Post # 1
I’ve done a lot of investigating on who gets invited to the rehearsal dinner, and honestly, from the countless different opinions, I’m still not even sure what the correct protocol is. Anyway, we’re going traditional when it comes to how things are being split – My family is paying for the wedding, and (supposedly) his side is taking care of the honeymoon and rehearsal. I say supposedly because his side is not very well off with money at all (and mine isn’t either, but we are definitely covering a SIGNIFICANT, SIGNIFICANT amount more than his side. We’re even covering all the flowers – which I discovered was a groom’s side expense. So with that being said I’m very nervous about their funds).
Anyway, I’m getting very frustrated with my FMIL because she is INSISTENT on having every single out of town guest invited to the rehearsal dinner. Our wedding isn’t a destination wedding, but for those in the state, it’s still about 3hrs away from pretty much everyone and for those coming out of state, well…there’s still several of those too. So essentially, everyone is coming from out of town to our wedding. And she thinks EVERYONE should be invited. I completely disagree for several reasons. 1 – She and my FFIL (divorced) CANNOT afford it. (FFIL hasn’t even set aside money for the honeymoon yet and we’ve constantly reminded him every couple of weeks SINCE SEPTEMBER of last year) 2 – If we invite everyone from out of town, we’re basically having a second reception. And 3 – I don’t like the idea of having every single person invited.
I’ve been telling her that it would be too costly and pointless because we’d be paying for two receptions in the end. She keeps insisting on inviting all of these people, but I just flat out want to be like, AND HOW ARE YOU GOING TO PAY FOR IT?! My family is already shelling out a great deal of money (and we’re even on the lower end of costs)…the last thing I’d want to do is have my parents have to come through with even MORE money simply because my FMIL thinks it’s proper to invite these people. I think we should keep it to parents, g-parents, attendants, and their dates. I want a more intimate setting…we’re already going to have to entertain everyone for hours the following day – at least let us enjoy the time with people we’re the closest with.
Anyone else having these issues?
Post # 3
@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
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
I’m not having this problem, but my take on it is – your wedding, your rehearsal dinner, invite who you want!
Post # 6
@julies1949: I totally see your point. I come from an incredibly traditional way of doing things in my family and its just the way my parents feel it’s done. (I’m not arguing with them on that). The issue I have is that my parents are spending thousands of dollars as is, and my FMIL can’t afford $200 to spare. $200 would be fine for the amount of people I have in mind. However, because she’s insistent on all of the OOT people, I just can’t fathom where on earth the funds will come from. My FI agrees with me, but his mom is stubborn and never listens to him. I have a strong feeling that we’ll basically be paying for our own honeymoon (because his dad doesn’t really care that his only son is getting married/doesn’t want to give up any money) and no offense to her, but if she’s expecting to have this enormous guest list for the RD, I have a feeling she’s going to secretly go to my FI and ask for the money to pay for it. And I think that’s ridiculous because we’re trying to cut costs since we’re saving for a house and whatnot. Just because she wants to add more people…
Post # 7
@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 # 8
@Skittles131: I offered the idea of cocktails after the dinner, but have the OOT pay for their own drinks…and she was like, well we’d need to pay for them if that’s the case! It’s defeating the whole purpose. She keeps saying “we” need to pay for them…but no offense, MY family is paying about 20X more than what you’ve even set aside. So I don’t understand how you can keep saying “we” need to pay.
@raspberrymojito: I’ve tried to avoid the whole “my, my, my” mentality, but avoiding that has been leaving me in a place where my original ideas are getting overlooked. Time to take back the “my wedding” idea because you’re right! It’s a day that is special to me and my fiance and if it’s not our vision, it’s not living up to this bill in the end.
Post # 9
@merpitymerp: We’re doing things traditionally and shouldn’t be faulted on that. I was merely stating that we’re covering a cost that is typically a TRADITIONAL cost for the groom’s side to point out the fact that we’re already covering so much, and for my FMIL to be insistent on this giant guest list without the funds is frustrating. If she had the money to invite whoever she wanted, fine. We’d be having a second reception. But the fact she’s telling me, we HAVE to invite all of these people, but has zero solutions on how it will be funded is why I have an issue.
Post # 10
@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
@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
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
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
@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
@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.
Post # 16
@strawberrypixie: That’s exactly how I feel. We’re paying for all of these people coming to the wedding to enjoy a full meal, apps, free alcohol, and favors and whatnot…I don’t feel the need to do it twice by means of a RD. I don’t even care for the whole concept of a RD – I’d rather just relax with my BMs the night before and destress…not have to entertain more people – let alone worry about how this other huge party can be funded. If it were up to me and FI, we wouldnt have a RD…but his mom is insisting on having a huge one. The point I’m trying to make…she’s offering to pay…we’re grateful…but you can’t offer to pay for something that you can’t afford. I’m trying to have her to see things in a more practical manner.