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Special Circumstances > Rehearsal Dinner Dilemma

Q. My mother says that all out of town guests need to be invited to our rehearsal dinner, but my fiancés family disagrees. Who’s right? Who gets invited to the rehearsal dinner?

A. The answer to this question depends on your event, your style, and your budget. Traditionally, the rehearsal dinner is attended by the bride and the groom, their immediate families, all the attendants plus their spouses or partners, the wedding officiant, and his or her spouse.

It has become increasingly common (especially in the case of destination weddings) to include all out-of-town guests (or even all guests on the list). This is, of course, a very generous gesture, and it is by no means necessary. If you dream of having an intimate rehearsal dinner, you should do so. Invite any out of town guests to meet up after dinner, or include a list of restaurants or activity suggestions to be left for them at their hotel. While it’s true that you should put some thought into how their evening will be spent (since they have traveled a distance to attend your event), you are not required to invite everyone to every wedding-related event. Discuss your options with your fiancé and choose the route that makes you both happy and comfortable.