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Who Is Invited To A Wedding Rehearsal Dinner

Can You Bring A Plus

Who SHOULD be invited to the rehearsal dinner?

Rehearsal dinners are typically much more casual than wedding receptions, but that doesnt mean you can just invite a plus-one on a whim. Typically, if youre given a plus-one to the reception, chances are theyre invited to the rehearsal dinner as well. That said, if the rehearsal dinner invitation is unclear, its a good idea to ask the couple , so you dont show up with a date only for them to be turned away.

Consider The Season/time Of Day

Not only do you want to take the venues formality and theme into consideration, but the time of the year and day as well. Typically, you can gravitate toward lighter colors and materials during warmer months and darker and heavier hues and fabrics during cooler seasons. Additionally, daytime events tend to be more casual than evening events, so the later the start time of the rehearsal dinner, the more dressed up youll typically want to be.

Guests Not Required To Attend The Rehearsal Dinner

Planning the rehearsal dinner guest list is often prepared on a case-by-case basis, according to St. Onge. She uses the example that godparents are not required to attend the rehearsal dinner unless they play a major role in the wedding. The same goes for aunts and uncles.

Ultimately, the bride and groom will make the personal decision of who to invite to the rehearsal dinner, beyond the bridal party. When in doubt, try to be consistent with your invitations. For instance, dont invite the grooms godparents without extending an invitation to the brides. The same rules apply for aunts and uncles.

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What To Consider When Inviting Guests To The Rehearsal Dinner

Figuring out who goes to the rehearsal dinner isnt just about following standard etiquette. There are a few other things youll need to consider.

First, you should always keep your budget in mind to avoid spending more than you want to. Sit down with your spouse-to-be and make a wedding budget breakdown. This budget breakdown should allocate funds to different aspects of your wedding the dress, the venue, and the rehearsal dinner. Having these numbers on hand can help you figure out how many people you can invite to the rehearsal dinner without going over budget.

Second, think about any venue limitations. If youve already chosen a rehearsal dinner venue, dont invite more guests than the venue can accommodate. Keep in mind that many venues charge per guest, so youll want to make a rehearsal dinner guest list and stick to it to avoid going over budget or space limitations.

If you have more people than you can accommodate, think about holding a smaller event for those individuals. For example, you can host a small brunch or a cocktail hour with a few close friends and extended family members who cant be included in the rehearsal dinner.

How Much Money Should The Grooms Parents Give

Rehearsal Dinner Invitation

According to WeddingWire, the parents of the bride and groom collectively donate around $19,000 to the wedding, which accounts for almost two-thirds of the overall expenditure. The brides parents typically provide $12,000, while the grooms parents contribute $7,000. According to, just one out of every ten couples pays for their wedding fully on their own.

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Who Should We Invite To The Rehearsal Dinner

Bridesmaids, groomsmen, ushers, flower girls and ring bearers , your officiant and other close family and friends form the traditional group, but cultural or religious factors may have an influence. In Jewish tradition, for example, it’s customary for anyone invited to the wedding to be invited to the rehearsal dinner. The feeling is that they’ve flown out, they’ve given a gift, and they need to eat. End of story.

That said, you do have the right to invite who you wantor even to hold two kinds of events. While some etiquette purists say two events makes some guests feel excluded and awkward, more and more couples are now opting to have their dinner at a swanky restaurant with the usual close-knit crew, then meet up with more friends and out-of-towners later at the restaurant’s bar for the pre-wedding toasts.

If your budget precludes including every single wedding guest at the posh rehearsal dinner, send out a different invitation to those you can’t host. It’s all in how you word the invite: Simply ask this group of guests to arrive at a later time for the rehearsal “party.” They’ll probably never guess that the actual dinner has already happened, because they’ll be too busy noshing on delicious tray-passed appetizers, cocktails, and desserts!

One more thing: Destination wedding etiquette usually involves inviting everyone in attendance to the rehearsal dinner or some sort of pre-wedding event.

