Who To Invite
Etiquette suggests that beyond inviting those who would be part of the actual rehearsal of the ceremony (wedding party, parents and their spouses, siblings and flowers girls and ring-bearers), that you should extend an invitation to the Rehearsal Dinner to their significant others (and parents of the littles ones) and consider family that are in the area that evening from out of town. In other words, those who have travelled to be there for your wedding day.
The queen of all things etiquette, Emily Post, adds:
When single attendants have been invited to bring a date to the wedding, it is kind to include their dates at the rehearsal dinner. At larger gatherings, aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews of the bride and groom are frequently included as well. After that, any number of people may be invited, including out-of-town guests, close friends, and godparents—if you want a larger group at this dinner.
Or, you could keep the rehearsal dinner small, and add another event, typically called a “welcome party” for a larger number of guests. See our post on that here.
What to Wear
If you’re going rather traditional with your attire on wedding day, the rehearsal dinner is an opportunity to be a bit more bold, colorful or have some unconventional fun. Ness wore a silver sequined mini dress with embroidered flowers and it was a very different look than her more formal lace wedding gown by Peter Langner.
Whatever you chose to wear, make sure you have taken the time to try it on, have it fitted, and make sure you are comfortable in it!
The Design and Experience
Similarly to the approach around what to wear, we would recommend having the rehearsal dinner and/or welcome party be a completely different experience and level of formality from wedding day. Having a traditional plated seated dinner on wedding day? Maybe the rehearsal dinner is a family style meal with light passed bites and drinks at a welcome party. Keeping it to whites and greens on wedding day? Then maybe you want something more vibrant and punchy for the welcome party!
Ness McGovern Events & Design is New-Jersey based wedding planning company, specializing in full-planning and design services, we service New Jersey, New York City and up and down the northeast coast. We’ve had the pleasure of guiding couples through wedding planning in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and New York City, Vermont, Cape Cod, and Rhode Island.
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