Is it necessary to invite all out-of-town guests to the rehearsal dinner? We have so many I fear the rehearsal will be nearly as large as the wedding.

Out-of-town guests can be invited if your budget and the circumstances allow, but it’s by no means a must.  Traditionally the rehearsal dinner consists of the bride and groom, all attendants and their spouses or partners, the parents of young attendants, the couple’s close relatives, and the officiant and his or her spouse. However, in our increasingly far-flung society, with so many people traveling to attend weddings, inviting out-of-towners has become a trend. If you choose to include some and not others, do so in a clear-cut way—for instance, relatives but not friends. Alternative arrangements for out-of-town guests can include providing a list of local restaurants (a good thing to post on your wedding website anyway), setting up a meet-and-greet at a hotel or bar, or see if local friends would host a dinner, barbecue, or cocktail party.