Q. Who and how many are typically invited to a wedding rehearsal dinner? I always thought it was the bridal party and guests, parents, grandparent. Now I am told that all of the out of town guests are invited, which, as the mother of the groom, means a larger expense for my husband and me. Am I allowed to limit the number of guests at the dinner?
A. Guests at the rehearsal dinner include parents and grandparents of the bride and groom, siblings of the bride and groom, members of the wedding party, the officiant, and the spouses/fiancés/fiancées/significant others of each of those guests. There is no reason to invite out of town guests unless space and finances permit and you desire to invite them – the rehearsal dinner is really the time for immediate family members and members of the bridal party to share special moments before the flurry of the wedding. Making the guest list too big detracts from this closeness. There is no need to invite a date for any single persons – but it is expected that significant others be invited. It also can be difficult to include aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. because there can be a huge number of them. It is up to you whether godparents or a very close aunt and uncle are invited.
Your out of town guests may enjoy having a little free time to explore the area, rest from their trip, and/or enjoy one another’s company. You do not have an obligation to entertain them nor would they expect to be invited to the rehearsal dinner.