Wedding Etiquette Forum

Rehearsal Dinner Guests

My fI's family has offered to host and pay for the rehearsal dinner but I am conflicted on who I am supposed to invite. I understand the normal of the wedding party, officiant, parents, but I want to be able to spend time with all of my family coming from out of town and am feeling pressure from my family to invite them to the rehearsal dinner. Unfortunately, if we invited all of our family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins) it would be about 60 people total, and I can't ask my FI parents to pay for that. 

Does anyone have any ideas of how I can plan something cheap for everyone to come to and then have the smaller rehearsal dinner? Or do I need to figure out how to invite family to the dinner as well.

Re: Rehearsal Dinner Guests

  • The only people you are required to invite to the rehearsal dinner are the people who attended the rehearsal. Think of it as the "thank you" reception, similar to how a reception after a wedding is to thank your guests for attending. If anyone else wants an invite, you can invite them if you want and have the means to, but it is absolutely not required. Anyone expecting an invitation without being invited to the actual rehearsal is being rude and you should not be bending over backwards to accommodate them. They are capable of feeding themselves and you will see them the next day anyway. Frankly, I would just bean dip and say, "I'm sorry, but our rehearsal dinner guest list had to be limited. We look forward to seeing you at the wedding though!" Don't give them an explanation as to why they weren't invited, as that will only give them an opening for an argument.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker

    image
    [Deleted User]SP29
  • My fI's family has offered to host and pay for the rehearsal dinner but I am conflicted on who I am supposed to invite. I understand the normal of the wedding party, officiant, parents, but I want to be able to spend time with all of my family coming from out of town and am feeling pressure from my family to invite them to the rehearsal dinner. Unfortunately, if we invited all of our family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins) it would be about 60 people total, and I can't ask my FI parents to pay for that. 


    Does anyone have any ideas of how I can plan something cheap for everyone to come to and then have the smaller rehearsal dinner? Or do I need to figure out how to invite family to the dinner as well.
    You typically only invite the people who are involved in the actual ceremony and their SOs. 

    You could always go to a bar or something after the RD and tell your relatives, "Hey, I'll be hanging out here at X time if you want to meet up to hang out for a little bit!" 
    Or have your parents host a very casual welcome party at the hotel most people are staying at with snacks and soft drinks earlier in the day when they all get into town, or something like that. 

    The rehearsal dinner isn't really the time to catch up with family. And if you invite all your relatives, then FI should get to invite all his relatives, so now pretty much your entire wedding guest list is at your RD. Just keep it simple. 
    image
    ShesSoColdarrrghmatey[Deleted User]SP29
  • My fI's family has offered to host and pay for the rehearsal dinner but I am conflicted on who I am supposed to invite. I understand the normal of the wedding party, officiant, parents, but I want to be able to spend time with all of my family coming from out of town and am feeling pressure from my family to invite them to the rehearsal dinner. Unfortunately, if we invited all of our family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins) it would be about 60 people total, and I can't ask my FI parents to pay for that. 

    Does anyone have any ideas of how I can plan something cheap for everyone to come to and then have the smaller rehearsal dinner? Or do I need to figure out how to invite family to the dinner as well.
    You are correct in your thoughts of who needs to be invited - anyone involved in the rehearsal + immediate family (and everyone's SOs). 

    To the bolded - I'm sorry you're feeling pressure from your family. I would tell your parents that they're more than to open a tab at the bar (after the RD, say at 9pm) and invite/host all these people, but that you can't accommodate extra guests for dinner. 

    I will NEVER understand why people think it's ok to insist that people are hosted on someone else's dime. It's no different than someone hosting a dinner party at their home and a guest saying "hey hosts - you need to invite and pay for these extra 20 people that I want to invite". Most (sane) people wouldn't dream of doing that. Weddings and RDs are no different.
    *********************************************************************************

    image
    [Deleted User]huskypuppy14
  • labrolabro Hotlanta member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    We ended up inviting all of our out of town family from both sides to our rehearsal dinner. H's parents had given us a check so H and I opted to cover the expenses that went above and beyond that amount. Obviously, we talked with his parents first to be sure this was something they wanted (it was) and that they were ok with our plan.

