Post # 1
For our rehersal dinner, we are definitely including parents, siblings, grandparents, groomsmen, bridesmaids, ushers, our pastor, and any spouses or fiance(e)s of the above mentioned people. In my opinion, I’d rather not include other dates of the bridal party as it will make the evening less intimate, not to mention more expensive. However, my Future Mother-In-Law thinks we need to invite the girlfriend of her other son (groom’s brother, who is also the best man). Her reasoning is that she thinks her son and his girlfriend will be mad at her for not including her. At the same time, they don’t think we need to invite boyfriends/girlfriends of the rest of the bridal party. To my knowledge, formal etiquette states that if one person gets to bring a girlfriend/boyfriend, then everyone should. It’s not fair to the rest of the bridal party who would like to bring a date too.
I do get along with my Future Mother-In-Law for the most part and we usually don’t have disagreements to speak of. The girlfriend is not my favorite person in the world but we mostly get along, too. In my opinion she mostly just has a lot of growing up to do (at new year’s she thought it would be funny to pour beer all over everyone, she gossips a bit too much for my taste, just little things like that, etc.) and honestly I’d rather have people there that I love and that love me. No one would be upset if she was there but again, if she gets to come then everyone else’s date should too. My fiance doesn’t care one way or another.
My fiance’s family (who is hosting the rehearsal dinner) is not exceptionally well-to-do and inviting dates of everyone else would quickly add to the cost. As they are hosting, they do get to make final decisions, but at the end of the day, I am the one getting married and am not keen on forgoing etiquette. I am certainly not the type to base decisions on whose feelings are going to be hurt the most, as long as the situation is approached with grace and tact. In my opinion, all or none is the way to go.
Post # 3
I agree that all or none is best, but since your inlaws are paying they do, as you said, get the final say. I guess you’d just have to explain it to the rest of the bridal party and they could relay it to their dates. I’m sure people will understand that it would be costly to include the additional people. It would make me a little uncomfortable to include some and not others but what can ya do, you know?
Post # 4
I was under the impression that is the norm to give your bridal party a date option for the rehersal dinner. After all they are spending time and money to be with you and your future husband on the big day, the least you can do is let them bring a date to the rehersal dinner so they will have someone to chat with during all the boring speeches.
Post # 5
If they’re in the bridal party, they should have the option to bring a date if they aren’t married. Mine will have the option at least.
Post # 6
Your bridal party does a lot for you, I would allow them to bring dates.
Post # 7
From personal experience as a bridesmaid, I found it quite upsetting that I wasn’t given the choice of bringing my Fiance to the rehearsal dinner. We are giving our bridal party the option of bringing someone to the rehearsal dinner– whether they have a Husband, Fiance, Significant Other or not.
Post # 8
I think the entire wedding party should bring dates if they would like as long as it’s in the budget. If it’s not, then no. EVeryone does their rehearsal dinner differently so there really isn’t a rule of thumb here. SOme just have wedding party and immediate family. Some include out of town guests. Some are even smaller and only the wedding party, no dates if they aren’t in the party. I have been to both kinds.
Post # 9
I’d say it’s all or nothing… But if they’re paying, I think it might be their choice!
And you can always let your bridal party know that “FMIL chose who was invited! I didn’t even get a say!”