rehearsal dinner invitation

Photo: shoreshotz photography

Whether you’re hosting a small, intimate rehearsal dinner or a huge bash, sending out invites for your “party before the party” is a must, and the rehearsal dinner invitation wording you use can truly set the tone for the event. Rehearsal dinner invitations, like the event itself, are usually not as formal as wedding invitations, so the wording can be a bit more straightforward and simple. But there are certain details and etiquette that you won’t want to forget.

Check out these rehearsal dinner invitation wording tips and ideas.

What to include

When it comes to your rehearsal dinner invitation wording, there are several details you must include. You’ll want to ensure that your guests have as much information as possible so that they can plan to attend the event.

Names of the honorees (couple)
Date and time
Location and address
How to RSVP (separate RSVP cards are not necessary for rehearsal dinner invitations, provide a contact phone number and/or email address instead)

How to say it

Most rehearsal dinner invites get straight to the point. Here’s the most common example of rehearsal dinner invitation wording:

Please join us for a rehearsal dinner in honor of
Blake Smith and Robert Cohen
Friday, January 25th, 2019 at 6 o’clock in the evening
The Garden Café
222 Main Street
Anytown, California
RSVP by January 15th to Sally at sally234@mail.com

Unlike wedding invitations, rehearsal dinner invites don’t usually open with the names of the hosts. But if the rehearsal dinner is on the formal side, the invitation wording can include the hosts’ names (traditionally the groom’s parents) in a more prominent position. Be sure to discuss your rehearsal dinner invitation wording with the hosts (a.k.a. those are who actually paying) to make sure everyone is comfortable.

Susan and Bob Johnson invite you to a rehearsal dinner honoring
Betsy York and Sam Johnson
Friday, March 30th, 2018 at 6 o’clock in the evening
Pink Elephant Café
12 South Road
Anyville, Massachusetts
RSVP by March 20th to Susan at susanjohnson@mail.com

You may also include the hosts' names at the bottom of the invitation, like this:

Please join us for a rehearsal dinner in honor of
Megan O'Malley and Chris Jones
Friday, May 4th, 2018 at 6 o’clock in the evening
The Grand Hotel
1 North Way
Anycity, Texas
Hosted by Fran and Peter Jones
RSVP by January 15th to Fran at franjones@mail.com

Since rehearsal dinners are usually more casual than weddings, you can feel free to have a bit of fun with the rehearsal dinner invitation wording, especially in the opening lines. If the rehearsal dinner has a theme, feel free to play it up and be creative! A few examples:

Before Lucy and Jordan walk down the aisle, let’s celebrate in tropical style!
Before Ryan and Frank say “I do,” join us for a rehearsal dinner barbecue!
It’s time for fun and laughter before their happily ever after. Please join us…

When (and how!) to send ‘em

Rehearsal dinner invitations should be sent separately from the wedding invitations about three weeks before the big day. You may also wish to notify those invited privately about the details of the event even before the invitations go out so that they can plan their travel and accommodations accordingly. The RSVP deadline should be about ten days before the event to provide ample time to finalize the menu, seating arrangements, and more.

While rehearsal dinner invites are traditionally printed, couples may choose to send them via email. And unless all of your wedding guests are also invited to your rehearsal dinner, it’s not a good idea to include rehearsal dinner information on your wedding website—it can cause confusion among those who aren’t on the invite list.