Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,504
Registered: ‎05-27-2015

Re: Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette

@Annie107  We limited it to family and family of the wedding party, if they planned to come early. Friends who came early had fun going out and exploring the area (Pittsburgh and environs).

Regular Contributor
Posts: 204
Registered: ‎04-30-2010

Re: Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette

I totally understand trying to maintain your family's approach to the dinner.  It's a thoughtful way of saying thank you to folks who have travelled a great distance to join your celebration.  When my son got married, they extended an invitation to folks (relatives) from out of town but we are talking maybe 6 people.  IMO  60+ additional people may turn what is typically a more intimate event into an extension of the wedding at a time when folks just may want to chill.  Tensions can run high during this time.  Might you limit the invitation to only immediately family who will be headed in?  Most people do not expect an invitation as the rehersal dinner is really for wedding party and parents traditionally.  Once you open it up you may find the number grows!  lol  Regardless of what you decide do enjoy the special day!

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,140
Registered: ‎03-16-2010

Re: Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette

I think you just make the bride and groom happy.

If the cost is no issue then just invite everyone.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 17,462
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette

My sister's rehearsal dinner was a wonderful event, enjoyed by many and the kickoff to a wonderful weekend of celebrating.


There are no rules anymore, which means you have lots of options.


  • You can do it up right and invite everyone you want
  • You can buck tradition and just invite the bridal party and not worry about out of towners
  • You can tweak the food/venue for the rehearsal dinner to accommodate everyone more affordabley
  • You can have a traditional/expensive rehearsal dinner for the bridal party only and a separate low key event of some sort for the out of towners that doesn't break the budget

Be creative and don't let what people may think/not think guide your decision.

QVC Shopper - 1993

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,295
Registered: ‎03-19-2010

Re: Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette

When DS, my only child, got married last year, DH and I hosted a large rehearsal "Southern BBQ" for 100+ people (rented a tent).  We picked up all the wait staff, food and also the open bar.  DH and I wanted to include all of our out of town guests, local long time friends, wedding party families, along with DDIL's family who had travelled a way to attend the wedding.  Everyone told me how great the party was.  We were so glad we hosted this event.  Do what you feel is best for your and your DS.

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,936
Registered: ‎05-08-2010

Re: Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette

I've never heard of a rehearsal dinner that included more than the bride and groom's immediate family and the wedding party.  If you're inviting out-of-town guests beyond that group, you can enclose with the invitation a list of sites and restaurants for their enjoyment on the day and evening before the wedding.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 15,997
Registered: ‎07-26-2014

Re: Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette

@Hoovermom wrote:

"Southern BBQ" for 100+ people (rented a tent). 

I love shingdig, throw down, down home rehearsal parties.  Casual plus everyone lets their hair down.  I've only been invited to 2 in my lifetime.  Huge wedding parties.  The person(s) paying thought it best to go w/BBQ shingdigs.  Best wedding rehearsal parties ever!!!!!!!

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


Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,676
Registered: ‎09-12-2010

Re: Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette

I have never, ever been invited to a rehearsal dinner unless I was in the wedding party. I've attended a number of family weddings that were out of state, and never considered being invited to a rehearsal dinner since I wasn't in the wedding. Having an extra 60 people invited to the rehearsal dinner is a pretty big expense for the bride/groom (at least it would be for me and anyone in my family). I guess it depends on what your family and friends expect, although to be honest, it's not about them - it's about the bride and groom.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,672
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette

@Mz iMac wrote:

I could be wrong but I always thought that a "rehersal dinner" was just for the wedding party as a "thank you?"


I've been to a few & there were never any "extra" folks outside of the wedding party except for their significant others as well as the parents of the bride & groom & the"wedding planner."

@Mz iMac...You are correct in stating that a rehearsal dinner is just for the bridal party.  I have been to several rehearsal dinners and gave two and the only people in attendance were strictly those in the wedding party.

The moving finger writes; And having writ, Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line Nor all your Tears Wash out a Word of it. Omar Khayam
Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,529
Registered: ‎03-15-2010

Re: Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette

Most guests today understand that the Rehearsal Dinner is just for the people that were at the Wedding Rehearsal.