09 Mar Who to Invite to the Rehearsal Dinner

Usually hosted by the groom’s parents, the rehearsal dinner is a critical part of your wedding planning success. It’s a lovely way to kick off the wedding celebrations, but it can be difficult to narrow down that guest list. Who is supposed to be invited, and who doesn’t make the cut?

First, etiquette requires that you invite the wedding party and their spouses or significant others. A general +1 is not required for those not in a serious relationship. Of course, the immediate family, including parents and grandparents, are invited, as well as the flower girl(s) and ring bearer(s) and their parents. Some couples extend invitations to very close extended relatives, such as an aunt who helped raise you or a godparent. You should also invite the officiant and his/her spouse, but they often decline. If there are any readers, they should be invited as well. Basically, anyone who is involved with the wedding rehearsal should be included in the rehearsal dinner.

As for out of town guests, this is where a budget can be blown out of the water and the dinner becomes as big as the wedding. If you only have a few nearest and dearest traveling to your wedding, inviting them to the rehearsal dinner is a nice touch. However, if half your alma mater has made the trip, the rehearsal dinner can quickly get out of budget. You can make a clear distinction on which out of town guests to invite — such as family and not friends — but this can be difficult.

A great alternative is to have a Post Toast party! This is an event held immediately after the rehearsal dinner to accommodate out of town guests and other wedding invitees who are not part of the wedding rehearsal. The post toast can be held at the rehearsal dinner location (simply ask the venue to extend your time by an hour or so) or at the hotel where most out of town guests are staying.

Keep it simple with some beverages and snacks and possibly a Spotify playlist or a solo acoustic act. Provide some simple seating and you have a nice setup to get some visiting in the night before the wedding. The post toast party is a perfect solution to including your out of town guests so they can socialize with the two of you without breaking the bank.

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

Katie + Steven | Barn at Shady Lane Wedding
A Toast to Your Happiness!