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Etiquette

All out of town guests

Help! my fiance and I live out away from everyone, so all of our guests will be flying in and staying at the resort for our wedding.. I am trying to figure out what do for the rehearsal dinner - I want to spend as much time with my family as possible, so I dont want to exclude anyone, but inviting 70 people to a rehearsal dinner seems ridiculous. Is it ok to not include family and friends that are not in the wedding? What about skipping a rehearsal dinner all together? Thoughts?!

Re: All out of town guests

  • jcmoy241 said:
    Help! my fiance and I live out away from everyone, so all of our guests will be flying in and staying at the resort for our wedding.. I am trying to figure out what do for the rehearsal dinner - I want to spend as much time with my family as possible, so I dont want to exclude anyone, but inviting 70 people to a rehearsal dinner seems ridiculous. Is it ok to not include family and friends that are not in the wedding? What about skipping a rehearsal dinner all together? Thoughts?!
    It is absolutely ok not to include friends and family who are not in the wedding.  The only people you need to include are the members of the wedding party and their dates.  If you have children in the wedding then obviously their parents would be included as well.

    You can skip the rehearsal dinner if you are skipping the rehearsal.  If you are having a rehearsal then you must have the dinner.  These people are giving up their time to attend your rehearsal and should be properly thanked.  However, it doesn't have to be fancy.  
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  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    The only people who must attend a rehearsal (if you even have one) are the people involved in the wedding and their SOs. It is also customary to include immediate family. If you have a rehearsal, you need to host some kind of refreshments after,
    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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  • jnissajnissa member
    100 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    We are in a similar situation. We handled it by inviting only wedding party/immediate family to rehearsal dinner and then at 8:30pm hosting an open bar reception with some light fare as a meet and greet and wind down for OOT guests. Much more affordable, still treats the bridal party as special but also gives people a chance to mingle and get a drink and a snack if they're in by Friday night. 
  • Ditto pps on the rehearsal dinner.  Not necessary if you don't have to have a rehearsal, but if you do, it's ok to just do wedding party, immediate family, and their significant others.


    The meet and greet idea after the intimate rehearsal dinner is a good idea too.  If you can't afford to host a meet and greet, it might also be a good idea just to spread by word of mouth that you'll be at X bar or X hotel lounge or something if people want to drop by and say hello.  That way people can come see you/hangout if they want, but you're not HOSTING it.

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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited June 2014
    There is no need to invite anyone to the rehearsal dinner who is not in the wedding party.
  • We had a similar situation - only about 5 of our guests lived less than 2 hours from where we had our wedding.  We only invited the people involved in the ceremony (and plus ones) to the RD.  We also told guests we'd be at the hotel bar around 8pm if anyone wanted to come down and say hi.  That way we got to see a bunch of our OOT guests without having to buy them dinner two nights in a row.
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Everyone was OOT for our wedding.  We had a welcome reception instead of a dinner.  About 110+ people attended.  






    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. 
  • 99% of our guests will be OOT for our wedding. We are having a much much MUCH more casual welcome reception for everyone, cause it was important to our parents that they were able to see/catch up with extended family and friends that they haven't seen in a while. Honestly though, you'd be in the clear if you just did immediate family and wedding party. Like the PPs said, then plan a hosted bar event or something for later that night in case other guests want to see you. :)
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  • My friend had all out of town guests at her wedding.  She opted to have an early rehearsal time and then hosted everyone (60-70 people) at a lunch at a local restaurant.  It was a lot cheaper than dinner.  

    I like what an earlier poster mentioned--invite the people participating in the wedding to a rehearsal dinner and then host an open bar meet and greet for out of town guests,  You could host dessert/coffee for all out of town guests as a nice gesture and a way for guests to meet before the wedding.
  • Half my guests were out of town. We didn't have a rehearsal, so no dinner, but we let the OTT guests know that we would be at a pub from 8-10 if they wanted to hang out.

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  • KaurisKauris member
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    jnissa said:
    We are in a similar situation. We handled it by inviting only wedding party/immediate family to rehearsal dinner and then at 8:30pm hosting an open bar reception with some light fare as a meet and greet and wind down for OOT guests. Much more affordable, still treats the bridal party as special but also gives people a chance to mingle and get a drink and a snack if they're in by Friday night. 

    So this would not be considered a tiered event?

  •     We are having a destination wedding. We aren't having a rehearsal, but my FILs have offered to host a welcome dinner for our whole guest list. Including me and Fi that is a total of 21 (one is my 2 year old nephew). They are just getting a private room in a local restaurant. Everyone is from out of town.
  • jnissajnissa member
    100 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    kasmith1 said:
    jnissa said:
    We are in a similar situation. We handled it by inviting only wedding party/immediate family to rehearsal dinner and then at 8:30pm hosting an open bar reception with some light fare as a meet and greet and wind down for OOT guests. Much more affordable, still treats the bridal party as special but also gives people a chance to mingle and get a drink and a snack if they're in by Friday night. 

    So this would not be considered a tiered event?

    SITB
    They were two separate events with two separate invites at two separate locations. Maybe that's a tiered event? I've been to five or six weddings that did it that way, three of which were New York Fifth Avenue Black Tie - which certainly DOES NOT mean their fully etiquette appropriate. So I guess I just assumed it was fine and acceptable. But maybe it's one of those things that people do commonly that isn't and I just made that assumption. But I felt pretty confident with the idea that people get that rehearsal dinner is an event that is a specific thank you to your wedding party and that a guest meet and greet is something entirely different. 
    pinkshorts27
  • KaurisKauris member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited July 2014
    Nope, that in no way is tiered. But those details were not very clear in your first post, so I was really seeking clarification, so that if we did something similar, there was no tiers. Sorry if I offended you.

  • No it's not a tiered event. You're not being treated as a second class citizen - unless guests expect to be invited to the rehearsal dinner, which they don't. The Rehearsal Dinner is for family and wedding party to REHEARSE. Having an open house after for other guests is fine, and not at all tiered.
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