How to Craft the Perfect Rehearsal Dinner Invitation
When you’re planning a wedding, cutting costs anywhere you can is essential. But how do you cut costs without compromising your dream wedding?
One effective way is to go paperless – for the rehearsal dinner invites at least. You may be thinking, “How much is going paperless really going to save me? Paper’s not that expensive right?” But when you consider that you’ll be sending Save the Dates, Formal Invitations, and rehearsal dinner invitations, going paperless for at least one of these invites can save you quite a bit.
You might also be wondering about the etiquette of sending an online invitation instead of a paper invite. While paper Save the Dates and Formal Invitations are still the norm, in this digital age many couples are sending online invitations for their rehearsal dinners. And this is a perfectly acceptable way to give your guests all the information they need.
So, how do you make the perfect rehearsal dinner invitation? Check out these tips.
1. Include a Directions Link to the Venue
One of the best things about online invitations is the ability to include links with helpful information for your guests.
This is especially helpful for giving directions to your rehearsal dinner venue. List the name and address of the venue, and make the address a link to a Google Maps page. Then your guests can enter the location they’re coming from and get personalized directions to the venue.
This eliminates the need to spell out directions for each “coming from ‘x’ direction” in the invite. It’s also a great way to ensure no one gets lost trying to find your venue.
2. Tell Your Guests What to Wear
Appropriate attire for a rehearsal dinner can range from jeans and a T-shirt to black-tie depending on the venue and the couples’ tastes. It can be harder to pick out an outfit for the rehearsal dinner than one for the wedding!
Take the guesswork out of outfit selection by including guidelines about attire in the rehearsal dinner invitation. Casual generally means pants and a polo or blouse or a skirt and a blouse. Dressy casual usually means slacks and a button-up or a casual dress. Cocktail attire means you should plan on a jacket and tie or a fancier dress. And black tie means busting out the fancy stuff.
If you’re very particular about the dress code, you can include links that show your guests what you’re aiming for. If you have a fancier venue that has a specific dress code, be sure to include that information as well.
3. Provide Information About the Food Situation
Let your guests know a bit about the food situation, especially if some action from them is required.
If your rehearsal dinner is catered and you’ll be serving plated meals, give the guests a link to choose their meal. If your rehearsal dinner is at a restaurant, include a link to the menu so your guests can peruse it ahead of time.
Not many couples choose a potluck style rehearsal dinner, but this option is becoming more popular because it’s a big money saver. If you’re going potluck style, make this clear. And maybe provide your guests with some suggestions about what they could bring so you don’t end up with 12 potato salads.
Also, include contact information with a note about getting in touch if people have specific dietary needs. This will allow you to discuss these needs with your caterer or the restaurant ahead of time.
4. Let Guests Know When to Arrive
Who gets to go to the rehearsal dinner varied a lot depending on the couples’ preferences. Sometimes it’s just family and the wedding party, in which case everyone who’s going to dinner will also be in the rehearsal. Sometimes the rehearsal dinner is open to a wider list of people.
Whether your guests are all in the wedding or not changes the appropriate arrival time by quite a bit. So, be sure to include the time of the rehearsal and the time of the dinner. The people who need to be at both know who they are, so don’t worry about sending separate invites to them.
You can also include an end time for the event. This can be helpful so your guests know how to plan the rest of their evening.
5. The RSVP Link
All invitations have an awesome RSVP function that emails you every time someone RSVPs to your event. Most of them also have a page you as the host can view all the RSVPs so you can quickly see who’s coming and who isn’t.
Make sure to tailor the RSVP section of the invite to your particular needs. Like if your guests are allowed to bring plus ones, allow them to write in the name of their plus one. If they aren’t, definitely remove this option so they don’t think they can bring a plus one.
Make sure to include the date everyone needs to RSVP by, especially if you need to get numbers to a caterer or restaurant.
6. Link to Your Wedding Website
These days every couple has a wedding website. It’s an easy and effective way to communicate information about your special day to your guests.
Many people receiving your rehearsal dinner invitation will have questions about the wedding and the reception. Instead of trying to include all of this in the invite (or answering the same question 20 times via email) include a link to your wedding website in the invitation. Add a quick note saying that all other information about the wedding and reception, including the registry, is available on the wedding website.
Your Perfect Rehearsal Dinner Invitation
Creating the perfect rehearsal dinner invitation is easier than you think. And it’s an efficient and cost-effective way to get an invitation to everyone who needs one. Follow these tips!