Murrays Tivoli

Consider The Rehearsal Dinners Formality

One of the best ways to decide what to wear to a rehearsal dinner is to check the venues formality. A quick peek at the wedding website or Instagram should give you an idea of the general dress code of the space. Here are a few outfit ideas depending on the type/elegance of the event:

Activity Party

An activity partywhich is essentially a party where a certain activity is taking placeusually calls for specific attire. If the rehearsal dinner youre attending is a campout, hike, beach day, or something similar, youll want to dress appropriately for the setting. Things like sturdy shoes, swimsuits, and sunscreen can make all the difference here.

Come as You Are/Casual

A come as you are or casual theme is exactly that: an invitation to come dressed are you would normally Check out where the rehearsal dinner is taking placewhether a restaurant, a house, or a rental venueto get a better idea of outfit inspiration, but elevated casual should be more than sufficient.


Whether its a Halloween rehearsal dinner party, a winter wonderland celebration, or a patriotic summer barbecue, a themed event means you can have a little more fun with your look. As long as youre comfortable and appropriate, feel free to lean into the theme and dress the part of the party vibe.

*Semi-Formal/Dressy Casual



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When Do Rehearsal Dinners Take Place

Rehearsal dinners typically take place after a couples wedding rehearsal. The rehearsal is to help everyone in the ceremony learn where to stand, specific music cues, and have the opportunity to practice walking down the aisle before the big day. This normally happens the day before the actual ceremony, but some couples choose to have their rehearsals a few days before the ceremony or even on the morning of the wedding, depending on factors such as timing and venue/bridal party availability.

Regardless of when the actual rehearsal takes place, the rehearsal dinner is often the night before the wedding as a way to bring the couples VIPs together ahead of the ceremony.

Who Sends The Rehearsal Dinner Invitations

Who to Invite to the Rehearsal Dinner | Perfect Wedding

According to wedding planner Laura Maddox of Magnolia Celebrates in Atlanta, Georgia, whoever pays for the event gets final say on who to invite to rehearsal dinner, sends out the rehearsal dinner invitations , and receives the RSVPs. Just like with any party, the hosts are the keeper of the invite.

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Who Is Invited To The Rehearsal Dinner

Guests to the rehearsal dinner should be guests to the wedding itself. Generally people go simple and only include the immediate families, and you could include the wedding party and their partners, especially if theyve been helping with the wedding set up and will be staying with you overnight.

A more involved dinner might include out of town guests, or really anyone who is coming along to the wedding and fancies beginning the celebrations early. A rehearsal dinner is a good chance to maximize quality time with out of town guests, if you decided to open it up to a wider group. But think carefully whether you and your partner will have the time, energy and patience to catch up with guests after a busy day, and before an even busier one.

Just because guests are invited to the rehearsal dinner, doesnt mean theyre expected at the actual ceremony rehearsal. Thats generally strictly wedding party only. Keep the ceremony rehearsal to the essential players only, as it is chaotic enough without well-intentioned guests butting in with their wisecracks or opinions.

The Wedding Party And Officiant

The most important people to have at your ceremony rehearsal are anyone who will be participating in some way, whether it’s walking down the aisle or doing a reading. Of course, the couple, parents, and officiant need to be present . You don’t necessarily need to go through your vows line-by-line, but reviewing the general order of things will help ensure that everyone knows when their part is coming up.

Have as much of your wedding party there as possible. If one or two members are on later flights or don’t get in until the morning of your wedding, that’s fine, but you want the majority of your wedding party there to practice the processional and recessional so they can fill in anyone else.

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Who Gets An Invitation To The Rehearsal Dinner

If you’re starting to plan your rehearsal dinner, then you’ve probably given at least some thought to the guest list. Some invites are easy-immediate family members and the bridal party are obvious attendees, but what about your bridesmaids’ plus-ones? Or your brother’s new girlfriend? Etiquette dictates that all out-of-town guests should be invited to this pre-wedding party, but what if more than half of your big-day attendees are traveling for the ceremony and reception? Crafting the guest list for this event can be almost as difficult as deciding who gets invited to the wedding! That’s why we’re sharing a few helpful tips that will help you determine exactly who should attend your rehearsal dinner.


