Generally speaking, the rehearsal dinner is hosted by the groom’s parents. Whether this is the case or not, the hosts (the people supplying funds for the event) should make the major decisions about this meal. If you are uncertain about whom to invite, discuss it with the hosts. Traditionally, the wedding party and close families are invited, but it is also a good idea to invite out-of-town guests, as they may have nothing else to do in an unfamiliar place that night. If money is an issue, you may certainly set up optional activities or come up with a list of fun places and things to do for your out-of-town guests and put it in their welcome baskets. Then, invite only the wedding party and immediate family on both sides. The only way to save hurt feelings is to keep it consistent. Don’t invite just one friend who falls into neither category, because you will undoubtedly have other friends who will find out and feel slighted.
I highly recommend having your photographer capture the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. This is a sweet time of excitement and love that you will want to remember. Here are some shots from mine (all photos by Linda Story):
My sweet in-laws:
The first walk down the aisle with Daddy:
Our wedding party:
Sweet love as we anticipate the real thing:
My mom reading journal entries from when I was a baby: