Post # 1
So–I have seen so many posts on here about how it is downright wrong to ask guests to pay for anything. I am wondering your opinions on my situation:
We are not having a “rehearsal dinner”. The bridal party is only us and our parents, and due to the officiant’s availability, the rehearsal will be at 10am the Friday before the wedding.
FI’s family (and several friends) are all from across the country, and I feel terrible that they are flying in all this way, and we will only spend a few hours with them. Most of them I have never met, and FI hasn’t seen in years.
My idea is to just go out to dinner with the people in question on Friday night. It would be passed by word-of-mouth, “Hey we are going out to dinner Friday at such-and-such place, if you’d like to join!” We would expect everyone to pay their own checks.
FI doesn’t love the idea, and I’m torn on the issue. My thoughts are that it is optional, and if we don’t have it, they will have to buy dinner for themselves elsewhere anyway. What do you all think??
Post # 3
“Hey we are going out to dinner Friday at such-and-such place, if you’d like to join!”
If this is the message I got, I’d be assuming you’d be picking up the check. I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad idea to have an eat together the night before option, but I’d want to pass that message in a way where it was clear that it was not a hosted event.
Post # 4
@Pumpkin_Bee: I understand your predicament. But since you’re not having a rehearsal “dinner,” I think it would be a kind gesture to pay for your friends who are taking the time to travel, pay for flights, hotels, and gift to attend your wedding. You’re right that if you don’t have it, they’ll buy themselves dinner elsewhere anyway, but that’s from your perspective, not theirs.
I don’t think you HAVE to, but it would be appreciated if you paid!
Post # 5
I would phrase it more that you’re all “meeting up for dinner” or something like that. You don’t want it to sound like you’re hosting the meal, as they would likely assume you’re paying.
Post # 6
Ya I think a dinner with out of town guests should be paid by the bride and groom.. or parents, whatever. Might get uncomfortable when the bill comes and the oot guests don’t pull out their wallets.
Why not pick a place that is not too expensive, pasta/pizza/salad perhaps… So it will be easier to cover the bill.
Post # 7
@fascinated: Thats so funny! I’d honestly assume I was picking up my own check based on that wording. I’d only assume I was being treated if I recieved something like “we’d love to take you out to dinner” or “let us treat you to dinner”. To me, being asked if we’d like to join in has the tone of going dutch.
@Pumpkin_Bee: I tihnk it’s fine to just let people know where you are eating and that they are welcom to tag along/join you. This is actually what we’ll be doing instead of a rehearsal dinner, as well. It’s open ended enough that anyone who would not want to or could not afford to could decline, but anyone who would want to start the festivities early could join in. 🙂
Post # 8
If I flew across country and was invited to dinner the night which typically is rehersal dinner night, I’d think it was the OOTs at rehersal dinner, and think that you’re treating.
Why not treat them is they are spending a lot of money to be there for you. If it is a budget thing, maybe make it more low-key.
Alos ask your FPIL since it it their fam. They prob know what their fam expects.
Post # 9
@Asia: Yet another example of how, without being very clear, the same wording can be interpreted two different ways.
Post # 10
@Pumpkin_Bee: what if you have more of a casual cocktail party where people can mingle? can someone host this at their home or perhaps reserve a back room of a restaurant. you can supply a few nibbles for people but if they get really hungry, they can order something else on their own. if you have it at a private residence, you can bring in or make some platters that are usually quite inexpensive.
Post # 11
@Pumpkin_Bee: I assumed by the wording that i would be picking up my own check. As long as the guests now it is not the RD, I think you are fine. I would not expect someone to foot my dinner if it wasnt a hosted event.
Post # 12
I don’t think you can have a dinner for OOT guests without hosting ie. paying. We did not have a rehearsal, but since my DHs whole family came from across the country, we had a dinner for them. I think you need to pay for them or scrap the whole idea. I would pretty annoyed if I was flying, staying in a hotel, etc. and then showed up at a dinner only to find out I have to pay. They would have to eat dinner anyway, but necessarily at whatever place you are choosing.
Post # 13
@Pumpkin_Bee: I *always* assume I’m picking up my own check, that includes this situation as well. I’ve heard that for destination weddings you should pick up a meal the night before for traveling guests, and since we’re getting married in FL and we live in TX I guess that’s *technically* going to fall under that category.
Commenting to follow, I guess.
Post # 14
You need to pay for dinner. If that is outside of your budget then what about a little mixer with drinks (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) and appetizers for lunch.
Post # 15
What if you and your FI did not try to get together with your OOT guests for dinner but instead hosted a hospitality suite at the hotel where you all will be staying? You could host the suite during certain, after-dinner hours — say from 8-11 p.m. — and provide whatever light refreshments (fruit, veggies, cheese, crackers, dips, pretzels, chips, etc. and beverages) that you and your FI choose to serve.
You could invite guests to “stop by” to visit the suite during those hours. Invitations could take the form of a cheery, “welcome letter” that you could leave at the front desk for each guest as he or she checks into the hotel.
Post # 16
You can use the word “not hosted” somewhere in the invitaton and make sure that everyone knows the event is optional. Alternatively, you can have some sort of meetup that doesn’t cost money. Find a park or somethiing and say “we’ll be here at this time if you want to see us!”