When couples start the process of ordering wedding invitations, they often ask about rehearsal dinner invitations. There are a couple different ways to handle these, depending on what works best for you and your guests.
Do I actually need to send rehearsal dinner invitations?
Well, yes – otherwise it leads to assumptions which might mean uninvited guests or worse, missing family members or friends. The dinner is typically done after the ceremony rehearsal and is often the night before the wedding. Traditionally, the rehearsal dinner is hosted (planned and paid for) by the groom’s parents, but in more modern times this has become fluid.
Who is invited?
Everyone who participates in the wedding rehearsal should be invited to the dinner, plus their partners. This includes the wedding party (bridesmaids, groomsmen, ushers), the officiant, and immediate family of the bride and groom to be.
Some couples choose to invite all out-of-town guests, but this is totally optional. It is a way to get the party started and I say, the more the merrier! However, if budget and/or space doesn’t allow a large guest count, provide your traveling guests with local dinner recommendations. This can be done by leaving a welcome note in each guest’s hotel room.
Mailing Rehearsal Dinner Invitations
Traditional etiquette states that the rehearsal dinner invitations should be mailed separately, and after, the wedding invitations. They can come from whomever is hosting and may or may not match the design of the other stationery. I always enjoy creating a rehearsal dinner invitation that complements the original design since these little details are what make your wedding special!
If you are mailing a separate card, the rehearsal dinner invitation should be sent about 3-4 weeks before the event date.
You can browse rehearsal dinner invitation designs here in my Etsy shop!
Including with Wedding Invitations
I always say rules are made to be broken – especially traditional wedding etiquette rules. I think understanding the etiquette is important, but it doesn’t mean every rule has to be followed. In an effort to save on paper, budget, and confusion some couples include an extra insert with their wedding invitation suite for the rehearsal invitation. It is printed on a smaller card, so only the most important details are listed. The insert is designed to match the rest of the wedding suite, but also provides an opportunity to do something different and fun!
What Information to Include
Speaking of what to include, the rehearsal dinner invitation should list all important logistics. The when and where are definitely included, along with the bride and groom’s names. Many times, the host is also named.
Feel free to get creative with wording! Some of my favorite rehearsal dinner invitations include titles like, “The Night Before”, “Love and Laughter before Happily Ever After” and of course, “Eat, Drink, and Be Married”.
If the venue or hosts need a headcount, make sure to include RSVP information on the rehearsal dinner invitation. Whether by phone, text, or email don’t forget to include the name of the person who is handling RSVPs and a deadline to reply!