Post # 1
Son’s soon to be Bride has decided that all guests coming to the destination wedding, located 900 miles from our home, MUST be invited to the rehearsal dinner. The original number provided to us, has now grown to almost double, and our venue will no longer accommodate our party of over 100 – 125 diners. My ex husband and I have not been given any options as to who is invited because that would “ruin” the Bride’s big day. Plus, everyone has come sooooo far and they “deserve” to come to the rehearsal dinner. Apparently all Destination Weddings have the protocol that all attending the wedding must be invited to the rehearsal dinner. Says who? The Bride says who. What that means is my expenses have more than doubled and instead of one wedding dinner we now have two. The Bride also believes that the rehearsal dinner is another opportunity for the Bride to shine and it is her night and therefore she and her mother MUST have input into the evening. Needless to say, I have quite had it up to my eyeballs with the wedding, my son, the Bride, her family, Destinations, and believe in elopements. My advice to Brides. Back off!!!! Allow the Grooms parents to do their thing in peace. We have allowed you to do yours without any interference from us.
Post # 3
I can understand the logic — don’t out of town guests usually get invited to the rehearsal, too, so they feel welcome and have something to do? I mean, technically, all the guests are out of town. That being said, if you are paying for it, you should have some say. However, it IS still the bride (and groom’s) occassion. “Back off ” — Wow.
(Is this snarky? I can’t help it. The original post is just so hostile!)
Edit — kittyachi said what I think but she said it better.
Post # 4
I think it’s actually traditional to invite all Out of Town guests to the rehearsal dinner, and hence all guests at a destination wedding. But usually destination weddings are pretty small, so it’s not much of an issue. It definitely sounds like she’s going overboard with this though.
Can you set a budget for the rehearsal dinner and tell them they have to pay all expenses over that number? Also, I do think it’s fair to allow the bride some say in terms of location, food, etc as long as it works in your budget. My Future Mother-In-Law gave us a budget and we both decided on the cuisine together. Fiance and I will pick 2-3 restaurants that we like within that cuisine and price range, and she’ll probably have final say.
I hope you can figure this out with both of them. They should understand that you’re already spending a lot of money on attending the wedding and might not be able to host a dinner for 125 people.
Post # 5
You could always decline paying for it.
I believe it is the proper thing to invite out of towners to the rehearsal dinner.
Post # 6
@hadituptohere – It is actually proper etiquette for a Destination Wedding rehearsal dinner to include all guests. Usually DWs are smaller than your son’s wedding seems to be, but it is what it is. I’m sorry this is more than you bargained for but this is not simply the bride deciding this is what needs to happen – it’s the proper thing to do. If I was invited to a destination wedding and an invitation to the rehearsal dinner was not extended to me by the groom’s parents, I’d be offended and I’d think they were being cheap as hell.
Here’s a word of advice for you – don’t start out your relationship with your future daughter in law with such malice and negativity.
Post # 7
We just had to come up with a compromise for something similar. Although my wedding is not a “destination wedding,” a lot of people are coming from Out of Town. We counted up all of the OOTers and decided that we could not accomodate 80-90 people for a rehearsal dinner. We did not want a mini-wedding and we didn’t want to place that burden on my FILs.
So we set boundaries. Everyone involved in the wedding (obviously) and parents/siblings of bride/groom’s parents are invited. We’re meeting any other OOTers for a drink later on that night. So far this is working out perfectly and all involved are pleased.
Post # 8
how destination is this wedding? If someone’s flying internationally, i would agree with the bride and say invite everybody. If it’s a 3 hour drive or something, nah, invite who you want. That said, you can invite whomever you want since you’re paying. But just know that it’s probably the norm for a long distance Destination Wedding to invite all of the guests to the rehearsal dinner. We did, and I’m very glad for that.
Post # 9
I’ve heard that the proper etiquette for rehearsal dinners is to invite all out-of-towners… but I didn’t invite all out of towners to my rehearsal dinner, even though it’s the etiquette.
Etiquette is what it is, but we still get to make the final call. If it’s not in the budget, the main options are to reduce the number of people and/or to find a cheaper venue.
Personally, Bee and I paid for our rehearsal dinner ourselves… so we kept it restricted to just the immediate families and the wedding party. After all, we were throwing a huge expensive party for everyone the next day!
Post # 10
I can see why you would be upset to get a sudden boost in headcount for the rehearsal dinner, but it seems a bit unreasonable to expect that the bride have no input into her rehearsal dinner. I agree with Girlwitharing. Maybe you could talk to your son and his fiance and just say that your budget just can’t accomodate all of their guests. They can then either cover the difference or decide to cut back a bit.
It may seem unreasonable to you for the bride to give input for an event that you are hosting, but I’m sure that she just wants all wedding related things to be perfect. I for one would feel left out if my fmil was planning my rehearsal dinner without asking me for my thoughts!
Post # 11
Are you saying there are 100 people coming to the RD? I’m confused. Although it is very nice to accomodate all Out of Town guests the night before, my understanding is that it isn’t actually required… especially with a group that size. If you can’t afford it, just say no and limit it to wedding party members and family. Out of Town guests should understand,.. honestly I don’t expect to be invited to the Rehearsal Dinner just because I’m from out of town. I think the Rehearsal Dinner should be a more intimate gathering of just the people closest to the bride and groom… just my opinion though.
Post # 12
I am confused. Is this a Destination Wedding, or one that just happens to be Out of Town for most people? 75% of our guests were from Out of Town but we did not invite them to the rehearsal dinner. They were not taking part in the wedding, why would they need to be there?
Post # 13
i didn’t read the milage in the original post. Hm. Question for you – have 100-125 people already RSVP’ed yes to the destination wedding? We invited that many, but only 50 ish people came.
Post # 14
@hadituptohere, did you come to vent? Or to have a discussion about this?
If it’s the latter, some helpful information will present itself.
Post # 15
I’m sorry you are stuck in this awful situation! Your soon-to-be daughter-in-law needs to put her etiquette in check.
You are right to be enraged by her inconsiderate attempt to take over the rehearsal dinner that YOU are hosting. I would give her your budget, tell her how many people it allows, and she can fill in the empty seats (left after inviting the wedding party, spouses and parents) with whomever she wants. But once the seats are full, they’re full.
Maybe offer an after-dinner cocktail hour for the rest of the out-of-towners, so they can join up with the actual rehearsal party guests. (Hotel bar, perhaps?)
Good luck, and keep us posted!
Post # 16
I have to agree with the others, it is customary to invite all at a destination wedding to the rehearsal dinner and I know many sometimes even do a morning after brunch. It’s a nice way to say thank you for all who are using vacation time and spending their money to travel 900 miles to a wedding.
Typically DW’s are smaller so its not as much of an issue, but I was at one last year with 110 people. All were invited to the rehearsal dinner (although it was worded as a welcome dinner) and the day after brunch. It doesn’t have to be a sit down dinner though, the one I went to was a nice cocktail party with drinks and finger foods.
Do you know for sure that everyone invited will be attending? If yes then at this point I think you need to sit down and have a calm conversation with your future daughter-in-law. Maybe a compromise can be met, like having all invited but you get to choose the location and details. Or perhaps the bride and groom can contribute to the cost.
Personally I just think that if someone is travelling 900 miles, paying for travel and hotel costs, and likely still bringing a wedding gift… yeah I think they “deserve” a second meal.