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Who is invited to the rehearsal dinner?

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I searched the forum for this topic but most of what I found was about whether or not to have one at all, so forgive me if I've missed something!

 

FI's family is starting to plan the rehearsal dinner.  Originally they planned to invite all guests.  Our guest list is 145 people, and based on verbal responses, we are expecting about 95 to show up.  (I know people may back out, but looking at this list, it is really mostly close family and close friends, so I'd be shocked if we ended up with any fewer than 80.)

 

While I really want to show all of our guests a good time, I don't think they should feel like they have to invite everyone to the rehersal dinner, especially if they're doing something on the more formal side.  It would be different if we were talking about excluding 10 guests, but it's the difference between 30 people (assuming we invite our entire families, in the wedding or not) and 80-95 people.  Thoughts?

 

I mentioned doing welcome cocktails or something like that instead, but then you have the awkward part where the family/wedding party leaves and everyone else stays.  I really think if they want to include everyone, just doing something causal is fine.  Hoping you guys can give me some feedback.  Thanks!

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Wanted to add that FI and I are considering hosting a champagne brunch the day after the wedding for all of the guests.  So it's not like they won't have any other activity going on.  Plus, most people will probably be coming for a long weekend (it's not all inclusive), and we want to make sure we don't overschedule things.  It's tough to balance!

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I think it's fine to have just close family/wedding party invited to the rehearsal dinner. Are you arriving at the resort only the day before the wedding? Because you could always have welcome drinks on the first night you are there and then a private rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding. But like you said, you don't want to overbook. Also, if people are only coming for a long weekend, it's probably best to leave them to their own devices for the most part. In my opionion. :)

 

We are going to have a private "rehearsal dinner" even though there will be no rehearsing. Lol. We are thinking that on the night before the wedding we will take my fiancee's parents and brother and my mom out for a nice dinner off of the resort. We aren't having a wedding party or else we'd probably bring them, too. We are having a much smaller wedding (expecting about 20-25 people, currently have 17 booked) but I don't feel bad about leaving them to have a private dinner the night before the wedding. The wedding reception is the big dinner/party for everyone!!

 

Just as a final thought...do what you want and what feels right for you! I don't think that all those guests would feel slighted if they weren't invited to the rehearsal dinner, and it's an added bonus that you guys are thinking of doing a champagne brunch the day after!

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Originally Posted by Branya2012 View Post

 

I think it's fine to have just close family/wedding party invited to the rehearsal dinner. Are you arriving at the resort only the day before the wedding? Because you could always have welcome drinks on the first night you are there and then a private rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding. But like you said, you don't want to overbook. Also, if people are only coming for a long weekend, it's probably best to leave them to their own devices for the most part. In my opionion. :)

 

We are going to have a private "rehearsal dinner" even though there will be no rehearsing. Lol. We are thinking that on the night before the wedding we will take my fiancee's parents and brother and my mom out for a nice dinner off of the resort. We aren't having a wedding party or else we'd probably bring them, too. We are having a much smaller wedding (expecting about 20-25 people, currently have 17 booked) but I don't feel bad about leaving them to have a private dinner the night before the wedding. The wedding reception is the big dinner/party for everyone!!

 

Just as a final thought...do what you want and what feels right for you! I don't think that all those guests would feel slighted if they weren't invited to the rehearsal dinner, and it's an added bonus that you guys are thinking of doing a champagne brunch the day after!

Ok thank you so much - that helps!  My family will get there on Thursday night, but most people probably won't, and we will have a lot of prep work to do, so I'd rather keep Thursday night open.  My guess is that most people will do Fri - Mon, and in that case, if I were a guest, I'd rather have the first night to unwind and check out the beach rather than scrambling to make an event anyway.  Thank you!

