Post # 1
I apologize in advance for the long post…
My parents are paying for the majority of our wedding; however, my Fiance and I are paying for the rehearsal dinner. We have are planning on either having it in a local park or in our backyard and having it catered (something relatively inexpensive). We will be paying for it out of our honeymoon fund… we may have to cut something out of our honeymoon, but will still have plenty.
The dilemma comes to who is invited. In my family, all out-of-town relatives have always been invited to the rehearsal dinner. My fiance has never heard of doing this and thinks it is unnecessary. He thinks we only need to invite the bridal party and immediate family. I (and my mother) would be mortified if we did not invite our OOT family to the rehearsal dinner. My mother has even offered to cover the cost of our relatives, but my fiance does not want us to cover the cost of his OOT relatives because this is not tradition. I refuse to invite my OOT relatives and not his… the thought of it makes me shudder and is not even an option.
This is the only disagreance we have had in terms of the wedding…Am I being unreasonable? Should I just cover the cost of his relatives out of my pocket? I really think this is less of an issue about the actual money and more of an issue that he thinks inviting OOT guests is not the "norm".
What are you doing for the rehearsal dinner? What is tradition in your family and does it differ from that of your future in-laws? If is does differ, how did you handle the situation?
Thanks for your input!
Post # 3
I am in a somewhat similar situation, except I was like your FI; I thought inviting OOT guests to the RD is excessive & unnecessary. In my case FI’s parents are paying for the RD, but we have been upfront with them that my OOT guests won’t be coming in until the day of the wedding, so in reality its going to be more of my FI’s family reunion with the addition of myself & our wedding party. If it is important to you, make the additional costs, but if your FI really doesn’t want to do that, it can be played out so that your RD is a " brides family reunion" of sorts.
Post # 4
In my family it has always been tradition to invite the bridal party & OOT guests from both sides to the rehearsal, I think if your OOT guests are invited then your FI’s OOT guests should be invited too. My cousin had a backyard rehearsal bbq at her FMIL’s house and it is still the best rehearsal dinner I have ever attended.
Post # 5
My mom thinks it’s best to only include the wedding party and immediate family in the rehearsal dinner. Based on our situation, DF and I will be asking anyone who is in town and wants to join us for dinner to come… and yet we haven’t decided who will foot the bill. It will be at a restaurant and we may ask everyone to pay their own way (it’s not expensive). So the budget issue you present would be a problem for me as well.
I think I would agree more with only including wedding party if there is a lot of rehearsing going on.
First, I want to ask your your FI feels about your OOT guests being invited?
Second, could you provide them with another option? They very well may not want to mix and mingle, but rather enjoy a dinner/evening with people they already know rather than make small talk with strangers (even if they are new family).
Post # 6
- Wedding: July 2018 - Outdoor ceremony, banquet hall reception
We are not inviting OOT guests to the rehearsal dinner. It’s just too much. Mr. Powder Puff’s parents are paying for the rehearsal dinner, and I would hate to ask them to cover the cost of all of those extra people. It snowballs, you know?
That being said, could you maybe host something after the dinner is over for the OOT people, if you feel it’s necessary. Maybe a few cocktails and munchies, so you can mingle and say hello, but not have to pay for a full-on meal for them?
Post # 7
We haven’t had a wedding in my family in a long time, so we really don’t have a tradition. My FMIL is in charge and paying for the rehearsal dinner. I know she will invite all the wedding party, all of both of our families that will be in town, and probably some of her friends, even if they don’t have a specific role in the wedding. I think she sees this time as sort of a party/reunion (this seems to be her take on the entire wedding really, insisting people I’ve never met and FI hasn’t seen in over 10 years be invited), and honestly, I just don’t care enough to fight her on it. If she’s paying, and that’s what she wants to do, I’m just going to let her. I will attend, exchange pleasantries with everyone (including those I don’t know) and bow out when I’m finished, leaving them to enjoy themselves for the remainder of the evening/night.
Post # 8
@Mary-Alice-Me: My fiance really doesnt care about my family coming to the dinner. He does think that if we invite my family, we have to invite his (which I agree with 100%) and he doesnt want us to have to pay for his family members (my mother is paying for my relatives).
