Friday, December 13, 2013

Every detail of a wedding during each step of the process has its own set of rules and proper etiquette guidelines. The rehearsal dinner invitations are no different. The person, or couple, hosting the rehearsal dinner needs to determine how formal it will be, where it will be, who to invite and how formal the invitations should be. The dinner and invitations should never outshine those for the wedding, but should rather complement the wedding. After the rehearsal dinner plans are made, it's time to choose invitations and send them off.

Invitation Basics

    Invitations to the wedding rehearsal dinner can be simple hand-written notes or elegant engraved cards;however they should never be more formal or fancy than the wedding invitations. They can even be "informals," which are small fold-over cards with the names of the hosts (e.g., Mr. and Mrs. Mathews) engraved in black or navy ink centered on the front, or fill-in-the-blank invitations.
    The bride, groom, their parents, grandparents, the wedding party and their families should all be invited to the dinner. Inviting out-of-town guests is not require; however, it is a nice gesture.
    Send the invitations out two to four weeks before the dinner so everyone has time to coordinate and plan their schedule. Include RSVP information for a final head count.

Addressing the Envelope

    Envelopes for the rehearsal dinner invitations should include the names of all invited guests. For instance, if the bride's father is a doctor and she has underage siblings at home, the envelope could be addressed to "Dr. and Mrs. James Smith and Family." However, if her underage brother is also in the wedding, he should receive his own invitation in which "Mr." could be used, or skipped.
    For children who are in the wedding party, consider addressing the family's invitation to the child and family, such as "Emily Smith and Family" which will make her feel honored and special.

Addressing Titles Within the Invitation

    The formality of the dinner will likely govern how formal the invitation wording is. For an elegant sit-down dinner, the invitations may be more formal with wording such as t
    "Mr. and Mrs. Johnson request your presence...."
    The bride and groom's names are usually listed using their first names only, even if the groom's parents, or whoever is hosting the dinner, chooses to use a formal approach to their own names. On the other hand, the hosts can opt to use their first names as well if that is how they'd like to be addressed at the rehearsal dinner. In other words, if you'd like to be on a first-name basis at the dinner, try such wording as "Eric and Janet Johnson request your presence at the Rehearsal Dinner honoring Laura and Kevin...."
    Choose straightforward wording to list pertinent information or try a cute poem to add to a lighthearted, relaxed atmosphere.

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