Post # 1
Hopefully this isn’t confusing for you ladies, but I am looking for some direction & advice. Long story short (sorry this ended up being a little long 🙂 ), we have a rocky relationship with my FI’s parents, so things arn’t very easy to bring up with them. They decided they want to host a rehearsal dinner the night before our wedding for OFT guests. Initally, we mentioned that we weren’t sure who from the wedding party & my side of the family will be in town the night before the wedding (I said this b/c we arn’t actually having a rehearsal & we didn’t want to “require” our wedding party to come into town early although most of our friends said they would be in town the night before anyway.) Also, I should add that I initally mentioned to them that my parents & other family members might not be able to attend b/c we were planning on making our wedding cupcaks & would be busy all night. WELL, we were able to switch things around and can now affored to buy them, so my parents will be free the night before the wedding.
Well we hadn’t heard about any plans regarding the dinner in a while so since its 2 months away from the wedding, my FI asked his parents “who is invited?” his parents were shocked, because they said they thought that they don’t have to invite the wedding party or any of my family’s side because I said they couldn’t go (which I didn’t say, I said might not be able to go.) Well they are upset now, and my FI & I think that in the end they are only going to invite thier all their siblings (my FI’s aunts & uncles on both his mom & dads side,) my parents, and maybe the bridal party. Which means that they might not invite my parents siblings (although all my parents siblings are OFT guests, just like theirs.
My FI suggested I post this situation on here to see what we can do to circumevent the issue that his parents are basically upset that my family can actually attend the rehearsal dinner. Advice?? What is etiquette when it comes rehearsal dinners? If his parents invite their OFT guests (their siblings) shouldn’t my parents OFT guests (who also happen to be their siblings) get invited too?
Post # 3
this is a case of tradition vs. etiquette. tradition is the groom’s parents pay for the rehearsal dinner. etiquette is to invite the wedding party and all OOT quests (if that can’t be done for budget reaons, then it’s okay to just invite the wedding party). you don’t have to follow tradition, but you should be corteous and follow etiquette. that said, your FIL’s don’t have to pay for th RD. since your in-laws are footing the bill, the guests are limited to whomever they want to invite. etiquette would dictate that if they invite any OOT guests, then they should invite ALL OOT guests, but, it’s really their decision. perhaps your FI can have a heart-to-heart talk with them and explain the situation and hurt feelings that could be involved if your FILs decide to only invite “their” side. if they won’t budge, then offer to cover the cost of your OOT guests, and explain that due to financial reasons, you will have to something that is budget-friendly. maybe your FILs will feel bad and change their minds. good luck and hope everything works out.
Post # 4
The rehearsal dinner should be your and your FI’s immediate family and their spouses, the wedding party and their spouses, and the officiant if he attends the rehearsal. Anyone else like out of town guests or extended family are at the discretion of the host. The rehearsal dinner isn’t meant to be a pre-party for the reception and people typically only include out of town guests out of a sense of obligation so they’re not left to their own devices.
It is totally up to your FI’s parents who gets invited, but it would be bad form to only invite the groom’s aunts and uncles. The reception honors both of you, not just him. She can do what she wants, but by making the distinction between his family and your family, your FMIL is in essence sending the message to your family that she’s not concerned with creating a unified family and would rather be petty. I don’t know why she would want to make such a bad impression when the reception is a gesture to thank your family for hosting the wedding.
Would they have been originally invited before your conversation about them maybe not being there? If the rehearsal dinner invites had been sent or a contract signed, that would be another story, but otherwise I don’t see what difference it makes. Maybe it was a miscommunication, maybe she wasn’t listening, maybe you should have been more proactive in telling her who all would be here earlier…water under the bridge at this point. Two months is PLENTY of time to organize a rehearsal dinner.
Hopefully his parents understand that this hiccup with the rehearsal dinner is nothing compared to what you deal with in wedding planning. Maybe you can offer to help pay for your aunts and uncles. Hopefully your FMIL will cut you some slack. At least be thankful and give her some credit for taking care of the rehearsal dinner….I had to plan and arrange EVERYTHING for mine!