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I had the same dilemma about a rehearsal dinner which my FIL's were going to pay per tradition. We have 60 guests attending but it would've been so osty to invite everyone to rehearsal dinner. I've heard traditionally the wedding party and their date, immediate family and dates, and out of towners are invited but at a DW everyone is from out of town! So we are only inviting immediate family plus their spouse/dateand wedding party plus their spouse/date to rehearsal dinner. For us that's 25 people and it workout well because our resort offers a semi-private rehearsal dinner for up to 20 people and it'd only be $15 pp for over that. Basically we get a reserved corner/area in 1 of the restaurants for 2 hrs with a customized menu. We get married on a Friday. So, we're having a 1 hour welcome cocktail party on Wednesday for all our guests with private bar and bartender, passed hors doeuvres (also a perk from our resort since we did a group deal that qualified us for this). Hopefully they have arrived by then, if not oh well nobody can say they were left out lol. Our rehearsal and rehearsal dinner is on Thursday so that way it avoids the whole awkwardness of leaving the uninvited guests behind since it's on a totally different day. We aren't doing the traditional morning after brunch thing for everyone. Again, just too costly. We'll see everyone the next morning at the restaurants/buffets. Check with your resort that they offer perks and complimentary things like the ones I've mentioned! Sometimes they don't tell you unless you ask. Good luck!

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Originally Posted by maridr2012 View Post

 

I had the same dilemma about a rehearsal dinner which my FIL's were going to pay per tradition. We have 60 guests attending but it would've been so osty to invite everyone to rehearsal dinner. I've heard traditionally the wedding party and their date, immediate family and dates, and out of towners are invited but at a DW everyone is from out of town! So we are only inviting immediate family plus their spouse/dateand wedding party plus their spouse/date to rehearsal dinner. For us that's 25 people and it workout well because our resort offers a semi-private rehearsal dinner for up to 20 people and it'd only be $15 pp for over that. Basically we get a reserved corner/area in 1 of the restaurants for 2 hrs with a customized menu.

We get married on a Friday. So, we're having a 1 hour welcome cocktail party on Wednesday for all our guests with private bar and bartender, passed hors doeuvres (also a perk from our resort since we did a group deal that qualified us for this). Hopefully they have arrived by then, if not oh well nobody can say they were left out lol. Our rehearsal and rehearsal dinner is on Thursday so that way it avoids the whole awkwardness of leaving the uninvited guests behind since it's on a totally different day.

We aren't doing the traditional morning after brunch thing for everyone. Again, just too costly. We'll see everyone the next morning at the restaurants/buffets. Check with your resort that they offer perks and complimentary things like the ones I've mentioned! Sometimes they don't tell you unless you ask. Good luck!

I think my future MIL is feeling pressure to invite all guests just because the only destination wedding she's ever attended was in Italy, and cost wasn't a concern for the bride's family, so they did include everyone.  But it doesn't sound like that's the norm, especially for 100 guests!

 

We're not staying at an all inclusive, and our resort doesn't offer packages, so anything we do adds up very quickly.  I love what you're decided to do though - I think that's perfect.  Thanks for the info and happy planning to you!

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Random question about rehearsals:

 

I understand that when you are getting married at home, you do a rehearsal with your family and bridal party, to figure out the logistics of what everyone is supposed to do (where to stand, when to walk, etc) at the ceremony. However, there seems to be no such thing when getting married on the beach. DO are we all (bride, groom, bridal party and parents) supposed to know what to do?? It stresses me out a little to think that without a rehearsal and everyone knowing their role, things will get a little messy/chaotic?!?

Any opinions?

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We're planning to do some kind of rehearsal.  I know the officiant's fee includes a meeting before the wedding, and we will just try to lump that in.  I'm going to leave it to our coordinator, but at the very least, even if it's not at the actual wedding location, I will have everyone involved there when we meet with the officiant to make sure no one is confused.

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Most resorts will want you there at least 2 days prior to your wedding to go over final details, and they will do a rehearsal as well with their onsite WC.  That's what my resort is doing.  I have rehearsal on Thursday, and wedding is on Friday.  You should check with your resort to confirm they do this as well.

Originally Posted by DestinationGirl View Post

Random question about rehearsals:

 

I understand that when you are getting married at home, you do a rehearsal with your family and bridal party, to figure out the logistics of what everyone is supposed to do (where to stand, when to walk, etc) at the ceremony. However, there seems to be no such thing when getting married on the beach. DO are we all (bride, groom, bridal party and parents) supposed to know what to do?? It stresses me out a little to think that without a rehearsal and everyone knowing their role, things will get a little messy/chaotic?!?

Any opinions?

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This is also one of our dilemmas. We're thinking we'll have about 40-45 guest and planning on only having our parents and wedding party for rehearsal dinner. We also would like to surprise all of our guest with a catamaran ride. We'll see how we can schedule that in. Anyone else plan on the same?

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