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Rehearsal Dinner Invitations Etiquette: Everything You Need to Know

Rehearsal Dinner Invitations Etiquette: Everything You Need to Know

Sending out rehearsal dinner invitations is an important part of your wedding planning process. It’s essential to ensure that the invitations are sent out correctly and timely, and that they convey all the necessary information to your guests. Here’s a comprehensive guide to the etiquette of sending rehearsal dinner invitations, covering everything from timing and wording to guest list considerations.

Timing: When to Send Out Invitations

Plan Ahead

  • Do: Send out rehearsal dinner invitations about 4-6 weeks before the event. This allows guests enough time to RSVP and make any necessary travel arrangements.
  • Don’t: Wait until the last minute to send invitations. Late invites can cause confusion and inconvenience for your guests.

Guest List: Who to Invite

Selective Invitations

  • Do: Invite immediate family, the wedding party (including bridesmaids and groomsmen), and any out-of-town guests who have arrived for the wedding. You may also want to include the officiant and their spouse.
  • Don’t: Feel obligated to invite everyone attending the wedding. The rehearsal dinner is typically a more intimate gathering.

Wording: How to Phrase Your Invitations

Clear and Concise

  • Do: Include all essential details in the invitation, such as the date, time, location, and RSVP information. If the event has a specific theme or dress code, mention that as well.
  • Don’t: Use overly complex language. Keep the wording clear and straightforward to avoid any misunderstandings.

Format: Printed vs. Digital Invitations

Choose Your Medium

  • Do: Choose the format that best suits your style and budget. Printed invitations are traditional and can add a formal touch, while digital invitations are eco-friendly and convenient.
  • Don’t: Overlook the preferences of your guests. Ensure that your chosen format is accessible for everyone on your guest list.

Design: Reflecting the Theme and Tone

Consistent Aesthetic

  • Do: Design your rehearsal dinner invitations to reflect the theme and tone of your wedding. This can help set the mood and give guests an idea of what to expect.
  • Don’t: Feel restricted to formal designs. Depending on the theme, casual or creative designs can be just as appropriate.

RSVP Details: Making It Easy for Guests

Clear Instructions

  • Do: Provide clear instructions for how and when to RSVP. Include a contact number or email address, and consider providing a pre-addressed, stamped envelope if you’re using printed invitations.
  • Don’t: Forget to include an RSVP deadline. This helps you get a final headcount and plan accordingly.

Additional Information: Keeping Guests Informed

Extra Details

  • Do: Include any additional information your guests might need, such as directions to the venue, parking details, or a brief itinerary of the evening.
  • Don’t: Overwhelm the invitation with too much information. If needed, include an insert with extra details or direct guests to a wedding website.

Personal Touches: Adding a Special Touch

Make It Personal

  • Do: Add personal touches to your invitations, such as a handwritten note or custom illustration. This makes the invitation feel special and shows your guests that you appreciate their presence.
  • Don’t: Skip personalization entirely. Even small details can make a big difference.

Etiquette for Changes: Handling Last-Minute Changes

Communicate Clearly

  • Do: Inform guests promptly if there are any changes to the rehearsal dinner details. Use the same method you used for the initial invitations, whether it’s printed or digital.
  • Don’t: Assume guests will get the message through word of mouth. Clear and direct communication is essential.

Follow-Up: Confirming Attendance

Ensure Accuracy

  • Do: Follow up with guests who haven’t responded by the RSVP deadline. A polite reminder can help ensure you have an accurate headcount.
  • Don’t: Ignore non-responders. Knowing the exact number of attendees is crucial for planning the event.

Conclusion

Sending out rehearsal dinner invitations involves more than just picking a design and mailing them out. By following these etiquette guidelines, you can ensure that your invitations are timely, informative, and reflective of your event’s tone. With clear communication and thoughtful touches, you’ll set the stage for a seamless and enjoyable rehearsal dinner, creating a perfect prelude to your wedding day.

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