also believed it was traditional for out of town guests to be invited to the rehearsal dinner. I think that maybe was how it used to be. My inlaws were doing a bbq buffet so a few extras didn't matter much but you can just tell your family member that only wedding party members can be accommodated.

    I think rehearsal dinners are pretty new and that it was only traditional to invite the immediate family, wedding party members, and those actually participating in the ceremony along with their SOs.  That said, there's no requirement that anyone beyond those particular people be invited to a rehearsal dinner, or even that it take place if there's no rehearsal.  But I agree with the second bolded in your post.

    Not sure if RD are really that "new".  My parents have been married for 47 years and had one.   

    Back in the day people generally didn't move away from their home towns.  They often married someone local too.   It was traditional for the random OOT guests to be invited to the RD to thank them for traveling so far for their wedding.   My family was the only ones to move from my mom's hometown.   Out of 200-300 people we were often then ONLY OOT guests at my cousins' weddings.  My family still believes in inviting OOT guests to RDs.   Since we had 100% OOT guests we did have a welcome reception for them.

    Fast forward to now and a lot of people move away, marry people from different parts of the country or even world.   Thus creating way more OOT guests than ever before.  Making that tradition more of a financial hardship for people.

    OP - you do not have to invite them, but if you want to you can.    Or you can agree to meet them at a bar or lounge after the dinner.
    Rehearsal dinners still seem to be fairly new for wedding traditions, in that they got started about 50 to 60 years ago as opposed to 100 or more years.  But that aside, yeah, while it's nice to invite out-of-towners to rehearsal dinners, it isn't necessary if they're not in the wedding party or immediate family members or their SOs.
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta
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    edited August 2015
    lyndausvi said:
    Jen4948 said:
    scribe95 said:
    My mom also believed it was traditional for out of town guests to be invited to the rehearsal dinner. I think that maybe was how it used to be. My inlaws were doing a bbq buffet so a few extras didn't matter much but you can just tell your family member that only wedding party members can be accommodated.

    I think rehearsal dinners are pretty new and that it was only traditional to invite the immediate family, wedding party members, and those actually participating in the ceremony along with their SOs.  That said, there's no requirement that anyone beyond those particular people be invited to a rehearsal dinner, or even that it take place if there's no rehearsal.  But I agree with the second bolded in your post.

    Not sure if RD are really that "new".  My parents have been married for 47 years and had one.   

    Back in the day people generally didn't move away from their home towns.  They often married someone local too.   It was traditional for the random OOT guests to be invited to the RD to thank them for traveling so far for their wedding.   My family was the only ones to move from my mom's hometown.   Out of 200-300 people we were often then ONLY OOT guests at my cousins' weddings.  My family still believes in inviting OOT guests to RDs.   Since we had 100% OOT guests we did have a welcome reception for them.

    Fast forward to now and a lot of people move away, marry people from different parts of the country or even world.   Thus creating way more OOT guests than ever before.  Making that tradition more of a financial hardship for people.

    OP - you do not have to invite them, but if you want to you can.    Or you can agree to meet them at a bar or lounge after the dinner.
    This. My grandparents had a RD in the 40's. 

    It's tradition in some circles to invite OOT people to the RD, from back in a time where there were usually only a handful of guests travelling to the wedding. Some people still do invite all the OOT guests, but that's falling by the wayside as weddings are increasingly having 50% or more guests travelling. 

    Either way, etiquette has never required it, so OP you're clear to leave it alone and ignore the rude relatives that want to self-invite. 
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