Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,041
Registered: ‎07-01-2012

Re: Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette

A rehearsal dinner is for those in the wedding party, and the parents of the bride and groom. A married person of someone in the wedding party can bring their spouse. Sometimes the person who is performing the service is invited also. If there is a flower girl and a ring bearer their parents are also invited.


Regardless, you have your own family way of doing things and with that said you should do what is comfortable for both families. There will always be people who will agree and not agree so again, make your decision and stick to it.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 16,131
Registered: ‎07-26-2014

Re: Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette

@CelticCrafter wrote:

Not anymore @Mz iMac.  


According to the etiquitte stuff I've read, it's a whole big to-do.  Immediate family, all the out of town guests, the bridal party and spouses, the officiant and spouse, parents if there are little kids in the bridal party.



Judging by the original poster & the few responses in this thread, it appears to be so.  Also, the rehearsal lunch or dinner was always in the early or late afternoon the day before the wedding.

Within my immediate family & close friends a rehearsal lunch was much preferred over "dinner."


"Never argue with a fool. Onlookers may not be able to tell the difference."


Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,460
Registered: ‎05-12-2012

Re: Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette

[ Edited ]

my hairdresser and my neighbor both hosted rehearsal dinners recently..both mothers of grooms...both of them invited out-of-state guests....i did the same when my son got married.....

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,272
Registered: ‎01-02-2015

Re: Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette

All this modern day wedding stuff is getting completely out of control...

In my opinion of course ....


My Brother in law who is really strong willed ... when his son got married

the brides brother was in the wedding and he would not even allow the

brothers wife to attend the rehearsl dinner that's b......s......

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,237
Registered: ‎03-29-2011

Re: Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette

Rehearsal dinners have gotten out of hand.  In my mind they are for the wedding participants, not out of town guests. 


We have been to many out of area weddings where a hotel room was involved.  Twice we've been invited to the rehearsal dinner.  In one case, our flight was delayed and we arrived after the dinner was over.


Personally, I think it's ridiculous for the bride & groom to have to host a dinner for an extra 60 people, the night before their wedding.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,120
Registered: ‎03-29-2019

Re: Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette

Good gravy!



One has to take out a second mortgage to get married these days!


Bridal shower


Bachlor/bachlorette parties


Rehearsal dinner


The wedding gown


The venue for the reception


The food


The drink


The music


The photographer


The decorations


The flowers



It's like each couple has to out-do everyone else, and put on the show of the century.



I'm not saying that's what the o/p is doing, just talking about weddings in general.




If one can pay cash for all of that, fine, more power to them, but I see no need to go in to deep debt just for a party.




My mom always told me, and I have to agree, that if I ever get married, go to Vegas and elope.


It's waaaaaay less expensive.

The Sky looks different when you have someone you love up there.
Honored Contributor
Posts: 26,082
Registered: ‎05-10-2010

Re: Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette

I don't really understand the question.  Since the bride & groom are paying for the rehearsal dinner, they can invite whoever they want to invite.  I cannot even envision a rehearsal dinner as large as the one you are planning.  60 extra people?  Just because they happen to be in town?  That's not how we do it.  My younger daughter worked in London and Dublin for several years and she invited many of her friends from that time.  The groom invited out of state friends from his college years.  They all arrived a couple of days before the wedding but we did not invite all of those people to the rehearsal dinner.  It never even crossed anyone's mind.  It was the wedding part and their spouses or dates; siblings and their spouses or dates;  We are Episcopalian, the priest and his wife;  A handful of extremely close friends.  My bff who is my daughter's God Mother gave them the rehearsal dinner as  wedding present.  It was amazing and she paid for everything.  So, the groom's parents hosted a post-wedding champagne brunch the day after the wedding and they did invite all of the out of town guests to that.  

Honored Contributor
Posts: 8,254
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette

[ Edited ]

@Anonymous032819 and there are some that will have engagement parties, save the date cards and postage, invitations and postage.  Trial runs for hair and makeup.  Swag bags and a farewell breakfast for the out of towners.  Gifts for the bridal party.  It's out of control if you visit any of the wedding sites.  

Honored Contributor
Posts: 54,410
Registered: ‎03-29-2012

Re: Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette


When I have been to family weddings, one thing that they have done for the out of towners (or those NOT in the wedding party) is to have brunch at the hotel the morning after the wedding.  The bride and groom are there, and available to spend some time before they head out to the honeymoon. You could do that, if you like, and offer it to those people on your side that you would like to see more of before they get on the road.  

Honored Contributor
Posts: 10,128
Registered: ‎05-23-2010

Re: Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette

[ Edited ]

I attended a wedding in which there was a rehearsal dinner for those in the wedding party, their spouses and parents of the bride and groom. The mother of the bride threw a great cocktail party, (in her home, catered, appetizers, elegant), for the out of town guests. I was an out of town guest and went to the cocktail party. It was much better than a sit down dinner. I’m sure it was less expensive to do.