Hosting a wedding rehearsal dinner? In the lead up to your big day, this informal affair gives you the chance to spend time with the people that matter to you most. “A rehearsal dinner is a perfect way to invite nearest and dearest family, best friends, and your wedding party to an intimate gathering where toasts and conversation flow, and pre-wedding jitters disappear,” explains Tasha Newland, Wedding Creative and Community Founder at The County Wedding Clubs. “A dinner or party like this allows everyone attending to relax into your perfect wedding celebration.”
Meet the Expert
Tasha Newland is a Wedding Creative and Community Founder at The County Wedding Clubs.
Fortunately, you don’t have to be a modern-day Shakespeare to get rehearsal dinner invitation wording right. Here, we're rounding up rehearsal dinner invitation writing tips, plus wording examples to make your own.
Rehearsal Dinner Invitation Writing Tips
If you’ve decided to host a rehearsal dinner, it’s time to get the word out. You can either add a few lines to your wedding invitation or send an entirely separate rehearsal dinner invitation—the choice is yours. When you’re ready to put pen to paper, here are some of the things that you should keep in mind.
1. Keep things simple.
First things first, what exactly should you include on your rehearsal dinner invitations? While you may be tempted to over-elaborate, using flowery language and long paragraphs, doing so is a mistake. Rehearsal dinner invitation wording has to be clear and functional while allowing for a little flair of creativity. “Use simple, easy, and informal information,” says Newland. “The invitations I loved the most had personality, joy, and an unceremonious nature to them.”
2. Include the basics.
You’ll need to get the basics down first. Include the hosts’ names, the couple's names, the location, the date and time, and a RSVP card. Of course, you may also want to include additional details such as meal options and what to bring.
3. Perfect your guest list.
“Your guest list is completely up to you,” says Newland. “It can be as simple as you two, your immediate families, the wedding party, and their plus-ones. You could choose to invite the person officiating your ceremony, allowing them to meet people beforehand.”
4. Be as casual or formal as you please.
When you’re planning many of the events surrounding your wedding day, they are steeped in tradition and, therefore, come with a rulebook. However, since rehearsal dinners are a modern addition to the timeline, you have complete control. “Remember this event is all about your opportunity to celebrate a moment in any way you please because there are no formal requirements. You can do what you like when you like, where you like,” says Newland.
5. Personalize the invitations.
Your rehearsal dinner invitation wording should be unique to you and your partner. You might want to personalize your invitations by adding something special to the mix. For example, you could include an excerpt from a beloved poem or song. Adding in this additional splash of creativity will make the invites memorable.
6. Don’t be confined to paper.
“Your invitation does not always need to be paper-based; you could embrace technology and open your wedding celebrations with a gorgeous website, an electronic invitation, or wedding film,” says Newland. “What could be more you, than your guests actually seeing your face and hearing your voice on your invitation?” Feel free to be creative and choose a method that suits you.
If you have guests coming in from out of town, a digital invitation may be appropriate. Sending an e-card or a video invitation is the fastest way to reach them. Talk to your partner to decide what works best.
7. Plan well in advance.
Nobody likes a last-minute invitation. When you’re working on your rehearsal dinner invitations, be sure to allow enough time for your guests to respond. Not only will this approach mean that more people are likely to attend, but it also makes your job easier. “Remember an invitation allows you to request an RSVP allowing you to have a headcount to give to your venue, caterer or planner,” says Newland. “Time-wise, I believe the advice is six weeks before the event.”
Rehearsal Dinner Invitation Wording Samples
Looking for some inspiration? To offer some help along the way, here are wording samples to consider. Simply edit them to suit your particular dinner plans.
Simple Rehearsal Dinner Invitation Wording
“Please join us for a rehearsal dinner honoring the union of Mr. and Mrs. Smith on Friday 4th March at 7 PM at Il Forno Restaurant, 344 Main Street, San Diego, CA. RSVP to Daniel at [email address] by [date].”
Formal Rehearsal Dinner Invitation Wording
“Mr. and Mrs. Smith request your attendance at their rehearsal dinner on Friday 4th March at 7 PM at Il Forno Restaurant, 344 Main Street, San Diego, CA. Kindly send all responses to Daniel at [email address] by [date].”
Romantic Rehearsal Dinner Invitation Wording
“The soon-to-be wedded Mr. and Mrs. Smith invited you to a celebration of their love on Friday 4th March at 7 PM at Il Forno Restaurant, 344 Main Street, San Diego, CA. Send all rehearsal dinner RSVPs to Daniel at [email address] by [date].”
Creative Rehearsal Dinner Invitation Wording
“‘A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.’ – Mignon McLaughlin. Celebrate the love story of Mr. and Mrs. Smith on Friday 4th March at 7 PM at Il Forno Restaurant, 344 Main Street, San Diego, CA. Send all rehearsal dinner RSVPs to Daniel at [email address] by [date].”
Fun Rehearsal Dinner Invitation Wording
“Before we say ‘I do’, we want to see you! Please join us for a rehearsal dinner honoring the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Smith on Friday 4th March at 7 PM at Il Forno Restaurant, 344 Main Street, San Diego, CA. Send all RSVPs by email to Daniel at [email address] by [date].”