The Wedding Rehearsal is usually the day before the wedding and most often includes immediate family and the wedding party. While it may not be a requirement to send formal invitations to just those people since they will already know about the rehearsal itself, if you are invited anyone outside that, sending a formal invitation will help make those guests feel welcome and included in this special evening.
Regardless of the formality of your rehearsal dinner (formal sit-down dinner to a casual outside BBQ), your rehearsal dinner is the perfect, more intimate time to spend with your most important people.
The host of the evening should send out proper invitations. This not only ensures that your guests will all be on the same page when it comes to the timing of the evening’s events, it also welcomes your guests making them feel more comfortable about attending compared to just word-of-mouth. This is especially true for anyone that is invited that won’t be directly participating in the rehearsal itself.
Being invitation professionals, we want to help you with this all-inclusive guide to wedding rehearsal dinner invitations so that you know exactly what you need to do for the invitations for your event. This includes the proper wording, when to send out the invitations and so much more.
Pick the Perfect Design
Just like the wedding invitations and other wedding stationery, there are endless invitation styles and themes available to fit any style and budget. Have fun with this because the rehearsal invitations don’t have to match the wedding invitations at all (we recommend they don’t). Instead focus on picking a design that reflects the formality of the rehearsal dinner. If possible, also consider the couple’s personalities when selecting a design; you are honoring the soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs. after all.
What to Include on the Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Invitation
You’ve found the perfect design and now it’s time to personalize it. Below is a list of the key elements that you should be sure to include on the rehearsal dinner invitation:
- The names of the couple. We suggest writing out the full name on more formal invitations but for more casual invites, it’s OK to do just first names or first and last names only.
- The Date of the event. Be sure to include the day of the week, the month, the day and the year. Write out the date for a more formal invitation or use numerals if the dinner will be more casual.
- The time of the dinner.* Because the rehearsal dinner is often the night before the wedding, the event cannot linger on all night. Everyone will need to get a good night’s sleep so we even suggest including not only the start time but also an end time as a polite reminder that the evening must end. This is also helpful for dinners held at a restaurant or hall where there is a time limit on the party.
- The location of the Dinner. Include not only the name of the location but also provide the full address.
- The host’s name(s). Traditionally the wedding rehearsal dinner is hosted by the groom’s parents but it doesn’t have to be. Today many couples are hosting the event themselves or someone other than the groom’s parents are taking charge.
- The RSVP date and method. For a simple invitation without an additional RSVP card, be sure to provide the rsvp date, and either an email address or phone number of whomever will be accepting the replies. As a general rule, guests should reply roughly 3-4 weeks before the rehearsal dinner.
- Many couples that we work with prefer our invitations that also include the rehearsal time and location as well. Because wedding parties are more and more spread out, making sure that everyone is on the same page with times and locations of both the rehearsal and the dinner to follow makes sense and puts the couple at ease.
When to Send out the Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Invitations
Now that you’ve got the perfect invitation and have it personalized with just the right wording, it’s time to get them ready to mail out to your guests. But how do you know when the right time to send them out is? We’ve got you covered.
Mail out your wedding rehearsal dinner invitations four to six weeks before the wedding but make sure that they go out after the wedding invitations have been mailed. Wedding invitations should be mailed out 6-8 weeks before the wedding but if the couple is behind or you aren’t sure, double check with the couple before dropping the rehearsal invitations into the mail.
There was a time when the rehearsal invitations were mailed inside of the wedding invitations to those that are invited. If preferred, this can still be done but most people today are more accustomed to receiving them separately.
For a little added help planning to ensure your invitations are done and ready to be mailed on time, you can download this FREE rehearsal dinner planning checklist and timeline.