Post # 1
So my Future Mother-In-Law is hosting our rehearsal dinner and last night, sheapproached me with the idea she would like to only officially invite (ie. pay for) the wedding party and immediate family but would like to put the word out to the other guests that we will be eating dinner at a certain time, certain location if anyone cares to join us–these people would be paying for their own meal.
I have mixed feelings about making some people pay when others obviously will not be. I would like to see everyone of course and who knows, they may not even care but part of me just thinks that this might get a little socially awkward. She thinks that they will be going out to dinner anyway so they might as well join us. I should mention that almost everyone will be from out of town as we’re getting married in our college town.
What do you guys think??
Post # 3
- Wedding: October 2010 - Ladder 15 Restaurant
I have a similar situation where everyone is from out of town, but the Future In-Laws won’t be paying/hosting it. Personally, I think it’s okay for relatives/friends outside of the immediate family and bridal party to pay their own way. It’ll be a nice way for you to catch up with some people, and most will be understanding that under other circumstances, they wouldn’t even be able to spend the evening with you!
I don’t know what’s proper etiquette in the situation, but I say do what feels right for you. It’s understandable that your Future Mother-In-Law doesn’t want to pay for everyone, so I think her suggestion is a pretty good compromise! Talk to her about your concerns though, and hopefully you can come to an agreement. Good luck!
Post # 4
Thanks for the input! I definitely understand why she wouldn’t want to pay for everyone–and I certainly wouldn’t want that burden on her! I think its a pretty good compromise too, I’m just hoping everyone will be understandable like you say.
Post # 5
We’re in a similar situation (desination college town wedding) and I have been trying to figure out the same thing. Many of the guests are coming a day or two before to enjoy the area, play golf, wine taste, etc. I think we are going to have the rehearsal dinner as a BBQ at a park so we can include extra family, but the OOT friends might meet up later at a club somewhere for awhile. My son has such a large bridal party (20 including the B and G) that by the time we add parents, grandparents, flower girl and parents, and few close family members, we really don’t want to end up paying for a “wedding before the wedding!” Maybe you should suggest to your Mother-In-Law that you would like the rehearsal dinner to be special and intimate (family and bridal party only) and save the excitement of seeing the other friends at the wedding the next day?
Post # 6
What about doing a get together after the dinner? Tell people that you’ll be in the restaurant bar for a few drinks after the dinner (or whatever/wherever) and invite out of town guests to drop by and say hello? I think it could get awkward when the bill comes if you go w/ her idea…
Post # 7
I really like the idea of the get together after the rehearsal dinner. That way the dinner would be a bit more intimate and then everyone could still see each other afterwards. We could even have an earlier dinner and be done by 8 or so… Decisions!
Post # 8
I like Amani’s suggestion a little better. I understand FMIL’s idea, but in practice, I think it would be awkward. Even though these other guests would probably figure that some folks are being paid for, (and obviously they wouldn’t be) I still think come time for the check, it will be weird. Some ppl have to pay some don’t….
Not to mention the Rehearsal Dinner usually includes some little speeches and gifts for the Bridal Party. And these guests won’t get any of that either.
I guess I feel that for people who aren’t in the Bridal Party, sitting on the fringe (ie. Bridal Party dates, or Out of Town guests) the glue that holds them to the Rehearsal Dinner, is the fact that someone shows they care enough to have them there by inviting them, and paying for their dinner. (And nothing personal to Rehearsal Dinner, but if I had to pay for my dinner, I might choose another restaurant, and have a livelier time with other OOTers, and not sit through speeches etc.)
Post # 9
Besides the $ issue, part of the idea is to have dinner with your closest friends and family. And the wedding party can get to know each other (one of my bridesmaids doesn’t know the other two, and my friends don’t know FI’s friends at all). So, I think all those extra people would make it really hard to enjoy dinner with your close friends. It’s also really hard to arrange with a restaurant for a large party when you don’t know how many people are coming, how much will be spent, and have to arrange separate checks. I like the meet-up-for-drinks later idea.
Post # 10
I totally agree Rachel. Thats what my initial gut reaction was but didn’t know if I was just being selfish wanting it to be a bit more intimate. Our groomsmen/bridesmaids don’t really know each other very well either so you’re right, it would be a great opportunity for them to get to know each other a little better.
Ok, I think I’ve decided that we’ll have the rehearsal dinner stay intimate and then arrange some sort of optional, laid back get together afterwards. My Future Mother-In-Law is pretty understanding so I think she’ll be fine–in all honesty, I think my FI’s gma is the one who wants her sisters there lol.
Thanks so much for your advice everyone!
Post # 11
I’m in the same situation, we’re having a semi-DW in Sedona, meaning that 100% of our guest list of 60 is from out of town. We’re inviting all family and bridal party members… well that’s 36 of our guests. Yes we’re inviting over half our guest list, but thankfully my Future Mother-In-Law + Future Father-In-Law both agreed that those are our close family & friends and they should all be there. I initally asked her if we should just do immediate family but she said she’d rather have everyone there.
I think what you’re doing having it be intimate is fine! But I wanted to suggest this: after the wedding we’re having a “S’Mores Snack by the Fire” and we’re inviting our close family and friends again through word of mouth. So they get to spend lots of time with us. :o) It’s another thing to think about!