Pre-wedding Parties

Rehearsal Dinner Advice

My FI and I are having a smaller wedding, about 130. All wedding guests, including ourselves are from out of town, from about 45 minutes away to many from across the country. We're having a small wedding party, 1-attendant each and a flower girl. For the rehearsal dinner, we wanted to keep it small. Ourselves, Minister, both sets of parents, each of our siblings and significant others, and attendants and significant others. My future in-laws have offered to host the dinner the night before the wedding. My FI and I would like to keep the dinner small, those mentioned above, however, my parents feel an obligation to those on their side of the family who are coming in town to have them also attend the dinner. My experience with rehearsal dinners is those who are invited are the same as who we're planning on inviting, however, after doing a bit of reading online it seems that people are now inviting all of their out of town guests or a large majority to join. What's right to do? Invite everyone, invite only certain people, or invite only those as required to attend? Please help.  

Re: Rehearsal Dinner Advice

  • danieliza1127danieliza1127 member
    10000 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Inviting out of town guests to the rehearsal dinner is completely optional.  It's nice if you can, but it's fine if you can't.  If your FI's parents are hosting the RD and paying for it, they get the final say on the guest list.  Your parents aren't obligated to their oot family/friends the night before the wedding. 

    We didn't invite oot guests to our RD but we did meet up with our friends after the dinner at a local bar.
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  • pulga131pulga131 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    hmmm.  fortunatley for us our oot guests were mostly the wedding party = with the exception of maybe 2 or 3 people so we did invite ours.  However, if it would have involved inviting 20 extra people, the answer would have been no.  I agree with the previous post- that its really up to you and the person paying.  However, if its just a few people go for it.  But don't feel like you have to pay a lot more for people not in the wedding.  
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  • edited December 2011
    We had a DW but we kept the rehearsal dinner to us, parents, immediate family, attendants and their significant others. Our other guests all understood.

    I was invited to a friend's rehearsal dinner because I was an out of town guest but I didn't attend because I personally think the rehearsal dinner is a way to thank family and bridal party members. When everyone is invited it ends up being a pre wedding reception almost and it can cost almost as much.
  • edited December 2011
    We're keeping it down to WP, which is already big, and immediate family.  If we invited all of the OOT people, the whole guest list would be there.  It really is optional to invite OOTers.
  • jj09525jj09525 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I think its nice to invite those that traveled by plane, but not necessary.  When it comes to the guest list for anything, only invite who you want, you dont want to regret having spent more money than planned on those that you are not close to
  • JessiTessJessiTess member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I agree with the crowd here, OOT guests are definitely optional.  I've been told that "etiquette says" you invite OOT-ers, but in Dear Abby's prime, the entire guest list wasn't flying in.

    We're only inviting the wedding party, parents, and potentially grandparents (I'm an only child and the groom's only sibling is in the wedding party). 

    That being said, I am trying to come up with some sort of a welcome basket and list of things to do in the area for my OOT guests.  I think it's nice to acknowledge that people have traveled to your wedding, but I don't think you need to break the bank doing it. 
  • edited December 2011
    i think it's fine to invite just who you mentioned. i've never been to a wedding where they invited all out of town guests. my sister just got married & she didn't either. held by her dh's parents, so them, the minister & his wife, wp [all siblings of both sides were all in it] & parents.
  • lizstill13lizstill13 member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    We are breaking our RD up, sort of, because FMIL really wants to invite OOT guests. 90% of our guest list is OOT and coming from a few state away, so we are having a traditional RD (family, attendants w/SOs, etc.) but afterward the MOG is also hosting a dessert "gathering" at her house for all the OOT guests. It'll be cost effective since they and my mom are making all the desserts and only serving sodas, water, tea, etc. (no alcohol). It's a nice way to get them all involved without breaking the bank by buying everyone dinner. And everyone gets to meet and mingle before the big day, since I've never met my FI's extended family.
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  • jodyk23jodyk23 member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments
    edited December 2011

    I think it is very common to invite OOT guests to the dinner. I'm calling ours a welcome dinner since alot of our guests are OOT. It will be at our home and be catered in. I'm glad I'll have an extra chance to hang out with family and friends that I don't see very often since they live far away.

    I really like PP's idea of a dessert gathering after your small RD.


  • edited December 2011
    We are also having a wedding with everyone, including ourselves, coming from out of town.  We are planning a smaller rehearsal dinner, but then are going to meet everyone else out in town.  Doing something like this or the dessert mentioned above seem like great ways to include everyone.


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  • edited December 2011
    My daughters' wedding was 100% OOT.  The grooms parents were paying for the rehearsal and they only wanted those involved in the wedding, along with their SO, to be included.  As I said, they were paying so they called the shots.  We met up with all other friends and relatives later in the evening. 

    I might add that I've been to many, many OOT weddings, and I've found it to be the exception, rather than the rule, that OOT guests are invited to the RD.
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