Texas-Dallas and Ft. Worth
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Rehearsal Dinner...Include OOT Guests?

Hi!  I'd like to get your thoughts on inviting OOT guests to the rehearsal dinner.  I kind of want a more traditional rehearsal dinner with our wedding party and immediate family.  I'd like to have it at a restaurant in a private room or something of the sort.  I want it to be a relaxing, intimate gathering with the people that matter most to us. 

The other option is to have a big rehearsal dinner party and invite the OOT guests and have it be more of a backyard tent party.  FH doesn't mind either way, but brought up a good point about being able to spend more time with the guests that traveled a distance to celebrate with us.

We have a guest list of about 175 and roughly 50% of the guest list consists of OOT guests. 

What have you done in this type of situation?  Suggestions? 

Re: Rehearsal Dinner...Include OOT Guests?

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    fallbride1109fallbride1109 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper First Comment
    edited December 2011
    We invited our OOT--we had about 35-40 people probably at our RD total (our wedding party was pretty small).  I was really glad we did it--you don't really get to spend much time with your guests at the wedding and this gave my DH a chance to catch up with his relatives he hadn't seen in 20 years. 

    Just because you invite 175 doesn't mean they will all come.  That being said, you don't want to overwhelm yourself, especially if you are paying for or hosting the RD yourselves (we were not).  If it's going to be more of a stressful evening than a relaxing one, then don't do it.
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    ecox12ecox12 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    As of right now I think we are just inviting whoever is going to be at the rehearsal, and then grandparents and their significant others. I'm in the same boat as you with a huge OOT guest list. We were talking about, depending on when everyone arrives, doing a BBQ either the night before or the day of before the rehearsal. Or depending on when our flight leaves for the honeymoon a brunch the day after.

    These were just some different options that you could think about also if you wanted to.
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    edited December 2011
    My MIL hosted our RD and wanted a big party, so she invited everyone that was invited to the wedding, and then I think some extra. We actually had more people at the RD than at the wedding.

    I really appreciated having that extra time with my OOT relatives. (I just moved here, so ALL my side of the guest list was from OOT). I don't know what they would've done for dinner that night if they hadn't been invited, since they didn't know the area at all, so it was nice.

    That said, I also had breakfast with those relatives the day after the wedding, whereas my bridesmaids left town early.

    After the wedding weekend was said and done, I feel like the people I didn't get as much of a chance to spend time with were my bridesmaids! (They also all flew in for the wedding and I see them even more rarely than I do my family members). If I saw my bridesmaids more often, I would've have regretted losing that private time with them as much.

    So either way (if you have the money) I don't think there's a wrong way to do it, and you'll have a great time either way. Those are just my two cents.
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    edited December 2011
    We had a lot of OOT guests, and we invited them all. We picked a place that we could afford if they all came, but very few did. Really, most guests didn't want to take an extra day off of work to travel for a RD... I think we invited 90ish people, and ended up with around 35.
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    courtski2004courtski2004 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    We also invited a portion of our OOT guests to the RD. Most of them were family, but we really wanted that time to spend with them since they had traveled such a long distance...from Maine, Vermont, and California. It was a really nice time, and J and I made the rounds to talk with each table without feeling rushed. I think they really appreciated the opportunity to see other extended family members as well. If your budget allows, I would definitely recommend doing this.
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    winechic25winechic25 member
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Ditto to a most of the previous posts, we have a large number of OOT guests and want to be able to spend time with them that we know won't really happen the night of the wedding!
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