Rehearsal Dinner Advice/rant – Long

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
42089 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@AlmostMrsJPS:  How does your FI feel about the RD? It’s his Mom. I would let him deal with her.

She is the hostess, so she gets to decide the guest list. Unfortunately, her thoughts about this do not mesh with yours.

The “tradional” list of responsibilities should be thrown out the window. That division was established when brides were young and moving directly from their father’s home to their husband’s home.

If you don’t want the FMIL to be making the decisions, you have the option to pay for the RD yourselves. It can be pizza and beer- it need not be fancy,

I happen to agree with you that OOT’s need not be invited to the RD, but you are sure to get responses from Bees who will insist that it is de rigeur to invite them.

There is room for compromise in this sutuation as there is in most situations. You could invite the OOT’s to join you for coffee and dessert , or drinks, after the RD.

Post # 4
1104 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Could you make do a welcome breakfast or something for OOT guests? That would maybe pacify FMIL and be a cheaper way to spend time with OOT guests. 

We had somewhat of a similar issue where OOT guests assumed they are invited for RD…luckily we aren’t doing it the night before the wedding, but two days before so they wouldn’t be able to be there anyway. 

Post # 5
1417 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I’m not having this problem, but my take on it is – your wedding, your rehearsal dinner, invite who you want!

Post # 7
455 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@AlmostMrsJPS:  “We’re even covering all the flowers – which I discovered was a groom’s side expense.”

Ok, first of all, no one is obligated to pay for your wedding. Not even your parents. So that is irrelevant.

If your FMIL is hosting the event, she can invite whoever she wants. However, you and your fiance are also free to decline her offer and host the RD yourselves. 

The only people who MUST be invited to the RD are the people participating in the rehearsal and their significant others. The rehearsal dinner is just a way of saying “thanks for rehearsing with us.”

Post # 10
856 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@AlmostMrsJPS:  They are not obligated to pay for your honeymoon. Or flowers. Or anything. Be grateful fo what people OFFER and pay for the rest yourself or go without. 

Post # 11
10883 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

@AlmostMrsJPS:  If your FMIL truly is hosting, then she can invite anyone she pleases who is also invited to the wedding. However, your FI really should sit down with her and discuss the budget for this event to be sure that everyone is on the same page.

I can’t imagine a rehearsal dinner at a restaurant  that would only cost $200 for food, beverages, and gratuities even for a fairly small number of people. 

Our RD included only about 35 guests and was held at a small, very moderately priced Italian restaurant, and the bill, with family style appetizers, entrees for each person, non-alcoholic  beverges, and gratuities, was still more than $1,300.

Post # 12
1566 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014


1. I have never heard of the groom’s parents paying for a honeymoon. I have always been under the assumption that that is a personal expense for the bride & groom.

2. Your FMIL wants to host a rehearsal dinner and wants a large guest list.

The best way to make sure that this is actually happening is to first ask if she would like help planning it. If she wants help planning it, then ask her budget first. Then you can find an appropriate venue. It’s the same way you plan a wedding: Guest list, budget, then venue. If she’s fine having something that’s more casual like a BBQ or heavy hors d’ouevres reception, then that may be what it needs to be for her to host the guest list she wants within the budget she has.

Post # 13
1093 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@julies1949:  +1

@merpitymerp:  +1

If you have an issue with who your FMIL is inviting to the RD, then decline the money and pay for it yourself. 200.00 is also a small amount for a RD at a restaurant.  Our rehearsal dinner is on a Thursday and the minimum for that night is 400.00.

Post # 14
23 posts

@AlmostMrsJPS:  Put your foot down. A RD is not supposed to be a huge spectacle. Ideally just those who are in the wedding party, parents, grandparents need come.

Post # 15
455 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@AlmostMrsJPS:  The reason I reminded you that no one is obligated to pay for your wedding is that you seem to be stuck on the notion that your FILs are required to pay for your RD and honeymoon. They are not. Your parents are giving you a very generous gift in paying for your wedding, but your parents’ generosity does not change the fact that your FILs are not responsible for financing a dime of your wedding.

With that said, your FMIL is offering you a gift in hosting the RD. If you don’t like the gift she’s offering, you can decline it. And, in fact, simply declining is much more polite than trying to dictate the terms of her gift.

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