Rehearsal Dinner

goldenowner76April 8, 2004

Who is invited to attend the rehearsal dinner. We are going to have the wedding party there ofcourse and their dates. But also are going to invite the officiant, wedding coordinators, wedding overseer and her spouse. Do you also invite the ushers, book keeper, etc. We have invited them, but I was just curious as to who all is expected to be invited.

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Yes, all the people you named are usually invited to the rehearsal dinner in addition to: all siblings of the bride and groom (and of course their families if that applies), grandparents (if any) and all out of town guests who are staying with you or any of the wedding party. For example, if your cousin has come into town to attend your wedding and will be staying with your parents or one of your sisters while there, your cousin should be invited to the dinner. (It would be rude to leave him/her at home alone.) If your same cousin is not in the wedding party and not a houseguest of someone who is, s/he wouldn't necessarily be included.

This is my understanding but I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong. ;)

Btw, don't forget your photographer! I think it's a courtesy for him/her to be invited even if you don't want photos taken that evening. Some photographers like to attend to get a feel for the site and how things are to progress the next day. They can always decline if they prefer not to attend.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2004 at 2:11PM
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Wow, that sounds like a pretty heavy guest list for a rehearsal dinner. If I were doing the inviting, I would limit it to wedding party and their families (including grandparents of B&G) and out of town guests as Lindsey describes.

I'm a minister, and the only rehearsal dinners I've been invited to were when I was officiating at the weddings of close personal friends. If I weren't close to the participants, I wouldn't go. Heck, I usually don't even go to the reception except to mill around and schmooze a bit with the guests and say goodbye to the B&G before everyone sits down to eat.

As for wedding coordinators, bookkeeper, etc. they are paid staff, not guests. I don't think they belong at the rehearsal dinner, nor does the photographer, unless you plan to pay them for their time. This is what they do professionally, remember, and you are asking for their professional presence. Getting a free dinner does not count as pay, when their alternative is to be at home with their families.


    Bookmark   April 9, 2004 at 6:01AM
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I agree with Judy, your guest list has gone overboard. Rehearsal dinners are for the wedding party and family members and maybe special guests. Not a free for all for anyone to attend. It's an intimate time for the families and wedding party members of the B & G to have together to swap stories and make toasts about the B&G. It's also a time for the two families to join together and celebrate the union of their son and daughter. Your guest list is out of control imo. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   April 9, 2004 at 8:16AM
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We're inviting the bridesmaids, maid of honor, best man, groomsmen, our friend who is doing the video (husband of one of the bridesmaids), the officiant and our parents. Neither of our two surviving grandparent's can make it to the wedding but they'd have been invited.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2004 at 7:42PM
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My fiance's family is from out of town and several of them will not be able to attend. We are inviting:

B G, MOH and her husband, BM and her fiance, BM GM RB--all one family, BMan Wife and 2 Kids, FG Candlelighter and their parents (my aunt and uncle), My Grandparents (6) on both sides, FOB MOB, SFOG MOG, Usher and his parents (my aunt and uncle), Cake server (my aunt)and her fiance. I have already been told that 9 of these adults will not be able to make it in for the rehearsal due to them traveling.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2004 at 9:33AM
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by bookkeeper, do you mean the friend who is going to man the guest book? That's not paid staff. Neither is an usher.

I think those folks won't expect to be invited (esp. in a situation where the usher is not a groomsman), but will be pleased and flattered.

At my friend's wedding the chuch had a wedding coordinator/overseer; my friend might have invited her to the rehearsal dinner, even though she was paid staff, because she wasn't paid THAT much.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2004 at 11:31AM
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yes the bookkkeeper is going to man the guest book, and they are not paid, that's why we are including them and the ushers the same. I know that they ushers don't really come to the rehearsal, but I just feel that since they are nice enough to do it for free to help us out, that they should also be invited. We are going to invite the overseer just because she is a friend of the grooms mother. We aren't paying her anything but the church requires us to have one. So we thought that would be a nice gesture.

