Post # 1
I need your help, please. I’m having a smallish wedding (~75ppl) in my hometown where my parents live, we’ron only inviting our families, closest friends and few of my parents closest friends. The wedding reception plans are coming along nicely – were planning a simple understated but elegant event.
the current tally of family and out of town guests is ~60, FPIL want to include them all in the rehearsal which I think would be lovely. But they want to have a cocktail hour, passed hors d’oeuvres, a multi-course dinner with a larger number of choices than will be available at the reception (which will cost more per person than the reception dinner), an open bar, etc.
My FI comes from a wealthier family than I do and so it’s not such a big deal to host a very expensive dinner, they’ve never been to a wedding that cost less than 3x our budget and they are throwing a rehearsal dinner for the wedding they wish their son were having (my oppinion) . I appreciate that they are doing this for us but I don’t want the rehearsal to outshine the wedding and I more importantly don’t want my parents’ feelings to be hurt. It was important to my parents to pay for my wedding and they’ve been so generous. It would be hurtful to have a fancier dinner with all but a few of the wedding guests the night before the wedding, I want my parents to be happy and proud of the wedding they host.
my FI and I decided to pay for an open bar at the reception (my parents dont drink so they were fine with letting us pay for this) we called the caterer and asked to pay for an upgraded reception menu (which would hurt my parents if they found out but I can’t ask them to go over budget) We’d originally planned to have a simple plated meal with that would be the same for everyone but now were doing two choices. We looked into doing an elegant stations/buffet set-up to differentiate the rehearsal and reception meals but its out of our price range, we might be able to swing French style service rather than plated..
his parents have said they won’t pay for a rehearsal dinner that isn’t up to their standards and were pretty upset when we asked that it not be a steak dinner (we’re having something like chicken or pork or pasta at the reception …) but agreed to make that concession but expressed their displeasure very clearly. We asked if they might consider a different serving style for the meal (buffet, family style, a platter of appetizers rather than passed) or if they might like to serve some kind of ethnic or local food or if they might do a small rehearsal followed by a welcome reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres for the whole group and they cried and are furious. They want to serve the same type of food we’re having and it seems like “up to their standards” translates to a slightly nicer version of the actual reception.
I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings and I want everyone to be happy. I’m proud of our simple intimate wedding and even given an unlimited budget I dont think there’s a thing I would change. we’ve already increased the budget thousands of dollars to make the wedding more acceptable to his parents and at this point I’m willing to do anything within my budget to save my parents’ pride and his parents’ happiness.
Post # 3
I can see where you are coming from and it’s probably not fun to have the rehearsal dinner upstage the wedding. I do see one major flaw with their plan, hosting 60 plus people for a multicourse dinner will take hours. It doesn’t make sense to have people out for several hours it takes to do that the night before the wedidng, esp as from what I gather the night before the wedding many oot guest will be coming in.
We had a fancy steakhouse for our rehearsal dinner as well. Here is what we did, grandparents, parents, wedding party, siblings, readers were invited to a late lunch before the rehearsal. Then my uncle hosted a simple welcome dinner where people could come and go. He had chicken wings, burgers, and some grilled seafood, with wine and beers for about two hours, and we had less of our oot guest
Is it possible they can host a lunch for the bridal party and family who more then likely will be in town early for the rehearsal. Then host a small welcome party with a couple of passed ordurves and drinks for an hour or two.
Post # 4
I don’t think that you need to worry about the rehearsal dinner outshining the wedding. It will be a completely different vibe…will there be dancing at the reception? Music, dancing, cake cutting and a more celebratory atmosphere will make it a completely different evening than the rehearsal dinner. I doubt anyone will be comparing the two. I’ve been to rehearsal dinners at fancy restaurants that had better food than the wedding the next day, but I never thought about it in those terms.
Post # 5
@mrsgroomzilla: Would the parents consider switching events (his parents host the reception, your parents host the rehearsal)? Since your FI’s parents are paying, I feel that they should get the say. From what you’ve written, it seems like they want their son to have a really fancy dinner for their guests.
Post # 6
Your FIs parents want to host the rehersal dinner and your parents want to host the wedding reception. You can’t really ask one party to change their vision so that it doesn’t offend the other party, because in the hopes of making one side (your parents) happy you are intentionally hurting the other side (his parents). I would just let each set of parents host the event they are comfortable hosting.
Post # 7
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
@mrsgroomzilla: That sucks :/ I hope you can find an amicable solution.
I will say, I don’t think there’s any way the rehearsal dinner can upstage the wedding though. The wedding reception has such an air of love and celebration, because it comes directly after the ceremony and people are all hopped up on emotion. Add in nice decorations and the traditional reception events (first dance, cake cutting, etc) and it makes for a really really special night.
We had a welcome dinner for about 80% of the guest list (whoever was around) the night before, and I was initially worried about upstaging. Not because it was fancy, but because it was at the same location and I thought the wedding the next day might be “been there done that”. Definitely did not feel that way at all for the reasons above.
Good luck xoxo
Post # 8
I’m with sarals24 here.
It sounds like the rehearsal dinner is just that: dinner.
You’ll have a lot more going on at the actual reception the next day. The food, though important, will only be part of the bigger picture of your reception (I’m assuming you’re having dancing, toasts, cake).
Since FILs are paying, they should be given this one. Unless your parents have a major inferiority complex, there will be so much going on the next day and them feeling so proud of you that I think the food will be the least of their concerns.
Post # 9
It is a completely different vibe, so since your FI’s parents are paying they technically get the say unless you don’t want to go through with a dinner. I can see where your disappointment would stem from, but I assure you people will not think about it when they are at the wedding, and the wedding is a perfect opportunity for you to personally thank yoour parents for an absolutely lovely reception that you wouldn’t change a thing about. That will make them feel good 🙂
Post # 10
@TwoCityBride: that could actually work…. if we did an earlier rehearsal and lunch then a big welcome dinner, maybe maybe maybe his parents would go for that. I think my parents would be less sensitive about the lavishness and formality of a welcome event and his parents might even go for something more casual.
a rehearsal dinner is just so loaded and it brings up a lot of feelings (and insecurities) on both sides, particularly when the bride and groom come from different background. I’ll talk to mr. FI tonight – fingers crossed!
@housebee: it’s a good suggestion but my parents are very traditional, they would be devistated if I even suggested that their means weren’t sufficient to host my wedding reception ( which in their mind is the single most important role of a girl’s parents… )
Post # 11
@lolot: thank you for that, it’s really comforting to hear from someone who’s been there <3
Post # 12
@sarahuccs lol, you hit the real problem straight on (with the inferiority complex comment) the thing is, dad was laid off very recently and we cut the wedding size to stay within a revised budget which they hated to have to do – i think everyone is just a little sensitive right now…