Post # 1
My FI’s family is coming into town two days before our wedding (Thursday Sept 11th.) We are having our wedding rehearsal at our cathedral on that next evening at 6:15pm. I was hoping we could do our rehearsal around 5p but our cathedral has mass at that time. So, we would have to have it after mass is over, allowing time for people to clear out of the cathedral. I was told that rehearsal will take about an hour (if everyone is on time.) So, that would put us at around 7:15pm finishing up. Then we planned to have our rehearsal dinner at one of the more upscale restaurants in downtown. But, since it’ll be a Friday evening, I assume that there will be traffic getting to the restaurant. It will most likely take about 2 hours or more for all 18 people in the wedding party to order and eat dinner. So, that means the rehearsal dinner will end around 10pm. Not to mention, my FI’s parents haven’t offered to help pay for the rehearsal dinner at all so we’ll be coming out of pocket about $1,200-1,500. Then our wedding starts the next day (Saturday Sept 13th) at 2pm. But, because there are so many people in our wedding all the ladies in the wedding party have to start hair and makeup early (7am.) I was thinking that due to all of the previous night’s schedule that we might be tired and that staying out so late might cause extra stress. My parents actuall brought this to my attention. Currently my thought is that we should cancel our rehearsal dinner and just have rehearsal. This way everyone can go home and get a full night’s rest and be fresh for the big day. What are your thoughts?
Post # 2
- Wedding: July 2014 - Prague
10pm isn’t that late. Would there be a long drive to get home? Or maybe there’s somewhere closer to the church where you could eat?
You might just want to poll the wedding party and see who’s up for it and who wants more sleep and plan the dinner for only the people who want to go?
Post # 3
Everyone would be coming from different areas including the next state over. So, some pepole in our weddig party would only have a 30 minute drive home, while others would have as much an 1 1/2 hour drive. Also, my FI and I both have elderly Fathers (in their late 70’s.)
Post # 4
- Wedding: July 2014 - Prague
So people are driving 1.5 hours TO the rehearsal then back, and then again to the wedding the next day? Why not get hotels?
I think I would just ask everyone what their preferences were.
Post # 5
Some people didn’t want to get hotel rooms although our reception venue (a hotel) offered blocked rooms with group rates. We made sure we provided an accomodations card in the invitation for those who wanted to stay at the hotel.
Post # 6
I don’t know if the rehearsal dinner is mandatory in the US. We don’t have rehearsal of any kind in Europe. But if it’s not mandatory, i suggest you skip it. It’s too much stress and money… I had some guests from another country at my wedding and my parents wanted to greet them with a bbq the night they arrived (friday, while the wedding was the next day and hair, makeup, flowers and all that had to be done in the morning). They called to say they would arrive super late, around 11 pm, so my husband said we cancelled the bbq and it was a brilliant idea. The day of the wedding was CRAZY. I think it’s additional stress, especially if the timetables are so tight in your case.
Post # 7
We didn’t have a rehearsal for our ceremony and we were fine. We didn’t want to inconvenience who lived a state or 2 away and had to come for the wedding. I missed rehearsal dinner as MOH in another wedding and I was also fine. It really wasn’t hard to know what to do. I know that isn’t for everyone but it is fine for some.
Post # 8
If I lived an hour away I wouldn’t want to get a hotel either and the same was true with some of our bridal party.
Post # 9
If you cancel the rehearsal dinner, you should also cancel the rehearsal. You are asking all these people to drive an hour and a half to the rehearsal space, then drive home to drive back that same drive again. They should be fed! It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, maybe you should find something closer to the rehearsal space where traffic isn’t an issue. But if you make people come out for a rehearsal, you should feed them. Your other option is to cancel the rehearsal altogether. Unless you are having a complicated ceremony, people should be able to figure it out.
Post # 10
If everyone has such a long drive, maybe you should consider canceling the rehearsal.
If that’s not an option, I would certainly not cancel dinner. I would feel guilty if people drove all that way and then we didn’t feed them dinner. They’re doing to have to eat at some point. Why don’t you do something closer to the church so they don’t have to drive the extra distance to the upscale restaurant.
As far as cost, no one is making you have it at the upscale restaurant. If you don’t want to pay that much than look into other options.
Both of your issues here (time and money) seem to have an easy solution. I personally wouldn’t have a rehearsal without the dinner. Especially because of the reasons that you gave.
Post # 11
If you have the rehearsal, you have to feed them. You can’t cancel the rehearsal dinner and still plan on having the rehearsal, especially when they’re making that drive.
Post # 12
I know that having a Catholic wedding you really have to have the rehearsal so I’m not going to tell you to cancel that 🙂
But, you really should be feeding your guests. Just find someplace closer to the cathedral, it doesn’t have to be super fancy. We picked the closest restaurant to the church (just around the corner so no one has to drive anywhere, we don’t risk out of towners getting lost, dealing with the hassle to find another parking spot, etc.), which we happen to really like. It’s upscale pizza and everyone who has had their food before is super excited that’s where we’re having it. And it will be more of an expense because my uncle and his family are bringing my grandmother to the rehearsal (she’s doing a reading so she needs to be there), so I obviously have to feed 4 more people than I was counting on. Like you, FI’s family has also not offered to pay for anything. But it’s important to me that we are gracious hosts, feed our guests, and make what is a required event as easy and enjoyable for them as possible.
Post # 13
I would rather do the dinner than the rehearsal. Realistically, it’s in a church – where is your party going to wander off to that would really screw up the ceremony day-of if they don’t practice? Just make sure you have someone appointed to direct the guys where to stand, the girls when to walk, etc etc that day and skip the rehearsal. People would rather have the meal and to spend time with you, I’m sure!
Post # 14
If you are having a rehearsal, you need to feed these people. Why does the dinner need to be upscale and far away? It seems like an easy solution to have it closer/cheaper, and FWIW we are paying for our rehearsal dinner. We are having everyone come over to the vacation rental where my family is staying and having a taco bar. My sister had pizza delivered to the venue for the rehearsal dinner and it was fine! The wedding will go by so quickly it may be the only quality time you can spend with some of these people.
Post # 15
That’s pretty much the schedule I have for a rehearsal dinner next Friday. I don’t see a problem.