Wediquette Wednesday: Is it OK to have the rehearsal dinner the weekend before the wedding?

Each Wednesday, we tackle wedding etiquette. At times, it’s a reader question or one from a colleague, friend or family member and other times we’ll cover a popular issue. (Note: Questions may be edited for clarity and brevity.) 


Question: My husband and I are hosting our son’s wedding and reception at our home. Traditionally, the rehearsal dinner is the night before the wedding. Because we are hosting the wedding and the days leading up to it will be filled with details, we were wondering if we could have the rehearsal dinner the weekend before. Three of the groomsmen live out of town. If rehearsal is scheduled for the weekend before the wedding, the three groomsmen will not be able to attend. If we have the rehearsal the night before, these groomsmen will be able to attend. It would be more convenient for us to host [a] backyard seafood boil the weekend before instead of the night before. Is this proper or should we revisit the rehearsal plans?

Answer: It sounds as if you have a lovely wedding weekend planned and is generous of you to open up your home for the event. A seafood boil rehearsal sounds like a lot of fun. If everyone in the bridal party were local, it would be permissible to have the rehearsal the weekend prior to the wedding. However, with three of your son’s groomsmen coming in from out of state and unable to make two trips, the rehearsal dinner will have to be worked into the wedding weekend. If your budget permits, I recommend hosting the boil at one of your favorite local restaurants with a beautiful patio or courtyard or asking a friend or relative to co-host it at their house. This will alleviate some of the stress stemming from wedding day prep and the ensuing chaos happening at your own house.


Do you have a solution to share or a wedding etiquette question? Respond in the comments or email



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