I personally love having OOT family at the rehearsal dinner, because it gives you extra time to spend with those you don’t see that often…and I am sure it will be hard to get in that much quality time at the reception.
@powderpuff: That is also something I have been thinking of doing. Our actual wedding rehearsal is on wednesday (our venue is requiring it to be then). I am considering doing a dinner with just bridal party and family right after the wedding rehearsal on wednesday and then having some family get together on friday evening. The only thing detearing me from this is the fact that some one of my bridesmaids and one of the groomsman/fiances brother will not yet be there on wednesday and I feel bad if they would miss out on the official rehearsal dinner.
Post # 9
80% of our guests are coming in from out of town, so we decided to come up with a compromise. We are having a Rehearsal Luncheon that we will be inviting immediate family and the wedding party to on Friday afternoon. That evening we will be having an informal get together for all of the Out of Town Guests and extended family. We were fortunate enough to have it catered, but were considering having an ice cream bar just as a chance to get everyone together.
Post # 10
I had a pretty similar situation to you. My FI (now hubby) and ILs wanted something small and intimate while myself and my parents wanted to invite all the OOT guests.
I put my foot down and insisted that I wasn’t inviting people to travel a long way and then singling out some relatives for inclusation in the dinner while others were left to fend for themselves.
Now we were lucky to not be in a position to choose between our honeymoon and the dinner. However, it’s obviously important to you.
I think you should be honest with your FI that it’s really important to you and that the whole point of the wedding is gathering to celebrate with family and friends from both sides of your families.
If your mom is generous enough to offer and she can afford it without undue hardship, take her up on her offer to pay for the guests. Perhaps you will be in a position to pay her back your first anniversay- that way you can have everyone at your rehearsal dinner and have your honeymoon?
Post # 11
It’s proper etiquette to invite all OOT guests to the rehearsal. It might not be typically done in your FI’s family, but that doesn’t mean they’re right. Having them at the rehearsal dinenr provides them with a few things.
1. Gives them a thank you for the extra effort of time and money to come to the wedding.
2. You are providing them with a dinner, which otherwise would be yet another expense for them to incur.
3. If they are unaquainted with your city, you will be keeping them from ahving to orient themselves and find a place to eat.
4. Since they are OOT, it gives a little more opportunity for them to catchup with family while they are in town.
If you can swing it, I really would lean towards inviting them.
Post # 12
Thanks Tanya! You summed up my feelings in a much more eloqent way than I could!
Luckly i dont have to choose between the rehearsal or the honeymoon. Just maybe cut back on one really nice dinner on the honeymoon! Thanks everyone for your advice and suggestions!
Post # 13
we are only inviting the wedding party and immediate family to the rehearsal dinner. that’s how i’ve always heard of it being done and if we did invite all of the OOT guests, we would almost be having to wedding receptions. one solution that might work for you is to invite just the bridal party and immediate family to the rehearsal dinner and then plan a low-key event for all of the OOT guests.
Post # 14
We’re not inviting all the OOT guests to our rehearsal. We’re paying and wanted to keep it pretty small and informal. Since my whole family is local and his whole family is OOT, it felt weird to invite all of his family, but none of mine. Inviting them all together was just too much–we wanted to keep it small and affordable! We’re just doing our parents, grandparents, siblings, the wedding party and their spouses.
Post # 15
My family is OOT but my girlfriend’s is not. We are inviting most of the family members that are OOT as well as the majority of the friends that will be traveling from afar.
We expect about 70 people.
Post # 16
We are inviting just immediate family and those involved in the wedding (including grandparents) to the rehearsal dinner. My FI’s mom is hosting it so if she wants to invite some her FI’s OOT family members I will not mind.
To alleviate the concern over not attending to our OOT guests the night of the rehearsal dinner, my FI and I are hosting an OOT welcome cocktail hour after the rehearsal dinner (it is all at a resort, so we are just doing it in the golf clubhouse bar rather than one of the restaurants). Beer and wine only and maybe some light apps. We haven’t figured out a budget for the event yet.
If you are doing something in the backyard you could easily do something like this.