    I really liked what my cousin did for her wedding. She had a separate rehearsal dinner with parents and bridal party and their SOs and then separately sent out a general "We're going to be at x bar after 8 pm if you want to stop by and say hello" to all of the out of towners and friends. I don't think anything was hosted, maybe a few passed apps, but it was the perfect way to be able to see everyone for a few minutes who happened to be in town early for the wedding. In this case it's ok because you aren't specifically inviting anyone to an event, just telling them you're going to be a particular place and time if they wish to join you.



    SP29
  • Thanks ladies! Your responses makes me feel better about not inviting family. 
    I like the idea of just letting people know we will be at a bar at a certain time. Do you think I should include that in the invitation envelope, or just send out an email closer to the wedding with the information for that?
  • lovegood90lovegood90 Ontario member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper

    Thanks ladies! Your responses makes me feel better about not inviting family. 

    I like the idea of just letting people know we will be at a bar at a certain time. Do you think I should include that in the invitation envelope, or just send out an email closer to the wedding with the information for that?
    If you're planning on inviting everyone and the bar will be fully hosted, I think it's fine to include it on the invite. Otherwise I'd just spread by word of mouth.

    Formerly martha1818

    image


  • Thanks ladies! Your responses makes me feel better about not inviting family. 

    I like the idea of just letting people know we will be at a bar at a certain time. Do you think I should include that in the invitation envelope, or just send out an email closer to the wedding with the information for that?
    If you're planning on inviting everyone and the bar will be fully hosted, I think it's fine to include it on the invite. Otherwise I'd just spread by word of mouth.
    This. If it's just a casual meet up to hang out type thing, and you're not footing the bill or actually hosting anything for them, then spread it by word of mouth. No formal invite. 
    image
    [Deleted User]
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I'd just send an email closer to the wedding.
  • arrrghmateyarrrghmatey member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    edited March 2015

    My fI's family has offered to host and pay for the rehearsal dinner but I am conflicted on who I am supposed to invite. I understand the normal of the wedding party, officiant, parents, but I want to be able to spend time with all of my family coming from out of town and am feeling pressure from my family to invite them to the rehearsal dinner. Unfortunately, if we invited all of our family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins) it would be about 60 people total, and I can't ask my FI parents to pay for that. 

    Does anyone have any ideas of how I can plan something cheap for everyone to come to and then have the smaller rehearsal dinner? Or do I need to figure out how to invite family to the dinner as well.
    You typically only invite the people who are involved in the actual ceremony and their SOs. 

    You could always go to a bar or something after the RD and tell your relatives, "Hey, I'll be hanging out here at X time if you want to meet up to hang out for a little bit!" 
    Or have your parents host a very casual welcome party at the hotel most people are staying at with snacks and soft drinks earlier in the day when they all get into town, or something like that. 

    The rehearsal dinner isn't really the time to catch up with family. And if you invite all your relatives, then FI should get to invite all his relatives, so now pretty much your entire wedding guest list is at your RD. Just keep it simple. 


    This is what we are doing. All of my extended family (aunts, uncles, cousins, etc) live out of state and will be flying in for the wedding, but there is no way we can invite all 40 of them to the RD in addition to the nearly 30 people involved in the rehearsal/immediate family, especially since future FIL is footing the bill for the RD. My mother was pushing it for a while, stating that she would want to spend time with her sister, my cousins, and other friends who will be coming into town.

