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Who to Invite to a Rehearsal Dinner

The big day is just hours away! In less than 24 hours, the future bride and groom will head down the aisle to say their “I do’s,” and tie the knot! The rehearsal dinner is the last big event before the wedding and it's a chance for the bride and groom to spend time with those closest to them.

It can sometimes be a challenge to figure out who to invite to a rehearsal dinner. Here are some general rules you can use to build the rehearsal dinner guest list.

  • Wedding Party: Invite the wedding party, along with their significant others to the rehearsal dinner. Flower girls and ring bearers are part of the wedding party. Also include the officiant, priest or rabbi. The wedding party’s attendance is crucial, as the bride and groom will rehearse the wedding ceremony and review the order that the bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls and ring bearers will walk down the aisle.
  • Immediate Family: Immediate family members, such as parents, grandparents and siblings should be invited to partake in the rehearsal dinner. The toast will likely be made by a parent. The bride and groom are also encouraged to make a speech to thank their guests for attending the dinner and to thank close friends and family for their love and support.
  • Out-of-State Guests: Out-of-state guests expect to be invited to a rehearsal dinner, especially since they will have made the effort to travel for the wedding. If there are many out-of-state guests all staying at the same hotel, it is beneficial to hold the rehearsal dinner at or near the hotel.
  • Children: If children are not invited to the wedding, there is no need to invite them to the rehearsal dinner. If children are invited to the wedding, it is appropriate to use your discretion about whether or not to invite to them to the rehearsal dinner. Keep in mind that if the children are from out-of-state, it will be difficult for the parents to find a babysitter. The rehearsal dinner can run a few hours long. Supply activities for the children to partake in, such as simple arts and crafts, play dough or coloring books. If there is a large group of children, hire a babysitter to attend the rehearsal dinner, and keep an eye on the children.
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