Post # 1
Ok first of all FI and I are getting married in our home state of Texas but not our home city. Both of our parents are transplants from the East Coast (his are from New England, mine are from NY). We figured if it was going to be a destination for us and our families, we might as well make it a destination for everyone. (Plus we are more fond of the Texas Hill country than our hometown of Houston).
Rehearsal dinners are supposed to be for the wedding party and OOT guests, but everyone is out of town. When I started calculating just the wedding party and OOT family, I got to over 120 people – about half of the guests. FI’s dad comes from 6 siblings and my mom comes from 7 sibilings. As only children, FI and I are very close to all of our aunts, uncles and cousins. So i thought it might be better to do a welcome party instead where everyone could meet up and hang out.
Ok so the more complicated stuff: FI’s dad offered to pay for the rehearsal dinner and to pitch in towards helping out with rooms. I felt pretty bad telling him not to have a rehearsal dinner but to do the welcome party. However, when i approached him and he seemed on board. We’ve discussed doing it at the hotel everyone will be staying out, but we got a quote back and it’s like 10K! That’s like a whole other wedding!!! I feel TERRIBLE asking him to do that.
Here are the reasons it makes a lot of sense to do it at the hotel: 1) having an event at the hotel keeps everyone’s rooms down about $50 2) covers FI’s and my room 3) gives us enough hotel points for a two night stay for our honeymoon and 4) the location is awesome and the onsite planner is amazing.
If Fi’s dad did just the family and wedding party, he’d probably spend about $50 – $75 (food & alcohol) a head – that’s a lot of money anyways. (I’m guessing here.. I figure a steak and (at the bare minimum) open beer and wine for 2 hours is about 50 a head at a nice restaurant). He’s the kind of guy who likes to do it right.
Bascially, I think the welcome party at this spot would be amazing, but I don’t want to push his dad into it. So, how do I approach this? Should my mom and I pitch in to help with the welcome party? If so, how? Do we ask him his budget and cover over? Do we have him cover food and alcohol and we cover the decorations and incidentals? Do I suggest another spot?
Post # 3
The rehearsal dinner is really only for anyone present at the rehearsal and their guests. It’s nice if you can invite out of town guests, but it’s not necessary. I would just have a normal rehearsal dinner, or if you want to do the welcome party, I would foot the bill for that yourself.
Post # 4
I really do not think that the “perks” of having the rehearsal dinner at the hotel are that big or worth it at all. I say let your FIL do what he wants
Post # 5
@orangeroses29: Talk to the hotel and see if they’ll give you a better discount since you’re already having the wedding there and your guests are staying there. Is there any way you can rent a room and bring your own food/drinks?
Post # 7
Rehearsal dinners at DWs are typically the wedding party only. I don’t think it’s fair for you to ask your FFIL to host basically a pre-wedding party instead of a smallish dinner.
At my DW, we had a welcome party the night before the RD, but we hosted it at the house we were renting, so it was cheap. It sounds like you can’t do something like that. I don’t think a welcome party is a requirement at a DW, but if you want to do out, you should foot the bill yourself.
Post # 8
I’m also having a destination wedding and we are having a ‘welcome party’ (we’re renting a boat with food/drinks so it’s a sunset cruise). The total cost of it is going to be 6k.
What we did was ask his parents and mine to contribute whatever they wanted and told them the total cost.
His parents gave 2k
My parents gave 2k
annnnd we are paying 2k.
So in the end, I think just letting them know the cost and saying “pay whatever you feel comfortable doing” worked for us.
Post # 9
We are having about 50 people for our RD, since we are having a DW. I’m not sure if this is something you would consider or if it is even cheaper at all, but we are having more of a welcome party too. Since its not really formal, we just wanted to make it fun. We are having wine and beer and heavy appetizers. I think this way people will mingle more instead of sitting in one spot all night (not sure if this is how yours would be, but its how the ones I have been to are). Its also not per person bar but by consumption, which I think will keep costs down for us. Have you looked into other spots? It might make more sense to try to find another location that can do it for cheaper or if you were looking at dinner at the hotel, maybe see about just doing appetizers if you are interested in that idea.