    We opted to have a sort of "Meet-and-Greet" later in the evening, post-RD, at the hotel bar where we have rooms blocked so that people can hang out. Everyone is invited (not hosted) to this so we are telling people by word of mouth and putting a card with the info in the Welcome Bags they will receive upon hotel check-in.
                                     Wedding Countdown Ticker

                                                   image
    Knottie38475328
  • My family has a sort of tradition to do RD for just those involved, and follow it with an activity for out of town guests. It's usually bowling, a bar, or something where we can all fit (we are all over the place so 90% are out of town no matter whose wedding it is), and doesn't include dinner, but a chance for everyone to catch up and have fun the night before. We're planning to do a bowling party with a pitcher of beer for each lane, and a few munchies to share. RD will be an actual dinner beforehand, and small since our wedding parties will be small.

    If you want to keep it cheap and simple, go to a bar, and either do WOM and cover no booze, or put it on the invitation and get the first round.
  • First of all, YOU don't invite anyone to the RD.  That's planned and hosted by the groom's family, and THEY extend the invitations.

    One of my close friends came up with a catchy RD theme and designed matching RD invitations, and sent the design to her FMIL.  Who told her, coldly, that she (FMIL) had hosted many dinner parties herself and she and her family would be hosting this one also.

    Next, there's no way that you or your family should pad the invitation list to include all sorts of bride's family coming to the RD.  The people involved in the REHEARSAL come to the REHEARSAL DINNER.
  • We are only having the parents, wedding party, SO's, and the minister at our rehearsal dinner.  
  • redoryxredoryx member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    edited March 2015

    First of all, YOU don't invite anyone to the RD.  That's planned and hosted by the groom's family, and THEY extend the invitations.

    One of my close friends came up with a catchy RD theme and designed matching RD invitations, and sent the design to her FMIL.  Who told her, coldly, that she (FMIL) had hosted many dinner parties herself and she and her family would be hosting this one also.

    Next, there's no way that you or your family should pad the invitation list to include all sorts of bride's family coming to the RD.  The people involved in the REHEARSAL come to the REHEARSAL DINNER.

    Not true. While traditionally the groom's family hosted, that's changed and it's perfectly okay for the couple getting married to host the RD.
    image
    MairePoppynovella1186[Deleted User]
  • mikenbergermikenberger In a f'n cornfield member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    redoryx said:

    First of all, YOU don't invite anyone to the RD.  That's planned and hosted by the groom's family, and THEY extend the invitations.

    One of my close friends came up with a catchy RD theme and designed matching RD invitations, and sent the design to her FMIL.  Who told her, coldly, that she (FMIL) had hosted many dinner parties herself and she and her family would be hosting this one also.

    Next, there's no way that you or your family should pad the invitation list to include all sorts of bride's family coming to the RD.  The people involved in the REHEARSAL come to the REHEARSAL DINNER.

    Not true. While traditionally the groom's family hosted, that's changed and it's perfectly okay for the couple getting married to host the RD.
    All of these things. So if the groom's family can't afford to host a rehearsal dinner, you can't have a rehearsal? Or if the couple chooses to have a rehearsal, the groom's family MUST pay for it? What if the groom's family is out of the country and unfamiliar with the wedding location? Doesn't make much sense, does it? 

    It's perfectly fine for the couple to host the rehearsal dinner. But it should be something done within a budget and properly hosted. It sounds like what you'd like to host is a welcome dinner, not a rehearsal dinner.

    image
    [Deleted User]
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    First of all, YOU don't invite anyone to the RD.  That's planned and hosted by the groom's family, and THEY extend the invitations.

    One of my close friends came up with a catchy RD theme and designed matching RD invitations, and sent the design to her FMIL.  Who told her, coldly, that she (FMIL) had hosted many dinner parties herself and she and her family would be hosting this one also.

    Next, there's no way that you or your family should pad the invitation list to include all sorts of bride's family coming to the RD.  The people involved in the REHEARSAL come to the REHEARSAL DINNER.

    Oh, good. You just decided to post bad etiquette advice all around the board.
    redoryx[Deleted User]
  • I swear that's Kristen#### posting under a different name.

