Post # 1
Hi – I’m looking for advice on rehearsal lunch etiquette. The parents of the groom are paying for the entire rehearsal lunch and decided to invite only immediate family and the wedding party and their spouses. The only exception to this was the inclusion of a friend who designed the save the date cards, wedding invitations and programs for free, so we thought it was the least we could do to say thanks (which required a tough petition to the parents to have them included).
Now, a week before the rehearsal lunch, we come to find that an out-of-town aunt of the other groom (to avoid confusion, he will be referred to as G2) was offended that she was not invited to the rehearsal lunch, even though it has been explained that only wedding party members and the immediate families of the grooms are invited. There are no other out-of-town family members who have been invited. She’s upset that the rest of her family will be at the lunch (all immediate of G2), and she will have nothing to do for a few hours. However, there are plenty of things to do and see in the area, so I don’t understand why she can’t explore on her own.
The parents of G1 have been asked twice if this aunt (and her daughter) could attend, and they said they’d prefer to keep the list as is, since they don’t want to give special permission to this one aunt when no one else is invited. The aunt even offered to pay, but the parents felt it would be even ruder to have them be the only ones paying, and declined.
Unfortunately, now G2 is starting to take the side of the aunt and saying that it’s very rude and disrespectful that she is still not invited to the rehearsal lunch since she’s an out-of-town family member, and would like for her to attend.
Am I crazy to disagree? I’m aware some people have out-of-town familiy members at their rehearsal dinners, but I didn’t think it was that uncommon to limit it to only wedding party and immediate family to be considered rude and disrespectful. Plus, I am of the belief that whoever pays will ultimately get the final say.
This has all been very distressing, as it’s driving a wedge between the families for what I don’t believe is a very good reason. What should I do??
Post # 3
@Incubuzz: I am at the belief that the paying couple have the say. So in that case if FI’s parents are paying and say yes then by all means this person can come, but if they say no then it is what it is.
My DH’s parents put together and paid for the whole rehearsla supper. Everyone and their dog was invited becuase they paid for it, and I didn’t care. I have to say I would probably suck it up since this person is an out of town guest, but my original statement still stands regardless.
Post # 4
thanks for the input! yes, the paying couple only wants to limit it to immediate family and wedding party, so it is what it is. but unfortunately, the issue isn’t being dropped, as i feel it should be.
Post # 5
The only people required to be invited are the bridal party/anybody who is at the rehearsal. Anything beyond that is more choice. I wish we could afford to have all out of town guests at our dinner but there is no way we can afford that.
I personally would not invite the Aunt unless you invite ALL out of town guests. It’s rude to the others to make an exception for her. Hopefully, the Aunt and G2 will understand. At the end of the day, I am sure this will all blow over.
Post # 6
It all comes down to the decision of the paying party. I believe proper ettiquette is to invite the out of town guest. If no other out of towner’s are being invite then one person should not be an exception. They can find something to do in the meantime.
Post # 7
Just a quibble from my generation-gap fuddled mind but, in your situation it clarifies nothing to say “the parents of the groom are paying for the entire rehearsal lunch.” I am guessing you mean “the parents of G1”, and that you are G1, and your husband-to-be is G2? My second quibble is that “paying for the entire rehearsal lunch” is irrelevant: what matters is who the host(ess) is. The hostess is the person who takes the final personal responsibility for the comfort, safety and entertainment of all the guests (and ensures the vendors get paid, but etiquette does not concern itself with financial details other than to say you should keep them private.) It sounds like your mother is the hostess, and since with great responsibility comes great power, she as hostess has the sole right to determine the guest list. Not aunty, and not G2.
However, when friends and family come in from out of town, etiquette strongly suggests that (their own) in-town friends and relatives step up and entertain them. Occasionally the rehearsal-dinner hostess will invite out-of-towners to fulfil this social obligation, on the assumption that none of the guests’ other in-town relatives will step up. That’s a rather sad indictment of the other relatives, but alas is sometimes valid. Let’s hope it is not, in this case.
Does G2 have any in-town friends and relatives who are not already going to be at the rehearsal dinner? If so, he should let them know that aunty will be in town and will be free for that day to visit with extended family. If they don’t take the hint, he can even ask them as a favour to please take Aunty out to lunch. He can even offer to pay for their lunch at the restaurant of his choice. Failing that, he can take aunty out to breakfast that day, introduce her to one of his friends, and pre-ask that friend to take her out to lunch.
There must be someone in your circle of friends, who is not involved in the wedding, who can give up a couple of hours to play native-guide to your fiance’s aunt while her nephew is busy.
Post # 8
All of the weddings I have attended included all of the out of town guests at the rehearsal meal. This was always greatly appreciated-especially by me when I was the OOT guest visiting a place I’d never been and was on an extremely tight budget (ie without the funds to rent a car, sightsee, etc).
Post # 9
To give the opposite point of view than the most recent response, I have never been invited to a rehearsal meal when I was not in the wedding party or immediate family.
I am a firm believer in not rewarding manipulative behavior. This is a grown woman who is deliberately causing stress and dividing family members before the wedding.
We are not talking about leaving this woman on her own for days here folks, we are talking about a couple of hours at the most. She is completely capable of entertaining herself for that time period and finding somewhere to eat- the hotel restauarant perhaps?