Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette

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loislaneisabrid... Posts : 51 Registered: 2/22/07
Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette
Posted: Feb 20, 2010 8:15 PM

I tried to find this online but couldn't really see anything that applied to my situation.

My mother isn't going to the wedding because of longstanding familial issues. My father is deceased. DF's mother is going but is kind of "meh" about the whole thing. Not that she is against it but not really involved.

We are paying for everything by ourselves. We are having a reception and have attendants.

What does ettiquette say about guests at the rehearsal dinner?

Can we just invite the party and the pastor without their SO's? Should the groom's parents be invited? How about children that are ring bearers and flower girls?

We are just looking at our options with the budget so please no comments about how we are ignorant, selfish or rude for asking about this.

Thank you! :)


auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette
Posted: Feb 21, 2010 12:22 AM Go to message in response to: loislaneisabrid...

Dear Lois,

You don't have to have a rehearsal dinner. If your wedding is fairly simple, you may not even need a rehearsal.

You say, however, you will have children RB and FG. That sounds kind of elaborate to me, and if so, you need to rehearse.

You are not in any way ignorant, selfish or rude by asking this. Better to ask, and to hear it from people who are anonymous strangers than to hear it from a friend. After the fact.

You really need to invite the spouses and fiancé(s) of wedding party members. The rule is called No Ring No Bring. Married and engaged couples are invited to social events as a couple. Similarly you need to include the parents of any young children, as you cannot have a young child in a room full of adults without their parents present.

I would also include, if applicable, any committed same-sex partners who do not have the option of legal marriage.

Having said that, you do not have to include living-together or dating couples if you don't want to do so. It is your option. You need to consider the wedding party you have and think of each situation.

The groom's parents should be invited, too.

And, yes, ka-ching, the price is going up and up and up as we add more people. We need to bring that down.

What's the cheapest you can get away with, and still be gracious hosts? Pizza and beer? Hot dogs on the grill? Maybe schedule the rehearsal for later in the evening, after dinner, then have an ice cream party afterwards.


mrscreamer2be Posts : 153 Registered: 6/14/09
Re: Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette
Posted: Feb 21, 2010 2:31 AM Go to message in response to: loislaneisabrid...

Hi Louis

We're doing Pat and Oscars (chicken, pizza, and salad). We are keeping it simple and to a few people (immediate family, WP and SO of WP). Your rehearsal dinner (if you choose to have one) does not need to be fancy. Like I said, we are keeping it simple (we are having a Catholic ceremony, so we do need to rehearse). I hope this helps you. :).


CatStandish Posts : 2,766 Registered: 6/20/08
Re: Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette
Posted: Feb 21, 2010 8:43 AM Go to message in response to: loislaneisabrid...

My rehearsal dinner was fairly inexpensive. It was between $70 and $100 for

Flame Bearer
Bride's Maid
Maid of Honor
Best Man
Best Man's Wife
Groom's Man
Aunt of the Bride
Uncle of the Bride
Officiant's Wife
Guest from out of Country
Guest from out of Country (I figured they travelled from England, the least I could do was invite them to the rehearsal dinner)
Photographer (we were her first wedding. We paid for four hours....and she was there for our rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, my hair being done through the end of the reception. I think I had a photographer for about 20 hours. This is what she wanted to do. And she gave us a wedding gift! And the price. WOW. Again, the least I could do was feed her <G>)
MOG joined us later (her flight didn't get in until after the RD)

So... 17 people

There are two pizza places we frequent... Cici's and Mellow Mushroom. But Cici's is less expensive, fast AND they gave us a coupon about three weeks before the wedding.

I ordered:

Large Pizzas
Buffalo Chicken(my favorite)
Barbecue (DH's favorite)

Medium Pizzas

Spinach Alfredo
Veggie Surpreme

For drinks we had Arizona Tea
For desert.... we had COOKIES!!!

And we decorated in a Disney Theme (they all got cutesy little party invites from Party City with Mickey on them <G>)

The hotel we used provided us the room for free and even set up the tables for us to use.

By doing pizza, we had plenty for everyone, and if we'd have needed to invite someone on the fly, we could have done so. But it was also well within budget. (I mean really ... $100 for 17 people? you just can't beat that!)

The pizza was a huge hit. There was NO vegetarian pizzas remaining. There were only three vegetarians. We had about a pizza and a half remaining total.



PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette
Posted: Feb 21, 2010 10:17 AM Go to message in response to: CatStandish

My rehearsal dinner was more expensive than Cat's but still extremely reasonable. We originally had 21 people total. We had a lovely room in the back of a local diner. They gave us 4-5 GREAT meal options. The cost was a little over $200 because as we were leaving the hotel, my ILs saw my DH's cousin and her DH walk in and invted them too (NO skin off my nose, they were there, his cousin has been SO gracious and wonderful to me and my ILs were footing the bill).

But a three course meal - salad, entree, dessert, inlcuded soft drinks and tea, for a little over $200 people if really hard to beat - and as we live in VA not NJ were we got married, not having to ask someone else to host it was key to us.

If we had been in VA, we probably would have been more inclined to do something at our house in the back yard - there's NOTHING wrong with that. Just as there is NOTHING wrong with NOT having a rehearsal dinner.

Good luck!





twilightskye Posts : 40 Registered: 5/20/09
Re: Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette
Posted: Feb 21, 2010 12:47 PM Go to message in response to: loislaneisabrid...

We are inviting everyone in the wedding and their spouses and children. We are also inviting our parents and our pastor.
I dinner will fairly expensive since it will probably be around 44 people.


April2010Bride Posts : 134 Registered: 4/26/09
Re: Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette
Posted: Feb 21, 2010 4:31 PM Go to message in response to: twilightskye

FMIL is inviting her whole damn family, I think. FH and I don't really know anything about the dinner, except for what they're planning on cooking, because they're paying for it and keeping the planning to themselves. My guest list includes members of the wedding party and their spouses/fiances (& parents of small children), parents and grandparents. After she invites all her friends, and fourth cousins, however, we'll probably have well over 50 people there. Blah!

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CheetahAngel Posts : 2,017 Registered: 11/29/08
Re: Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette
Posted: Feb 21, 2010 5:07 PM Go to message in response to: loislaneisabrid...

If it makes you feel better my FH's mom is going to order pizza and we're all going to her house. It's less expensive that way. My FH and I just wanted a place to give the parents and the wedding party their gifts and thank everyone. Nothing fancy, just simple :)


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SamW Posts : 6 Registered: 2/23/10
Re: Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette
Posted: Mar 9, 2010 2:58 AM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

Mmm, off topic, but AOTB I love the idea of a simple hot dogs on the grill rehearsal dinner meal... I hadn't thought of it.



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