I wasn't sure about the wedding director and the officiant. I think we are going to invite the officant even though he probably will not come because he is that pastor at my FH's church. I just don't think that I could feel good about myself without inviting him. I think I have decided against the wedding director/coordinator since we are paying a lot of money to do what they do.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2004 at 11:40AM
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Around here, the wedding party (and spouses, and often whole families) and all the out of town guests are invited to the rehearsal dinner (and any other "auxilliary" events). If a lot of the out-of-town guests are relatives, they and the in-town relatives are going to want to be together, so people invite the in-town relatives, too (I guess if that is a zillion people, you could limit to close relatives). In fact, in our community, the whole point isn't so much a "rehearsal" as a less fancy, fun way to entertain the out-of-towners, usually hosted by the groom's family, to allow them a chance to be the hosts. It's usually really fun -- lots of toasts and funny stories (that would really bog a wedding reception down if they went on too long) and getting to know each other.

It's nice to invite the officiant, but you don't have to. I am a clergy wife, and I can tell you that we are pleased to be invited and not offended if we aren't -- the opposite of the wedding and reception itself, by the way, to which you really should invite the officiant and spouse, especially if it is the clergy from your congregation as opposed to, say, a JP you hire for the day and didn't even know. Don't worry -- at least in our case, we don't attend anywhere near every rehearsal dinner or reception to which we are invited; just the ones where we feel close to the family and think we probably would have been invited "anyway." You don't need to invite your caterer, photographer, or other vendors, although of course you can if you want. I guess the difference is that the officiant is sort of a member of the wedding party.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2004 at 12:06PM
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I've been to rehearsal dinners that were just parents/grandparents/siblings/wedding party and the associated spouses/fiances/partners. I've also been to one that had more than 100 people because all out-of-town guests were invited. DH and I had his kids, our parents, siblings & their spouses & kids, other wedding party members (and the spouse of one of them), and a couple who have been friends of my family since before I was born and came from out of town. 22 people in all. Note: The "kids" were ages 15-21, not little kids.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2004 at 10:06AM
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This is a really interesting topic! I'd never heard of inviting anyone but the wedding party, officiant and perhaps siblings or grandparent's of the couple to rehearsal dinners before!

Eek, gelchom, if my fiance and I used the norm for your area, we'd be inviting literally all but a dozen of our wedding guests to the rehearsal dinner! That'd be about 40 people! LOL! Well, that's because the vast majority of our guests live out of state.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2004 at 11:21AM
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lol Snapdragon -- you're right, it's sure different. Forty, the number that made you eek!, would be considered rather small around here. But what else do you do about your out of town guests? They came in to see you and each other, and you can't just walk into a restaurant and ask for a table for forty! Besides, I find that the event the night before (whatever you call it) is great -- people all get to know and have fun with each other, which makes the wedding even nicer.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2004 at 11:18AM
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This is one reason, I like the informal, do-it-yourself, cookout (or whatever) rehearsal dinners. It's much easier to be able to add whoever and as many as you want if you are not having to deal with giving restaurants and/or caterers headcounts and such.

Of course, it's not always possible to do it that way.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2004 at 12:57PM
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Invite whoever (whomever?) you wish! It's your party and you should include anyone YOU think should be invited. Hope you have a wonderful wedding!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2004 at 9:49AM
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My son is getting married in August and his fiance's family are all coming from out of town, so we have to invite them all.....we're talking about 40 people with the wedding party. We can't afford to feed this many at a nice restaurant so we are opting for a cook out in our back's a huge yard and I think it'd be time limits and very relaxing, so we can all get to know each other. Much more do-able for us.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2004 at 11:55AM
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Thanks everyone!! We have came to a total of 30 guests. We have included everything except the director, photographer, videographer. We did invite the officant, but are unsure if he would come..but we are still reserving him a spot.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2004 at 12:29PM
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