Post # 10
How about your have FIL pay for a rehearsal dinner (or lunch) for just the wedding party and immediate family. This should be something FI’s family plans. So let them pick the venue, etc. Maybe you can make a few suggestions.
However, after the rehearsal event – then I would have a welcome party. This way everyone will feel included. It can just be at the hotel bar, everyone pay for their own drinks, and maybe you guys provide snacks or dessert. Maybe this is something you could splitt he cost for between yourself, his family, and your family. However, it really shouldn’t cost that much.
Post # 11
We had a welcome party at a restaurant that was within walking distance of the hotel most people were staying at. The hotel was much more expensive than this rather nice restaurant that has a private upstairs room.
About 70 people showed up – we held it at 8pm, so that people had a chance to grab dinner first. We served heavy appetizers and just good quality beer and wine in order to make the serving process smooth. Originally the event was supposed to last 2 hours, but some of us stayed there for nearly 5 hours (partying hard!). I was so worried about the bill, but it only wound up being around 3k including tip. I have so many great memories from that night, I am so glad that we did it! We got to see everyone there, and there was much less pressure to visit with everyone on the wedding day as well.
In terms of who pays for it – I have no idea, we payed for our own wedding ourselves so that was luckily never an issue.
Post # 12
This similar topic was brought up in another thread recently.
I am in a similar situation. We are doing a DW in another state. FI’s is paying for most of the wedding and so naturally, we didn’t expect him to foot the bill for, essentially, a second wedding the day before the wedding — since everyone would be invited to the welcome dinner. We really stressed over this problem at first because we really did not want to pay for another dinner for everyone the day before.
Although everyone’s situation is different, in our case we have a small guest list of 50 close people and so we felt it would be rude to only invite a few close friends/family and not other close friends/family. I mean, when everyone is coming from out of town, they are there for YOU, so it seemed wrong to make some people hang out on their own the night before. In the end we decided to do it at the private home we are renting as the wedding venue even though I didn’t want guests hanging out at the house the night before the wedding.
Sounds like you don’t have much of a choice but to bring it up to FI’s dad and see if he is okay with the amount. From what you say — if FI’s dad likes to “do things right” — then I’m sure he would agree that you need to invite OOT for proper etiquette and perhaps he would be okay with the whole reception/welcome dinner and the cost. Typically the groom’s parents are supposed to pay for the reception dinner and the bride’s parents pay for the wedding. It’s not uncommon for the reception to cost almost as much as the wedding because you do have to rent a space for a lot of people.
If FI’s dad is not okay with this cost, do you have a backup location? What about a park where everyone can meet at and someone grills hamburgers and hotdogs?
Post # 13
@cmbr: i agree with you….
Post # 14
We are having a semi-destination wedding and doing a welcome party at the hotel. It will just be heavy appetizers and drinks and FMIL and FFIL are hosting. Its starting at 7:30, so people can grab dinner before.
Post # 15
Yeah, I would lean toward just having your parents, siblings and your wedding party at your rehearsal dinner. You’re right: 120 people at 10K is like asking your FFIL to pay for another whole wedding. It’s a little too much to ask, IMO.
You also mentioned decorations. Save the money and just decorate your wedding. Use your welcome party or rehearsal dinner as a time to share good food and drink; don’t make yourself crazy with all of that extraneous stuff.
Post # 16
Thanks for your input, I guess I forgot to add that FI’s dad WANTS his whole family included. Both of FI’s cousins were married this year and the rehearsal dinner had the whole family (both FI and I were not in the wedding and were included). They were full meals with alcohol included for about 75 people. We can’t do his family without mine. That’s how we get the large number. We don’t have any siblings so just the wedding party would by FFIL paying for our friends when he really wants to show off to his family.