Rehearse Eat Drink Invitation

wedding rehearsal dinner invitation

Design: Loree Mayer Design

This simple invite is perfect for inviting guests to join you at the rehearsal dinner. It comes in wood grain, stone paper, and Kraft paper styles and you can customize the font to match your wedding stationery. Use it to invite guests to your rehearsal dinner and kick off the wedding weekend in style.

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Everyone In The Wedding Party

At the minimum, youll want to include anyone directly involved in the rehearsal, says Kevin Dennis of Fantasy Sound Event Services, who is also a certified planner.

Be it parents, immediate family members and the wedding party, the dinner typically takes place right after the rehearsal, so its natural to want to include everyone in the festivities.

Etiquette For Plus One Invitations

Kate Lerman, the owner and founder of Chicago Vintage Weddings, and her team plan dozens of luxury events each year, including weddings.

Lerman says that your invitation should indicate if you can bring a plus one to the rehearsal dinner. Members of the wedding party should receive a plus one, as should guests in committed relationships. Its also a nice gesture to provide out-of-town guests traveling to a destination wedding with a plus one. They may not know many people at the rehearsal dinner, so having a plus one will allow them to feel more relaxed.

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Who Goes To The Rehearsal Dinner: Planning Etiquette And Tips

A rehearsal dinner is typically the last official gathering before your wedding day. After all of your efforts rehearsing the events of the big day, you get to sit down with your loved ones and enjoy a delicious meal. If youre wondering who to invite to the rehearsal dinner, youre not alone. Figuring out which guests to invite can be tricky when trying to abide by etiquette and also adhere to a budget.

Here, well highlight some considerations when creating your rehearsal dinner guest list and share what you need to know about who goes to the rehearsal dinner. Well also share a variety of stunning rehearsal dinner invitations to excite your guests about the special event.

Do: Include Speeches And Toasts

Pre-Wedding Planning : How to Plan a Rehearsal Dinner

Who makes speeches and toasts at the rehearsal dinner? Typically, both the father of the bride and groom will make a speech but if you have a non-traditional family, or simply want to spice things up, let your heart decide which family member gets the honor of saying a few words.

The maid of honor and best man also usually offer some fun or heart-warming speeches, but feel free to throw it open to anyone that wants to share a memory or make a toast.

If youre hosting an open bar, watch out that the toast doesnt turn into a roast and leave you burned!

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Is A Rehearsal Dinner Necessary

Technically speaking, no, it is not essential to have a rehearsal dinner. However, planning a wedding is a lot of work, and having a little get-together with those closest to you the night before the ceremony can be a very nice touch. Similarly, many people will feel uncomfortable not inviting people to the rehearsal dinner that are invited to the wedding. However, one should remember that the dinner is only for those actively involved in the ceremony or close family to bond further and toast the couple!

Rehearsal Dinner Location Ideas

There is no shortage of rehearsal dinner location options. You can stick with a simple dinner and then call it a night, or plan to eat some food and have some fun afterward.

The most important thing when choosing your location, however, is finding a venue thats easy for guests to get toideally close to your wedding venue, especially for out-of-town guests.

Be sure to think about accessibility, too. Even if your rehearsal dinner is a few miles from your wedding venue, is there public transit that can go there for guests who might not have a car? Does the facility have full accessibility options for anyone that might need it?

With that in mind, weve compiled some dinner location ideas to help you plan.

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You Dont Have To Invite: Children

And finally, if you dont want little ones there, you do not have to invite children to your rehearsal dinner. Make sure their parents know its an adults only party by stating it on your invitation or simply zipping them a quick message asking the parents to please make it a date night.

Happy planning, brides and grooms! xoxo

Do Rehearsal Dinner Guests Get A Plus

PRINTABLE Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Invitation Template, Printable ...

If a family member or friend in the wedding party is traveling out of town with a guest for your wedding, its good form to let them bring their plus-one to the rehearsal dinner. For guests that live in town or dont have a significant other, theres no pressure to extend an offer for a plus-one.

Its important to note that if youre not allowing plus-ones to the weddingperiodthen theres no need to offer up plus-ones for the dinner either.

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