Wedding Etiquette Forum

Rehearsal Dinner size

Hey, 
Bride here.
Everyone( friends, some of my family) Keeps telling me my estimated head count for the rehearsal dinner is too big. 

Father of the Groom is paying for it, we have not discussed size or budget yet. (Doing that tonight)


I made a draft guest list to use when we go over things with the Father of the Groom.

The thing is I have a large Immediate family.

Bride + 18 People ( Parents, siblings, there spouses & children, some of which are in the wedding party)

The Grooms Family is smaller..

Groom + 3 (Dad, 2 Sisters of groom ( neither or married or have kids)
Also + 4 to include the ring bearers family which is on the groom's side

then non Family wedding party 4 people

So we are at a subtotal of 
19(Bride Side) + 8 (groom side) + 4 wedding party Friends = 31 guests

Here is the catch, I am assuming the Father of the grooms is going to want to invite all of their extended family, who are ALL from out of state, so it would be polite to include them, which I have no problem with I love them all, (15 more people) but that guest us up to 44 people.

Our wedding is 115.

We are going to ask the Father of the groom he wants to be invited this evening. I just feel guilty that my side is so big.

I don't want to ask too much of him, but I can't change the size of my family.

44 seems pretty big. The people on the list are not the problem, I am just concerned by the number.

I am also willing to handling all the planning, it is going to be at the wedding venue. Food cost estimated to be 1500 (for the 44, assuming he wants to invite everyone) not including drinks.

The cost seems reasonable to me, What do you think?






Re: Rehearsal Dinner size

  • I think you need to talk to your FIL and possibly send a spreadsheet so you can see what the breakdown is. 

    What helps is to break things out by people and often a per head cost. 

    We did that when we were married so we were able to do what you did:  list of our immediate family members and WP members plus their SOs and then we invited a couple out of town guests.  

    Then your FI and your FIL can look at the budget.   Sometimes they want to invite all OOT family but I've been an OOT guest and haven't been invited to the RD. It's OK.  


    knottie51a87da45f2cf064charlotte989875short+sassy
  • There isn't really a set size for rehearsal dinners. Mine was only about 12-15 people, but I've also heard of cases where practically everyone who's invited to the wedding is invited to the rehearsal dinner. 

    You and your FI need to talk to your FIL and figure out what he's comfortable paying for. He's the one paying, so his opinion is the one that matters. Remember that it's okay not to invite OOT guests. We invited very few to ours and it wasn't a problem.
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    knottie51a87da45f2cf064charlotte989875short+sassy
  • I would strongly advise not to leave out the immediate family who are not in the wedding. It could definitely cause hard feelings - I'm speaking from experience. DD's rehearsal dinner was close to 50 - out of town family was invited.  You definitely need to talk to FIL about the guest list and see what he thinks since he is paying. If he wants to invite all of his out of town family, then that isn't a problem. 
    knottie51a87da45f2cf064
  • Time to talk to your FIL with your FI. You definitely need to invite everyone who is included in the WP and in the case of kids, their parents & siblings. I also would never want to leave out my immediate family even if they weren’t in the WP. 

    Your FIL determines the budget so time to have that chat. If the wedding venue is too expensive can you host it somewhere else so everyone who needs to be invited can be? 
    knottie51a87da45f2cf064short+sassy
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