Post # 1
<span class=”Apple-style-span” style=”color: #222222; font-family: Verdana, Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 11px; line-height: 12px”>Hi,
I am planning what is an "out of town" wedding in October 2010. People will be either driving 3 hours the day of (for an event at 5pm) OR coming in on Friday night (day before).
That said, we have planned a Friday night bonfire and dessert for everyone who has arrived by 730-10PM, but have opted to keep the actual "rehearsal dinner" (paid for by my future in-laws) much smaller and include only very close family (thats still ~30ppl).
My mom is insisting that because people may CHOOSE to come up Friday night, we are obligated to serve them some sort of dinner (even if they are not in wedding party, etc) and wishes to serve "sandwiches and light fare" at the bonfire in addition to the desserts.
I disagree for 2 reasons — 1) guests do not expect to be fed on Friday night and 2) i feel this is an inappropriate snub to my future in-laws by essentially saying "your rehearsal isn’t good enough."
I’d like an objective perspective on this.
Post # 3
Really the rehearsal dinner should just be for close family and the people IN the wedding. People will know that. The fact that you are doing anything at all for guests the night before is enough in my opinion!
Post # 4
Quick question…when is your rehearsal dinner? Before the bonfire?
Post # 5
Rehearsal dinner will probably take place at about 530 PM.
We have no bridal party (except my FI’s 8 year old daughter) so the rehearsal itself should be relatively small too. We had imagined the dinner (3 of us, our parents, grandmas and siblings, and maybe a couple aunts/uncles who are more like parents) being very small especially because my FILs are paying and their budget is very tight.
The bonfire/desserts would start around 730 and go until 10. Any guests who are in the area by then will be invited to that. My parents are hosting (read: paying) for that.
I am just really concerned about offering what may be misconstrued as a "second dinner" although not a rehearsal dinner. I would hate for my FILs to feel that they should have somehow managed to include other people at the RD (many of whom they certainly don’t know!) even though these people are not very close to us.
I also just disagree that these people HAVE to come up Friday night (as my mom asserts). The wedding is 3 hours from their hometown (where most of the "friends" live) and it doesnt start until 5PM on saturday. People could easily come up the day of. We realize though, that most of them will plan to stay over Saturday night and have already planned a brunch for everyone on Sunday.
Post # 6
Wow you really don’t have to serve that many meals (but that is just my opinion)
Props to you for being very accomodating!
Post # 7
I’m a little bit of an older bride, I have been to quite a few weddings since I am coming up among the last of my friends’ and relatives’ weddings. I’ve seen it done both ways and there is no wrong way.
If your mom insists, and you can work it within the budget, then yes, people from out of town will absolutely appreciate being fed on Friday. People know that they should not expect/require it, but I do know many people who will complain if they came "all this way" and are not fed. But they get over it.
I do not think this snubs your in-laws because a small rehearsal dinner happens for so many different reasons. Some rehearsal dinners can cost as much as the wedding dinner (per person), but they wanted the rehearsal to be small and decadent. Some prefer to have a nice intimate rehearsal dinner rather than have the big party two nights in a row. Someone might be willing to make a speech in front of a group 20 instead, but will shy away in a group of 100. If your reason to have a small rehearsal dinner is what it is, then you could look at the casual bonfire as a totally separate event that has no bearing on your in-laws.
Your mom’s probably saying, it’s just that Dick and Jane just got in from Maine with a layover and they just need a bite. Again, no wrong way, and I don’t think your in-laws would argue with that. Well, who knows, so have your fiance test the waters. Good luck!
Post # 8
I think it is a nice gesture. I don’t think it’ll be snubbing your in-laws since it will be a separate affair and you can let them know this is for those who didn’t come to the dinner.
Having said that, everyone, I believe, knows that Rehearsal dinner is traditionally for close family and wedding parties. So, if you don’t do it, I also don’t think you or your mom need to feel bad about it.
Post # 9
I think it would be nice to include everyone but you’re not obligated to do so. We had some folks who had arrived from OOT whom we did not invite to the rehearsal dinner. We wanted the rehearsal dinner to just be the wedding party and our parents/siblings. It would have been kind of awkward to invite the OOT people, because basically none of my family would be included and all of his would have been.
Instead of inviting the OOT folks to the RD, we included a little restaurant guide" in with the OOT guest stuff. That way, they could find a place in town to have dinner on Friday and it was clear that they were not invited to the RD. As a matter of fact, I believe his family actually organized an unofficial dinner for themselves at a local favorite restaurant.
Post # 10
I think that because you’re restricting the rehearsal dinner to close family, nobody would expect to have dinner provided for them. It would be a different scenario if you were including OOT guests as part of the rehearsal dinner and picking and choosing among guests. I think it’s really nice (and fun!) of you to have the bonfire post-dinner and is something I wouldn’t expect and would be psyched about. Your FILs shouldn’t feel slighted by that at all because it is apples and oranges – the RD is for family and the bonfire is for friends in town that night. One has nothing to do with the other. As a guest to a wedding even if I am coming in the night before (which I like to do cause it’s fun to spend time with people the ngiht before), I would never expect to be fed. I grab my own dinner and see everyone later on in the evening. I think your plan is great and I wouldn’t change a thing.
Sidenote: there should be S’mores involved in your bonfire if you’re not already planning that. No one in their right mind should complain about anything if S’mores are available. Mmmm. Now I’m hungry 🙂
Post # 11
I agree with most of the previous posts. You’re certainly not obligated to provide dinner for those coming to the bonfire, but it would be a nice gesture. I think the rehearsal dinner and the bonfire are two mutually exclusive events, so I wouldn’t think it would be a snub to your FILs if food was provided. I’m IN a destination wedding this summer, and I’m paying for everything — travel fare (it’s 8 hours away), food (even at the RD), lodging, etc. I would’ve liked it if this couple would’ve done something similar to your bonfire as a token of appreciation to her guests.
Post # 12
I attended a wedding with the same situation you’re facing, and we were Friday night guests. The couple took care of their formal rehearsal dinner and then put out a few bottles of wine and some snacks (literally, like chips and veggie trays) for folks to nibble on. It was great, and many of her family members from the RD also attended the larger event and enjoyed getting to know their friends.
Of course, this was in a tiny remote town and the venue was literally the only thing around for twenty miles, so if there had been a bar or restaurant guests could meet up at to socialize, perhaps it would not have been needed. Still, it was a nice way to get some face time with the bride and groom since they’re in a whirlwind the next day.
Post # 13
We are doing something similar for our wedding except we are not doing a separate rehearsal dinner. You schedule sounds fine and extremely considerate of your guests and in laws. In all honesty, at 7:30pm most people will have wanted to eat dinner already and most of the local guests really won’t drive up twice. You would probably have lots of left over food if you put out dinner and desserts. What we are finding in our RSVPs (we asked for a friday evening RSVP) is that a handful of our guests from out of town are not planning to come to friday festivities because they are seeing some of the sights locally. I would say just make it clear that only dessert will be served and you will be fine.
Post # 14
Yes , I think you should serve some food. It may not be necessary but it is definitely considerate. If people leave Friday after work, they will be arriving just in time for the bonfire and may not have had time to eat. Also, I would assume food would be served at any event beginning at 7:30. That’s dinner time.
Post # 15
I think there should be food at any party! Sandwiches and snacks at a bonfire isn’t exactally a “dinner”. If your mom is paying, go with it.