Wedding Etiquette - Rehearsal Dinner

Wedding Etiquette - Rehearsal Dinner
My brother is getting married in July. Both he and his bride live here. However, the bride is from another town, about 5 hours away. The wedding will take place in her home town. We (my parents and I) have some questions regarding the rehearsal dinner.

  1. Is it proper to have the rehearsal dinner at the bride's parents' home?
  2. Who is usually invited to the rehearsal dinner?
  3. What part does the brides' family have in the planning of the dinner?
  4. What are the responsibilities of the groom's family for the rehearsal dinner?

The rehearsal dinner is a part of turn-of-the-century wedding etiquette and the responsibility of the groom's family. In the past this was not an obligatory item - but - that was then and this is now.

The rehearsal dinner is attended by the wedding party - those participating in the wedding - often including the officiant and spouse of the officiant - the spouses and/or live-ins of participating members of the wedding party - grandparents and a few other "favorite" relatives are generally welcomed.

The bride's family generally helps the groom's family (particularly when the groom's family is from out-of-town) in finding an appropriate location and with the names of special members of the wedding party to be invited.

Is it proper to have the rehearsal dinner at the bride's parents' home? Well, it isn't improper - maybe a little unusual, but not improper - I think it would depend on how the groom's family felt about it - and, perhaps, financial considerations. If the bride's family was kind enough to offer (for the right reasons) then there's nothing wrong with it. If the groom's family elects to take the bride's family up on the offer then it wouldn't hurt for the groom's parents to offer to pay for the caterers.

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