– Ask Cheryl – How Do I Invite Guests to a Welcome Party?

The day before the “big day” is often busy: out-of-town guests arrive, the couple and their bridal party run through the ceremony rehearsal, and the groom’s parents often plan a rehearsal dinner. Amid all the hustle and bustle of the night before, welcome parties have become a relaxed way for guests to mingle with other guests and the couple of honor. But what’s the best way to spread the word about a welcome party?

Dear Cheryl,

I’m the mother of the groom, and I will be hosting the rehearsal dinner. But I also have many out-of-town guests arriving the night before the wedding. I would like to have a small welcome party for them between 8 and 10 pm. How do I invite or let my friends know to come by and see the bride and groom for a cocktail during this time? It’s my first time doing an out-of-town wedding, so it is fairly new to me. Thanks in advance.

Hi Kim,

If you are hosting the rehearsal dinner, you can invite anyone you like, including out-of-town wedding guests. In fact, that used to be the norm– those traveling to the wedding were often invited to the rehearsal dinner. But because almost everyone travels to get to weddings these days, it has become too large an event for most, so many parents and couples are choosing to host a more casual affair that can include more guests- the Welcome Party!

I recommend including all wedding guests when extending your welcome party invitations. I’m sure the bride’s parents would also like to have their out-of-town guests included.

The welcome party invitation can be a card included with the wedding invitation, the couple can announce it on their wedding website, or you can send an invitation separately from the wedding invitation. As this is typically a more casual gathering, electronic invitations (e-vites) are acceptable. If you want to limit the number of guests at the welcome party, choose a separate invitation or contact the guests directly by text, email, or phone.

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If you have questions or comments about this post or gift giving, bridal shower, baby shower, or wedding etiquette, please comment below or email [email protected].

Questions in this column are received from readers. They may be edited for spelling, length, and grammar or to remove sensitive information. However, we are careful not to alter the intent or content of the question.

Cheryl Seidel is an etiquette writer and the founder of RegistryFinder.com. This intuitive search engine helps gift givers quickly and easily find online registries for weddings, baby showers, graduations, and more.

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