Invite Inquiry: Protocol on rehearsal dinner attendance

by epi on May 23, 2012

Q: In general, what is the rule of thumb when extending invitations to a
rehearsal dinner prior to a wedding?

A: We assume you mean who should be invited to the rehearsal dinner. If this is the case, guests at the rehearsal dinner include parents and grandparents of the bride and groom, siblings of the bride and groom, members of the wedding party, the officiant, and the spouses/fiances/fiancees/significant others of each of those guests. There is no reason to invite out of town guests unless space and finances permit and you desire to invite them – the rehearsal dinner is really the time for immediate family members and members of the bridal party to share special moments before the flurry of the wedding. Making the guest list too big detracts from this closeness. There is no need to invite a date for any single persons – but it is expected that significant others be invited. It also can be difficult to include aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. because there can be a huge number of them. It is up to you whether godparents or a very close aunt and uncle are invited.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Nina May 23, 2012 at 11:50 am

To follow on from this question, how should invitations to a rehearsal dinner be issued? Is it a casual enough occasion to use email (or eVite), or do we still need mailed cards?



Zakafury May 24, 2012 at 9:29 am

Printed invitations for grandparents and siblings who aren’t in the wedding party might be nice, but I don’t think there is an expectation.

I think that most people would be invited in person or via telephone when dealing with other wedding details. As a groomsman, I have not received any printed invitations to rehearsal dinners.

Email is certainly a fine way to communicate if your close friends and family tend to use it (and I love knowing the address is available in my smartphone if something goes wrong on the way). I would not be inclined to invite grandparents via email, but your mileage may vary.


Courtney June 12, 2012 at 1:47 pm

I think it really depends on your taste! I wouldn’t be offended if I were a bridesmaid and got an email about it. However, with that said, I would prefer a printed invitation. It can be a printed-at-home invite too! In the digital age, even for those of us that are always on our devices, love a formal invitation. For us, the groom’s parents are hosting so their names will get a chance to be on this invitation while my parents will be on the wedding invitation. It in a way gives the grooms parents “ownership” of the event so they can feel a part of the wedding events.


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