Do We Invite All of the Out-of-Town Guests to Our Rehearsal Dinner?

invite all out of town guests rehearsal dinner
Photo by Nicole Marie Photography

Q: We’re getting married in my hometown, which means that a lot of the guests are having to travel from out of town to attend. I’ve heard that you’re supposed to invite all out-of-town guests to your rehearsal dinner, but our budget is limited and it would be A LOT of extra people. Is it rude to not invite them to it? – Madison

A: While most couples would love to invite everybody to the rehearsal dinner, the fact is that it’s usually not possible in most cases. If you have the funds and would like to include everybody, then my all means you definitely should. However if your budget is limited then it is perfectly fine, even in the case of a “sort of” destination wedding like you’re having, to only invite your wedding party and close family members (see more about who should be invited in our Guide to Rehearsal Dinners here). What you could do is to let those out-of-town friends know that your rehearsal dinner is going to be very small with only family and the wedding party, you would love to meet up with them after for a drink. If you are all staying at the same hotel it would make it an easy meeting spot for a quick drink before you go to bed (don’t stay up too late the night before your wedding! LOL). NOTE: Remember to provide your out-of-town guests with a list of local food and drinking recommendations in your welcome bag!

The ONLY time I take exception to this is if you’re having a true destination wedding at a resort where EVERYBODY is from out of town. Typically those resorts will offer a rehearsal dinner/wedding reception package or other discounted option. But if not then I recommend having either a welcome cocktail and/or appetizer event for guests, or a simple BBQ that everybody can come to. While I don’t expect to go to a rehearsal dinner if I’m traveling to somebody’s hometown, it is more expected if it’s a destination location for everybody that is invited.

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