Post # 1
We get married in a little over a week. We have had the rehearsal dinner planned for months and only planned on having the bridal party there, hence “rehearsal” dinner.
Today my fiance gets a call from one of his cousins, whose daughter is a flower girl, saying that some other members of the family should be able to go or they are going to be upset. She said since everyone is coming from OOT to be at the wedding, we should let them come so they can be with the family, and they will pay for their own.
Background: All his family lives in the same city so they see each other often and yes we are appreciative they are coming but its not like they are traveling cross country. It’s a short road trip.
Here are my issues:
1) We wanted a small rehearsal dinner because I have huge social anxiety and since FI wanted a big wedding, this is what we settled on for the night before.
2) I feel like they are making our wedding a chance for them to have a family reunion (please read background above)
3) If we invite every family member that’s traveling, what would be the point of even having the wedding? We are not in the middle of nowhere so they have so many things they could do to entertain themselves. Not to mention I have family traveling from way farther who are not even going to the rehearsal and have no issues about it.
4) His grandmother is VERY controlling and is not the nicest person to me or my family so my FI did not want grandmother’s to go because of this. He thinks she is the one initiating all of this so that she can be with “her family.”
My FI was going to tell them that his mom is paying for the dinner and would not feel comfortable having people there who are paying for themselves and that it is a thank you to the people in the wedding party. If the people who are not going want to have a dinner with themselves all together no one is stopping them from doing so.
Please let me know what you think or what you would do.
Post # 3
@CuteAsAButton: I think your FI needs to talk to them and tell them that it is just for the bridal party as a thank you for being apart of your big day. You only have space reserved for x number of people and you are sorry that it cannot be changed at this point or something along those lines.
Post # 4
We didn’t have a rehearsal, but we did a welcome dinner and invited everyone that was invited to the wedding. I voted “other.”
Post # 5
@CuteAsAButton: Keep your plans the way they are and make a conscious decision not to get stressed by other people’s last minute ideas or suggestions.
Many rehearsal dinners do not include OOT’s. You are correct. In some cases that would mean inviting the whole wedding guest list.
Calming trick- picture yourself with a veil that covers you from the top of your head ot the floor. Nothing can penetrate that veil. When someone starts telling you what you “should” be doing, picture yourself in that veil.
As far as this cousin is concerned, “thanks for sharing your concerns, but we won’t be making any changes. Please feel free to organize a get together for those who will not be attending the rehearsal dinner, if that’s what you want to do.”
For gosh sakes people, besides the fact that it is rude to invite yourselves to a social affair, IT’S THE WEEK BEFORE THE WEDDING. LEAVE THE BRIDE ALONE.
Post # 6
I really do understand your social anxiety, and that a large wedding may be difficult for you. But traditionally (at least around here) a rehearsal dinner would invite all of the OOT guests, so if customs are the same where you live, I can understand why the extended family is a bit surprised that they weren’t invited. How does your FI feel about this? Is it the custom where you live for all OOT guests to be invited to the rehearsal dinner?
Post # 7
@CuteAsAButton: I voted before I read the whole because I would invite OOT guests BUT in your case I wouldn’t. If they really just want to hang out together they can all do that somehwere else at a different place.
Maybe suggest some local restaurants they might all like to go to instead?
Post # 8
@CuteAsAButton: I’ve been to RDs that have been just the bridal party and both sets of parents, and I’ve been to RDs that are much larger. I think you and FI need to do what makes you happy, and if that means limiting the guest list, then stick to your guns. It’s beyond rude that people are trying to invite themselves to your event.
Post # 9
Here is what my friend did which I thought was perfect:
She had her real rehearsal dinner with just the parents and wedding party while the OOT relatives were at another close by restaurant and then the bridal party went and joined them all for drinks and dancing after their quick dinner/rehearsal. Solved her issue of having too many people at the rehearsal dinner and the relatives were happy because they still felt like something was planned for them too.
Post # 10
@CuteAsAButton: I will never understand where some people get the idea they can just bully someone into including them. Blows my mind.
We are not doing a rehearsal dinner, but I think we’ll feed any OOT guests somehow the day most of them are coming in.
However, in your case, I think you need to stick to your guns: give people like this an inch and they will take a mile.
Post # 11
@CuteAsAButton: You do you. It’s your wedding and you have every right to enjoy your rehersal dinner instead of being riddled with anxiety. I think you should tell them that the rehersal dinner will be parents and bridal party only, and then recommend a restaurant where guests can go have a meal together.
Don’t lie to your OOT guests about reasons why they can’t come because they will find a solution. E.g. – ‘we can’t afford to have you all come’ ‘we’ll pay for our own food’. Just tell them point blank that it’s a thank you for the bridal party and you guys want to keep it intimate.
I think your FH should be the one to tell his family ‘no’. They are his people and it will look better coming from him. He needs to stand up for you nd what you guys want. It’s you and your FH’s wedding. Nobody else’s.
Post # 12
since you have social anxiety, i think you are right to keep the rehearsal dinner small. just stick to your guns. if necessary, suggest places the rest of the family can go together.
Post # 13
@CuteAsAButton: Our rehearsal dinner was for people who participated in the rehearsal even though the majority of our guests were from out of town We did not have a bridal party, but we included immediate family, our friend-officiant, and a friend who did a reading in the ceremony. We provided an enormous list of dinner recommendations so they had the opportunity to make their own plans the night before the wedding. My immediate family spent time with the relatives after the rehearsal dinner at their hotels.
Post # 14
We did just wedding party and immediate family. No OOT family. There are plenty of restaurants they could get together in.
We figured if you invite everyone then it’s like you’re having two receptions. And as you said, it’s a wedding, not a reunion. They’ll have the reception to get together with the family.
I personally haven’t been invited to any rehearsal dinners where I wasn’t in the wedding party, and I know some people do it, but it is not manditory.
Post # 15
We aren’t at this point yet but we have talked some about what we will do when this comes up. I have approximately 100 members of my family who will be traveling 8-10 hours for the wedding. THis only includes Aunts, Uncles, 1st Cousins, and their kids. All of my college friends will also be coming in to town, from anywhere from 5hours away to across the country. I want to see all of these people before the wedding (perhapse your FI feels the same), however it doesn’t make sense to have them all at the rehersal dinner.
Our plan is to work with a resturant/Bar that we frequent (not where our dinner will be) and leave an open invitation to anyone to join us there. The resturant has held simmilar events and are willing to leave areas that usually close after the dinner rush open for us to use until the bar closes. The venue offers a nice dinner menues for older relatives and also has great drink specials and cheap bar food for the younger crowd.
I would talk to the cousin and FI and see if you can’t work out something simmilar. As a benefit for you, assuming you and FI are spending the night apart you can stop by, make yourself seen and then excuse your self, hopefully avoiding too much social anxiety.
Post # 16
Leave the RD as purely for the wedding party. Let them know it is already booked and can’t be changed now. HOWEVER – you’d be happy to see them for a post-dinner cocktail at X bar. This way everyone is happy.