Post # 1
So here’s the quandary. Just a bit of an explanation first, as you need to understand the wedding timeline for this to make sense.
We’re getting married on Memorial Day weekend 2010 in DC. The wedding will be on SUNDAY night (so rehearsal is on Saturday, and people can still leave on Monday because it’s a holiday). One of the other reasons we’re doing Sunday is so people can join us at the National Memorial Day Concert on the Mall in front of the Capitol steps on Saturday night–I come from a long line of military men, and it’s an important part of honoring my family and their service, plus it’s just tons of fun to listen to music on the lawn. SO…our rehearsal at the venue will be on Saturday morning, followed by a small rehearsal brunch at our favorite restaurant, followed by the outside concert on Saturday evening. For the evening concert, we’re inviting ANYONE who would like to attend, as well as providing those people who RSVP gourmet sandwich boxes from a local bakery.
So the question is–who to invite to the brunch immediately following the rehearsal? Our restaurant can seat 60. 250 are invited to the wedding. If we did just wedding party and all family, that would be 88 invites (yes, we both have huge families). If we did just wedding party and immediate family (parents, siblings, grandparents), we would be in a safe zone of 50 or so. The only people who need to be at the rehearsal are wedding party and parents and siblings, as they’re participating in the ceremony.
Tell me the truth–am I being very rude not inviting our entire families to the brunch, considering everyone is invited to the dinner on the lawn? If it was me, I’d rather have the morning to explore DC if I didn’t have to be at the rehearsal, but that could be just me. Help?
Post # 3
I think it is totally reasonable to just have those participating in the ceremony to be at the brunch. You will see your extended family and out of town guests that evening, which is wonderful!! That way they can feel included in the weekend, without necessarily being part of the rehersal. And, I would probably want to explore DC and not watch the rehersal for the wedding I will witness in 24 hours anyway! You also have some time, so maybe hold off on making any definite arrangments until you get a better idea of how many will be attending the wedding, around for Saturday festivities, etc. Sounds like you are going to have a wonderful weekend!
Post # 4
Your wedding weekend sounds GORGEOUS! wow.
Since the brunch place only holds 60 people I think it’s totally OK to say only wedding party and immediate family. If it can’t hold more, what can you do?!
You are buying everyone dinner, I think that’s completely sufficient. Don’t even worry about being rude! your gourmet lunch boxes sound delish, I may just show up and crash your wedding…J/K J/K but seiruosly, what a cool and neat idea!
And I think it’s LOVELY that you are honoring the servicement in your family, seeing as how i’m marrying one myself =]
Post # 5
i think it is pretty much tradition to have just the bridal party at the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, so you should be fine with that. you are planning such a great weekend for your guests – the second rehearsal sounds wonderful!
Post # 6
Thanks everyone! I’m glad to know I’m not jumping off the ettiquette deep-end if I decide to include just the wedding party at the brunch.
See, I would contemplate moving the rehearsal brunch to another restaurant, but it’s a space that’s very special to us–my FI proposed there twice! (Yes, the first time was an accident, and the second he had the ring.) Plus, it’s just our favorite neighborhood haunt, and I’d much rather keep all the places for our weekend special instead of finding somewhere that just held the number of people we need, regardless of how great the space might be.
Plus, if everyone is going to get together that evening, I don’t see why I need to invite the whole world in the morning, too. Sure, some people might decide not to go to the Memorial Day concert that evening (read: my FI’s family, who are pains, but that’s their problem). For many of us, it’s a very important night–my dad was 40 years in the Army, and both of my grandfathers fought in WWII. Plus, the gourmet lunchboxes were just too cute to pass up–a tasty sandwich, fruit, kettle chips, and a huge cookie tucked into a white box!
I’m from the south, so I’ve been to so many rehearsals that essentially invited everyone who was going to the wedding. My mom is still of the opinion that rehearsal dinners invite all family and out-of-town guests–but that’s everyone! I guess I’ll just try to explain it to her, using the idea that the evening concert upholds those rules.
Post # 7
I think it’s fine to keep the brunch to those that need to be there.