Rehearsal Dinner and Out of Town Guests..your opinions?

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1010VTbride Posts : 50 Registered: 5/24/09
Rehearsal Dinner and Out of Town Guests..your opinions?
Posted: Jul 1, 2009 10:20 AM

I am planning on having quite a few out of town guests at my wedding, many of whom will be arriving on the Friday night prior to my wedding. I am planning to have my rehearsal dinner on that Friday night, and am unsure as to the etiquette when it comes to inviting the guests who are not in the bridal party. I don't want my guests to feel "slighted" if they are not invited to the dinner, but I also don't want my bridal party to be slighted because they are not getting "special treatment".

I was consider doing the dinner and then having a cocktail/hors d'euvres hour afterwards where the guests would be invited. I asked a friend of mine and she thought it would be rude not to invite the out of towners to the actual dinner.

Your thoughts?

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Rehearsal Dinner and Out of Town Guests..your opinions?
Posted: Jul 1, 2009 11:19 AM Go to message in response to: 1010VTbride

Dear 1010,

It is rude to invite people to "half" of an event. You either invite the OOT people to the whole rehearsal dinner or not at all.

The only must-invite people at the rehearsal dinner are those actually at the rehearsal (plus spouses, parents of young children and any sig others). The idea is that you rehearse the wedding, then go out for a nice meal together.

At my wedding, one of my mother's friends hosted a casual cocktail party for various out of town relatives during the rehearsal dinner. She also invited some in-town people who were already acquainted with the out of towners. (Note that my parents and their friends were big on giving parties. Lots of parties.)
.

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myra Posts : 5,550 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Rehearsal Dinner and Out of Town Guests..your opinions?
Posted: Jul 1, 2009 7:50 PM Go to message in response to: 1010VTbride

I also don't want my bridal party to be slighted because they are not getting "special treatment".

Well, the above is a situation that never even would have crossed my mind! Do you really think they would be upset if there were other people at the rehearsal dinner??? I can't imagine anyone that would.

As far as what you're "obligated to do," actually, you're not even obligated to have a rehearsal dinner--but, if you do, as AOTB said,it would be uncomfortable to invite people to half an event. So, you could keep it just to bridal party and sig. others. OR, you could hold the rehearsal early and provide lunch. Then invite ALL of the OOT guests (and bridal party) to a cocktail party later in the evening. OR, you could just invite bridal party and OOT'ers to the rehearsal dinner. It all depends on your budget, space, etc.
myra at www.classysassyweddings.com

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1010VTbride Posts : 50 Registered: 5/24/09
Re: Rehearsal Dinner and Out of Town Guests..your opinions?
Posted: Jul 1, 2009 7:59 PM Go to message in response to: myra

Thanks for your replies. Just to clarify, my idea WAS to actually have 2 separate events...not to invite the OOT guests to "1/2" of an event. The wedding/reception will be held at a ski resort, and I was thinking that we could do the rehearsal dinner offsite, then return to the resort and later have a cocktail hour for both the wedding party and the OOT guests.

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Rehearsal Dinner and Out of Town Guests..your opinions?
Posted: Jul 2, 2009 12:24 AM Go to message in response to: 1010VTbride

dear 1010,

If you advertise the two events as separate parties, then I think you are good to go.

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Kimberlyh119 Posts : 1 Registered: 1/13/09
Re: Rehearsal Dinner and Out of Town Guests..your opinions?
Posted: Jul 21, 2009 2:51 PM Go to message in response to: 1010VTbride

We have about 40 out of town guests coming in. We are holding the rehersal the week before the actual wedding. Most of the people standing up in our wedding have been in plenty of weddings before and they know the drill. We are not doing a dinner after the rehersal. The Friday night before our wedding, we are inviting the wedding party, family and out of town guests to our house for a Chicago style food feast. This way we will get to spend time with our out of town guests and the wedding party. It will be a houseful to be sure, but this way everyone is included. Also the Sunday after the wedding we are inviting them all back again for brunch and to watch us open our presents. So we will get more time with them then as well.

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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Rehearsal Dinner and Out of Town Guests..your opinions?
Posted: Jul 21, 2009 6:49 PM Go to message in response to: 1010VTbride

I'm an OOT guest at pretty much every wedding I'm invited to. That said, I don't like being invited to the RD when I am not in the WP. I feel uncomfortable, like I'm intruding on a private party that I wasn't really meant to attend. And that's generally true: when you're an OOT guest, you're only invited to the RD because you happen to be from OOT. I understand that people are trying to be hospitable when they invite OOT guests, but I always feel like I'm an unwanted add-on, no matter how many people are invited to the RD.

Personally, if I'm traveling for a wedding, I'm not necessarily in town in time for the RD. Unless I'm in the WP, I don't generally take time off from work and arrive a day early to the wedding. More likely, I'll fly out after work on Friday evening - or if the wedding isn't too early on Sat, I'll fly on Sat morning and save myself a night at a hotel. If I do happen to arrive in time for dinner the night before, I'd prefer to fend for myself. We might have friends in the area and want to visit with them, we might know other OOT guests and make plans to catch up with them over dinner, or we might just want to explore the area and try out a local restaurant. So personally, I usually decline RD invitations, unless I'm in the WP. If I'm just a normal guest, one party in one weekend is usually enough for me.

To answer your question about doing a private RD and cocktail hour later, I'll tell you what we did. We wanted just our families and WP at the RD (my MIL ended up adding a bunch of last-minute guests, but that's another story). So we had a small private RD at the location of our choice. We also spread the word through the OOT guests that we'd be stopping by the hotel bar for a drink around 10:00, if anyone wants to join us. Most of them made it there on their own, but we eventually made it there and got to visit with everyone after our RD. Anyway, I think it's a great idea to meet with the OOT guests for a drink after the RD, but I'd have the two events in separate locations so nobody feels like they're invited to half a party.

DaisypathWedding Ticker

Vice President and Guardian of the Toilet Brush of POOP: People Offended by Offended People

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Knoxvegas Posts : 951 Registered: 9/12/07
Re: Rehearsal Dinner and Out of Town Guests..your opinions?
Posted: Jul 21, 2009 11:40 PM Go to message in response to: ArtBride

We invited our OOT guests to the rehearsal dinner because many had never been to my hometown before and it was all family (except one friend of my dad that is like family- I called him "uncle" until I was a teenager). We felt that it was only polite that we invite them to be a part of this because they traveled so far to be there (no less than 2400 miles). Some declined to visit with in town family (mostly DH's side). We had about 30 people total.

But it is really up to you. I like the idea of having a party for the OOT guests the night before because it really gets people energized for the next day. What I would do is give them suggestions of things to do in the area (including local restaurants) while you are having the rehearsal. I hate being in an area I don't know with no clue what to do (bless the hotel concierge!).

Happy planning!

 

"Love is not a matter of counting the years -- it's making the years count."

-Wolfman Jack Smith

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