Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Invitation Wording and Etiquette

A wedding rehearsal dinner invitation makes your closest guests feel included in a special evening.

Whether it’s a formal banquet or a casual BBQ, a wedding rehearsal dinner brings together a couple’s nearest and dearest for an intimate evening of dining and conversation.

With parents, grandparents, the wedding party, and close family all in one place, this special dinner can become a memorable night filled with tender emotions and impromptu toasts. Some couples even use this time to hand out gifts to bridesmaids, groomsmen and parents.

As the host, you’ll want to make your guests feel as comfortable as possible. The best way to honor your guests and keep everyone on the same page is to send out proper invitations.

“A printed invitation is always more special,” says renowned wedding planner Tara Guerard, of Tara Guerard Soiree. “Family members love to have them for a keepsake.”

To help you create and mail out proper invitations, we turned to Tara because she’s helped plan countless weddings, including unforgettable rehearsal dinners during which families bonded and memories were made.

With Tara’s help, this host’s guide to wedding rehearsal dinner invitations etiquette shows you what wording to use, what to include and not include, and when to send out your invitations.

Personalized wedding rehearsal dinner invitations tell your guests when and where the rehearsal dinner will be held. It also lets them know how formal it will be.

Once you find the perfect wedding stationery template, your task is to customize it with unique rehearsal dinner invitation wording, which this etiquette guide makes simple.

You’ll be happy to hear that invitation styles and themes abound! It’s easy for hosts to find a design that reflects the formality of the event and maybe even a hint of the couple’s personal style.

Photo wedding rehearsal dinner invitation.

Custom wedding rehearsal dinner invitations are lovely keepsakes that allow your guests to prepare for the party before your big day. Shutterfly’s complete guide helps hosts follow proper etiquette to write and send invitations on time.

To find out the dos and don’ts of rehearsal dinner invitations, read our entire etiquette guide, or skip to a section below:

A contemporary wedding rehearsal dinner invitation.

Timing matters when sending out invitations. Wedding planner Tara Guerard recommends mailing out wedding rehearsal invitations four to six weeks in advance of the wedding day and after the main wedding invitations have been mailed.

Timeline: When to Send Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Invitations

When is the best time to send wedding rehearsal dinner invitations? Mail out wedding rehearsal dinner invitations four to six weeks before the wedding, after the main wedding invitations have been mailed.  

Tara advises couples to send out rehearsal dinner invitations after the wedding invitations have been mailed. This means mailing them four to six weeks in advance of the wedding day.

Here’s a timeline to help you prepare and mail out wedding rehearsal dinner invitations on time:

  1. Confirm the wedding rehearsal guest list. Who’s invited to this intimate dinner? Besides the couple and the hosts (usually the groom’s parents), guests should include all members of the wedding party, the officiant, and special family members.

Hosting out-of-towners? Invite them, too.

“If possible, hosts should invite all out-of-town guests,” says Tara. “Since they are traveling to celebrate the bride and groom, it’s nice to include them in as many events as possible. Often we have clients who host a smaller dinner, and then a welcome party after the dinner to include out of town guests.”

  1. Formal or casual? Pick the formality of the rehearsal dinner based on the venue and the ambiance you want to create. In general, rehearsal dinners are not as formal as the wedding and don’t have to match the formality of the wedding.
  2. Pick a date and time. (They both matter.) To select the most convenient day and time for the dinner party, confirm the rehearsal schedule with the bride and groom. Traditionally, rehearsal dinners are held a day before the wedding and scheduled for just after the rehearsal. Allocate enough time for driving and traffic.
  3. Select the place. Whether it’s a restaurant, banquet hall, or Uncle Bob’s house, the rehearsal dinner spot should be in close proximity to the ceremony location. Guests will appreciate eating on time after a long period of practicing.
  4. Get creative with a theme. The wedding rehearsal dinner should have a personality that is separate from the wedding. Have fun with it by coming up with a theme.

“Hosts should not have to worry about the dinner matching every element of the wedding,” says Tara. “They are separate parties, after all.”

  1. Wait for wedding invitations to be mailed out. Ask the bride and groom to let you know as soon as the main wedding invitations are dropped in the mail. Once you get the green light, go ahead and mail the rehearsal dinner invitations.
A festive and colorful wedding rehearsal dinner invitation.

Make sure your invitation is stylish and informative. A basic wedding rehearsal dinner invitation includes: hosts, the bride and groom, date, time, venue, and how to RSVP.

