Post # 1
Hello Bees! I really have something I need to get off my chest, quite a rant… just a warning 🙂 Truly, I’d love some feedback!
Two days ago my FMIL called my FI to let him know that they’d made reservations at a very nice local restaurant for our rehearsal dinner, unbeknownst to us, as last we knew the plan was to have a nice, casual outdoor BBQ with all of our wedding party and family from out of town. However, the restaurant is a nice place and I’ve heard great things, so I was excited that plans had been set. After calling her last night to find out how many she’d made reservations for and to let her know who we had in mind to invite, she promptly informed me that it would be strictly the wedding party invited, no guests (one of my bridesmaids is married btw and most are in relationships) and even grandparents weren’t considered for the guest list. After doing some talking, she bent a little and is going to allow guests for the bridesmaids ONLY and my grandparents are now invited… but NO out of town guests. This REALLY puts me off. My grandparents, aunt and uncle, two sets of cousins and their families are all making the flight from Florida to Illinois to spend the weekend with us, and I find it just plain rude that they won’t be invited to the rehearsal. Is this out of line to assume they should be invited?? To me, a rehearsal dinner need not be fancy, in fact I was very excited to have a casual BBQ with any and all family invited. Isn’t that what a wedding is all about; two families coming together to celebrate their children’s marriage? I’ve talked to my FI about this and he agrees, but I feel that I need to talk to my FMIL directly since this is something that her and I just discussed last night.
Am I out of line in thinking this way? I just assumed it was common courtesy and etiquette to invite out of town guests, especially family no less.
Post # 3
I agree that it’s very strange that your OOT family isn’t included…we didn’t extend our rehearsal dinner invites to OOT guests (just OOT family) so I can’t help you there. If we did that, we’d have nearly everyone attending the rehearsal dinner! 🙂
If I were in your shoes, I would be miffed to have to negotiate with FMIL to get your grandparents invited as well as SO’s for the wedding party. That’s pretty standard as is OOT family that arrive the night before. That being said, perhaps it’s a money issue (and if it is – then the backyard BBQ would be a better bet!) Has she said WHY she is trying to keep it small?
My Mom offered to pay for her OOT family so that my FIL’s didn’t have to pay too much. They graciously declined the offer, but it was nice that my parents would have covered the cost so that all of our family can be there.
Post # 4
Girl, I totally agree with you that you should have everyone there that you want. Not inviting your grandparents?! REALLY FMIL? come on. rude. I am having an outdoor bbq, and my parents HATE the idea…they think its classless, and I don’t care. I feel it fits my FI and my laid-back, happy-go-lucky attude. Everyone can relax, enjoy a good pulled pork sandwich and an ice cold beer. If your FMIL is not wanting to invite everyone because she wants to keep the cost down (seems what it is) then she shouldn’t have picked a fancy restaurant. If she wont budge, do you have it in your budget to throw your own bbq like you had planned? My FH’s parents are in another country, so won’t be attending this wedding (we’re having two) so FH is footing the rehersal dinner bill—and that means WE call all the shots, not parents. Just an option to consider for you.
Post # 5
Thank you for feedback! I don’t want to feel totally selfish in this, because I know that this is something that FI’s parents want to take care of, but honestly I felt it was rude of them to assume who and who shouldn’t be invited; this is our wedding! And when people take time, money and resources to travel to spend time with us for our special day, I believe that offering them dinner should be a no-brainer. The way it should have happened was for her to ask us how many guests we anticipated, and worked within their budget. It makes no sense to me that a place was selected before even considering our list… it would be practically the same thing if I were to tell her that my parents couldn’t afford to pay for her family’s meals at our wedding! Just my opinion.
Post # 6
I guess I’m going to be on the other side of the fence by myself. Your OOT guests are coming for your wedding, not your rehearsal or your rehearsal dinner. They will get dinner at the wedding reception.
If the groom’s parents are hosting, they get to decide who is invited. It is not at all unusual that the guest list for a rehearsal dinner is limited to the wedding party and their SO’s, and very close family members on both sides.
It is actually a fairly recent trend for SOME NOT ALL rehearsal dinners to include OOT’s.
If you want more say in the guest list, host the dinner yourselves.
Post # 7
I agree that at the very least, the bridal party SOs and your grandparents should be included.
For other OOT guests? It’s nice, but not required. What we’re doing is following the rehearsal dinner up with a campfire party at my parents’ house that everyone is invited to (local guests, OOT guests who are already in town, etc.) – could you add something like that?
Post # 8
@julies1949: I agree with this.
We only had bridal party and guests because I find the OOT thing to be a bit arbitrary. But we were hosting so we could decide who we wanted there. If she’s hosting, she can decide who is there.
Post # 9
If i invited all of my oot guest it would be about 65% of our guest list. So we are doing only bridalparent parents and grandparents. I do think your FMIL should have told you before making an excutive decision on this. I think picking the place, what she offers, and all that is up to her, but she should consult on the guest list. If you guys want more people there, and she not willing to pay for it, then you have to foot the bill.
Post # 10
@julies1949: I agree with this too. It may be a nice gesture to include OOT guests at the rehearsal dinner, but it’s certainly not a requirement. And if your in-laws are hosting and paying for the dinner, they get to ultimately decide who gets invited.
Post # 12
We would have loved to have our rehearsal dinner at a nice restaurant, but we really wanted all of our out of town guests to be included since most were flying from 3,000+ to be at our wedding. We are ordering food from a restaurant and having it delivered to a house we reserved near our venue for friends and family to stay at. It’s not as fancy as a sit down dinner, but we can’t wait to have this extra time with our guests before the wedding, and we know they’ll appreciate it as well. We’re paying for our wedding ourselves, so it made that decision easier.
Is there any way to pony up the cash for your other OOT guests?
Post # 13
@julies1949: I agree
If they are hosting, they can set the guest list. However, if you want to plan something AFTER the rehearsal dinner (like a cocktail reception) and invite all the other out-of-town guests, you can certainly do that on your own. We actually had our rehearsal dinner (bridal party & SOs only) on Thursday night, and then did an open house/happy hour type of thing on Friday night which all OOTs were invited to, not wanting to burden the FILs with hosting all of the OOT guests.
Post # 14
While I think you have a good reason to be upset about the lack of invitations for your grandparents and SOs of the bridal party, I can understand your FMIL’s point about not inviting all OOT guests. While it would be a nice gesture, I don’t think you are required to host all OOT guests the night before. Perhaps your FMIL is just excited to plan some part of your wedding since the MOGs aren’t usually too involved?
If we invited all of our OOT family to our rehearsal, we’d pretty much have another wedding reception the night before. Maybe you could throw a morning after the wedding celebratory brunch/bbq and invite all the OOT guests/family.
Post # 15
- Wedding: August 2012 - Sunset Harbour
We aren’t having OOT guests attend – but we are inviting OOT guests…well really, EVERYONE….to join us for drinks after the rehersal dinner dies out. We will not be paying for said drinks though.
Post # 16
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
According to my etiquette guru, Emily Post, out of towners are not an invite must- if your budget allows, it’s a nice touch, but not required.
Your FMIL *should* have included bridal party guests and grandparents in the original list (and siblings, too, if they’re not already included.) However aunts, uncles, etc. are on their own. Like some PPs, we’re inviting the other OOT guests to join us afterwards for drinks (FI and I are paying for RD.)
I’ve been to rehearsal dinners with 20 and 60 people, and preferred the smaller events so much more.