Rehearsal dinner party: who is the host and who is the guest?

As all other pre-wedding parties this is the first question, and the answer you should know is below

Who hosts?

Traditionally, the groom’s family organizes and pays for this fete, but you two might take matters into your own hands, or both sets of parents may choose to do the honours together. While you, as the honoured couple, may have input on the overall direction, if the groom’s family hosts, you should really try to let his mum and dad be the creative directors of the evening. If, on the other hand, you are hosting, you get to choose the location and style, so you’ll want to give yourselves enough time to scout venues in order to book four to six months in advance.

Who to invite?

At the very least, the rehearsal dinner guest list includes immediate family (parents and siblings), wedding-party members and their spouses or significant others, and the parents of any child attendants (inviting the children themselves is optional). You should also invite the officiant and his or her spouse to the dinner (they may not come, but it’s the polite thing to do).

Who else to consider?

Turn the dinner into a fabulous welcome party — if your wedding is mostly local friends and family but a few key people traveled far to come to your wedding (those cousins from Hawaii!), extend the invitation to them as a thank you for their extra effort. If you’re throwing a destination wedding or a party where at least half of the guests are from out of town, show your appreciation by inviting everyone to some kind of night-before festivity. If your budget is limited, stick to a more exclusive group for the rehearsal dinner itself but follow it with a large but informal welcome cocktail or dessert party for out-of-towners later in the evening.