What to Include in a Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Invitation

You’re joining families and friends and inviting them to a special dinner; what’s the best way to word the invitation? A basic wedding rehearsal dinner invitation includes:

  • The host’s name(s). A wedding rehearsal dinner is usually hosted by the groom’s parents, but it doesn’t have to be.
  • The names of the bride and groom.
  • The date. Spell out the day, month and year for formal dinners and use numerals for casual parties.
  • The time. This is one party that can’t go on all night. The bride and groom and the rest of the guests all need their beauty sleep before the big day. Make sure your invitation informs guests not only what time the party starts, but also when it ends. An end time is also important if you’ve reserved a private restaurant or banquet hall.
  • The dinner location. The name and address of the venue or home.
  • The RSVP date. Ask your guests to send you their replies about three to four weeks before the date of the rehearsal dinner.
  • How to RSVP. If you’re not including a stamped and pre-addressed RSVP card, include an RSVP name as well as a contact phone number or email address.

Tips for Flawless Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Invitations

When it comes to sending out rehearsal dinner invitations and planning an event that both hosts and guests will enjoy, Tara has a few valuable suggestions:

  1. Incorporate the bride and groom’s personality.

While the style of the invitations doesn’t have to reflect the wedding style – and should be different from the wedding style – there’s room to design a look that complements the wedding.

“We love to include the bride and groom’s personality in the design of the invitation,” says Tara. Whether you pick a theme that reflects their hobbies or a lifestyle they share, take the time to consider what the bride and groom might love to see when they arrive at the dinner party.

  1. You don’t have to match the formality of the wedding.

Hosting a party is not easy, or affordable. Never feel pressured to plan a party beyond your means, even if the wedding is a black tie affair.

“The rehearsal dinner is traditionally less formal than the wedding,” says Tara.

  1. Design invitations that reflect the formality of the dinner.

Many hosts make the mistake of selecting invitations that match the formality of the wedding instead of the dinner party. However, your guests will know how to dress for the rehearsal dinner party by the formality of the invitation.

“Invitations should represent the dinner formality, not necessarily the formality of the wedding stationery,” says Tara.

  1. Check the postage amount. There’s a lot to think about when preparing invitations and getting them mailed. “We also suggest checking your postage amount with the postal service — nothing is worse than an under-stamped invitation!”

Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Invitation Wording Examples

Simplify the invitation writing process by choosing one of these casual, formal, or fun wedding rehearsal dinner invitation examples. Then read on for guidelines for addressing the invitation envelopes, too.

Casual Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Invitations Wording Examples


Please join us for a rehearsal dinner


Madeline Parker

& Adam Wrigley

Friday, July 14, 2017

6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The Park Place Club

2456 Main Street

Monterey, California

Hosted by Eva and Dan Wright

RSVP to Eva at 888-555-7483

by July 5th

Formal Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Invitations Wording Examples

Please Join Us for a Rehearsal Dinner

In Honor of

Carol Miller

& Frank Clark

Saturday, July 10, 2017

Five O’ Clock in the Evening

Tender Sweet Bistro

633 Grande Avenue

New York, New York

Hosted by Jackie

RSVP by June 19, 2017


Fun Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Invitations Wording Examples

Eat, Drink and Be Married

Rehearsal Dinner for

Melissa Gayboro and Patrick Henderson

Saturday, August 24th at 6:00 pm

The Bella Bistro

118 South West Avenue, San Francisco CA

Hosted by Alexis and Trend Donaldson

RSVP to Alexis at 888-555-1000

By August 16th

How to Address Rehearsal Dinner Invitations

Addressing rehearsal dinner invitations is very similar to addressing wedding invitations. Since they must be mailed after the main invitations, follow these tips to avoid any problems.

  • Coordinate with the host of the wedding, or the bride and groom. Find out when they plan to mail out the invitations and get a list of all the names and addresses of everyone you want to invite. Since they have a master guest list, it should be easy for you to get this information.
  • Learn the essential parts of a wedding invitation envelope.
  • Include the name(s) of every guest invited to the dinner, including full names of any children. This sends a clear message of who is invited and who is not.

Personalized Wedding Rehearsal Invitations

When planned properly, a wedding rehearsal dinner is a wonderful way to end a day of rehearsals and start the festivities off right. Make sure your guests receive an invitation that gets them to the party on time and in style.

Shutterfly specializes in designer wedding stationery that’s easy to customize, including a wide selection of rehearsal dinner invitations for nearly every theme and style. Pick your favorite invitation, add unique details, and don’t forget a stunning photo of the bride and groom for that extra special touch.

Today’s bride and rehearsal party hosts can rely on Shutterfly for affordable wedding cards and stationery, from save the date cards to wedding announcements.