    Viczaesar
  • Dreamergirl8812Dreamergirl8812 your closet member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer

    First of all, YOU don't invite anyone to the RD.  That's planned and hosted by the groom's family, and THEY extend the invitations.

    One of my close friends came up with a catchy RD theme and designed matching RD invitations, and sent the design to her FMIL.  Who told her, coldly, that she (FMIL) had hosted many dinner parties herself and she and her family would be hosting this one also.

    Next, there's no way that you or your family should pad the invitation list to include all sorts of bride's family coming to the RD.  The people involved in the REHEARSAL come to the REHEARSAL DINNER.

    Are you, by chance, this "FMIL?"



    Anniversary
    image

    image
  • slothiegalslothiegal The Sloth Farm member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper

    First of all, YOU don't invite anyone to the RD.  That's planned and hosted by the groom's family, and THEY extend the invitations.

    One of my close friends came up with a catchy RD theme and designed matching RD invitations, and sent the design to her FMIL.  Who told her, coldly, that she (FMIL) had hosted many dinner parties herself and she and her family would be hosting this one also.

    Next, there's no way that you or your family should pad the invitation list to include all sorts of bride's family coming to the RD.  The people involved in the REHEARSAL come to the REHEARSAL DINNER.

    I legit laughed out loud.  You're joking, right?
    Anniversary

    image
    redoryx
  • First of all, YOU don't invite anyone to the RD.  That's planned and hosted by the groom's family, and THEY extend the invitations.

    One of my close friends came up with a catchy RD theme and designed matching RD invitations, and sent the design to her FMIL.  Who told her, coldly, that she (FMIL) had hosted many dinner parties herself and she and her family would be hosting this one also.

    Next, there's no way that you or your family should pad the invitation list to include all sorts of bride's family coming to the RD.  The people involved in the REHEARSAL come to the REHEARSAL DINNER.

    Okay, you need to quit making stuff up. 

    First the shower rules, now this.
    The groom's family is under no obligation to host this. They often do, but it isn't a rule.

    [Deleted User]
  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited March 2015

    First of all, YOU don't invite anyone to the RD.  That's planned and hosted by the groom's family, and THEY extend the invitations.

    One of my close friends came up with a catchy RD theme and designed matching RD invitations, and sent the design to her FMIL.  Who told her, coldly, that she (FMIL) had hosted many dinner parties herself and she and her family would be hosting this one also.

    Next, there's no way that you or your family should pad the invitation list to include all sorts of bride's family coming to the RD.  The people involved in the REHEARSAL come to the REHEARSAL DINNER.

    The 1950s called, they want their poster girl back.



    [Deleted User]
  • First of all, YOU don't invite anyone to the RD.  That's planned and hosted by the groom's family, and THEY extend the invitations.

    FI and I are hosting our own rehearsal dinner to thank everyone for coming to our rehearsal.  I never really understood where the whole "groom's family is responsible for RD" thing came from.  If you can't afford to thank someone for coming (and nobody offers to help you) then don't ask them to come.

    Related rant - I was looking at RD invites on Minted and most of the ones I like are worded to say "in honor of (bride) and (groom)" and I tried substituting "for (bride) and (groom)" but then it changes the layout of the text and it's all wonky looking and...UGH.  But I suppose that serves me right for even thinking about spending that much on RD invites.

    Anyway, I'm not sure what your budget is but have you considered an informal backyard BBQ?  Honestly I've had more fun at those than at the ones in restaurants.
  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Because your in-laws have OFFERED to host the RD, it would be rude to increase the guest list because your family all wants to hang out.

    The idea to tell people to meet up at X bar/restaurant at Y time is a good idea. This is best spread by word of mouth, because if you send an invitation you are telling people that you are going to host them for an "event" and you are then on the hook for food and drinks. An invitation is much different than "Hey Aunt Susie, we're going to be at Local Bar at 9pm if you want to swing by". 

    Or, you can tell your mom that if she would like the family to get together she is welcome to host her own event on her dime (such as a welcome dinner). 
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards