A Guide to Rehearsal Dinner Invitations

When designing your rehearsal party invitations, there are a few key design elements that you’ll need to consider. Read on for all you need to know.

By Deanna deBara

A Guide to Rehearsal Dinner Invitations
Photo by Zola

The First Look ✨

  • It’s important to make sure that your rehersal dinner invitations include details like who is invited, the time, date, and location of the dinner, who is hosting, and how guests can RSVP.
  • When designing your invitations, you could hire a designer or you could go with a pre-designed template to keep things easy (and inexpensive!)—without sacrificing the look, feel, or quality of your invites.
  • Make sure to give your guests plenty of notice for your rehearsal dinner—at least a month.

Your wedding day is one of the more important days of your life. But most nuptials extend beyond the wedding ceremony and reception to include a variety of wedding-related events—including the rehearsal dinner.

If you’re planning a rehearsal dinner, you’ll need to send invitations to tell your guests everything that they need to know about the event.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about wedding rehearsal dinner invitations—including everything you’ll want to consider during the design process, the key information to include on your invites, and a few ideas to inspire your invitation design.

What Do You Need to Keep in Mind When Creating Your Rehearsal Dinner Invitations?

When you’re creating the invites for your rehearsal dinner, there are a few main elements that you’ll need to consider, including:

Invitation Materials

Most invitations are printed on paper. But “paper” is a broad term; depending on the look, feel, and style you want to capture with your invitation, there are a variety of invitation paper options.

So, what, exactly, are those options? Some of the more popular paper options include:

  • Smooth. Smooth paper is a lightweight option that has a smooth, slightly shiny finish. If you’re planning to feature a photo on your invite, smooth paper is the way to go.
  • Eggshell. If you don’t want a shiny finish on your invitations, you may want to consider eggshell paper, which, like smooth paper, is a lightweight invite option—just with a matte finish. Eggshell paper also makes colors look extra bold and saturated—so if your rehearsal dinner invitation design features a variety of colors, you should definitely consider eggshell.
  • Double thick. If you’d prefer an invitation with a bit of extra heft, double thick paper, which is twice as thick as typical card stock, can give you the extra weight that you’re looking for.
  • Recycled. Creating the perfect rehearsal dinner invitation and being environmentally friendly doesn't have to be mutually exclusive. You can get the look you want for your invitations and be environmentally friendly at the same time—all you have to do is opt for recycled paper.
  • Pearlescent. Pearlescent paper has an iridescent finish with a hint of sparkle, so, if you’re going for a glamorous look with your invites, consider this paper a must-try.

Once you’ve picked the paper for your invitations, there’s one more material that you’ll want to consider—and that’s foil.

Foil stamping transfers metallic and/or pigmented foil onto your invites, generally in the form of text or a design (for example, a tree or floral design). Do you want your invites to have some extra shine and just a hint of glam? Foil is an excellent way to up that shine and glam factor.

Design Orientation

Once you’ve nailed down the materials for your invitations, you’ll want to move on to the design process. And one of the first things you’ll want to consider with your design is the invitation’s design orientation.

There are two design orientations to choose from: a landscape orientation, which is wider than it is tall, or a portrait orientation, which has more length than width. There’s no “better” orientation, whichever you choose will work with a variety of designs. The best thing that you can do is see which invitation design you gravitate towards—and then select your orientation accordingly.

Color Palette

Next up on the rehearsal dinner invitation to-do list is color.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to choosing the color for your invitations. Want to feature your wedding colors in your invitation design? Go for it. Want to design your invitations around you and your partner’s favorite colors? Have fun. Want to choose a color scheme that matches the theme of your rehearsal dinner (for example, a black, gold, and silver color scheme for a Gatsby-inspired soiree)? Knock yourself out!

The point is, when it comes to colors, the sky’s the limit—so, have fun with your invitation’s color palette and go with whatever colors feel like the right fit for you and your partner.

Design Aesthetic

All of these individual design elements are important. But what’s more important? How all of those elements come together in your final rehearsal dinner invitation design.

As you’re designing your invitation, make sure that you’re considering what overall design aesthetic you’re going for. For example, do you want to create something timeless and traditional—or are you going for a more modern look? Do you want your invites to feel soft and delicate—or is the overall look you’re going for more bold?

Defining the design aesthetic you want to capture in your final invitation will help guide your decisions throughout the design process—and make sure that each individual design element aligns with your vision for your invitation.

What Information Do You Need to Include on Your Rehearsal Dinner Invites?

The different design elements will create the overall look and feel of your rehearsal dinner invitations, and that’s important! But, when it comes down to it, your invitations are meant to deliver all the key details about your rehearsal dinner to your guests—so it’s even more important to make sure that your invitations include all of those details.

So, what details do you need to feature on your invitations? Your rehearsal dinner invitations should include:

  • Details about the party. Your guests need to know where and when you’re hosting your rehearsal dinner—, so make sure to include details about the time, date, and location of the party. If you’re expecting your wedding party to go straight from the rehearsal to the rehearsal dinner, you’ll also want to include that on the invitation; that way, they’ll know to bring anything they need for the rehearsal dinner to the rehearsal. Make sure that the rehearsal dinner invitation wording is clear, so that your guests aren't left with questions about crucial details.
  • Dinner hosts. If someone is hosting the rehearsal dinner for you and your partner (for example, your or your partner’s parents), you’ll want to include that information on your invite.
  • RSVP. Rehearsal dinner invitations are a bit different from other wedding-related information; generally, everyone who attends the rehearsal will also attend the rehearsal dinner. That being said, you’ll still want to gather RSVPs, so you have a final headcount for your dinner. Make sure to include instructions for how to RSVP directly on your invitation.
  • Guest list. It’s also important to be clear about who is actually invited to the rehearsal dinner; while some dinners are strictly for the wedding party, others include a larger group of friends, family members, and loved ones—so make sure your invites make it clear who is actually invited to the event.

What Are Your Options for Designing Rehearsal Dinner Invitations?

When it’s time to actually go through the rehearsal dinner invitation process, you have two options: you can either hire a designer to create a custom design, or use a pre-designed invitation template and create your invite yourself.

If, for whatever reason, you’re determined to have a one-of-a-kind design and opt for sending custom rehearsal dinner invitations, you can definitely go with the designer option. But working with an independent designer can be both time-consuming and expensive, which can eat into your wedding budget.

That’s why so many couples go with a pre-designed invitation template. With the template option, you can get a beautiful invitation design for your rehearsal dinner, without the added time or cost of working one-on-one with a designer. Plus, it’s easy; all you have to do is choose a template that matches your design style, add in the details for your rehearsal dinner invitation, and you’re done! (Looking for the perfect template for your wedding rehearsal dinner invitation? We’ve got it for you! Zola has hundreds of invitation templates to choose from; no matter what you’re looking for, we’ve got you covered!)

When Should Your Rehearsal Dinner Invites Be Sent Out?

You’ve designed the perfect rehearsal dinner invitation. The invitations are ready to go. So, the question is when, exactly, do they need to go? Or, in other words, when do you need to send out your rehearsal dinner invitations?

When you send out your rehearsal dinner invitations will, at least partially, depend on the kind of rehearsal dinner you’re throwing. For example, if you’re throwing a big backyard BBQ that’s open to all your wedding guests, you’ll want to get invitations out well ahead of time to give people plenty of time to get the event on their calendars. On the other hand, if you’re keeping your rehearsal strictly to your wedding party and immediate family, they’ll likely know to set aside the day before your wedding for the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner—so that you don’t necessarily have to get them out as far in advance.

As a general rule of thumb, the sooner you can send out your rehearsal dinner invitations, the better—but at a minimum, give your dinner guests at least a month’s notice.

Need Some Inspiration?

Still not sure what kind of look you want to capture with your rehearsal dinner invitations? Let’s take a look at a few different styles you might want to consider for your invites.

Classic Rehearsal Dinner Invitations

When you’re choosing your rehearsal dinner invitation, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel; sometimes, a classic design (for example, classic fonts, a neutral color palette, and traditional design accents, such as flowers) is the way to go.

Classic invitation examples: classic-rehearsal-dinner-invites Photo Credit // Zola

Galata, Blake, Kalispell

Modern Rehearsal Dinner Invitations

If you want to do something less classic for your rehearsal dinner invites, a modern invitation design—with bolder colors, shape, and design accents—might be the style that you’re looking for.

Modern invitation examples:

Modern-rehearsal-dinner-invitesPhoto Credit // Zola

Lyons, Cabo, Cruise

Glamorous Rehearsal Dinner Invitations

Is your rehearsal dinner going to be an upscale, fancy soiree? Then going with a more glamorous invitation design (think sparkle, elaborate fonts, and a major WOW factor) would feel on-theme for your event.

Glamorous invitation examples:

Glamorous-rehearsal-dinner-invitesPhoto Credit // Zola

Baker 1, Baker 2, Beaumont

Minimalist Rehearsal Dinner Invitations

When it comes to invitation design, sometimes less is more, and if that rings true for you, then a minimalist design could be the right look for your rehearsal dinner invitations.

Minimalist invitation examples:

Minimalist-rehearsal-dinner-invitesPhoto Credit // Zola

Livonia, Verona, Powell

Your rehearsal dinner is a special part of your wedding weekend. And now that you know everything there is to know about rehearsal dinner invitations, all that’s left to do is get out there and design an invitation that looks as unique as your rehearsal dinner is sure to be.

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