Post # 1
I’d first like to start off by saying that the FI and I genuinely appreciate the fact that family members are flying in from all over the country to attend our wedding in our hometown. It’s not a destination wedding as most of our family is from MI and it’s our “home base” for both of our sides. That being said…..
I’m kind of getting heat from both my mom and his mom to have a formal rehersal dinner and a next-day brunch after the wedding. Now there is no bridal party and we’re having a very simple, 15 min secular ceremony so the rehersal really only needs to consist of the reverend, myself, FI and his brother (best man and keeper of the rings.) But we keep getting guilted that people are flying in from all over to attend the wedding so we shoudl have dinner for them Friday night and Sunday morning.
I get that it’s a nice thing to to and almost all of the weddings I have been to had rehersal dinners where OOT guests were invited and a sunday brunch but the truth is….we almost eloped and I don’t want formal dinners and breakfasts to attend the day before and after the wedding. We want to host a wedding not a weekend. The hotel has multiple restaurants in it and it’s situated in a downtown area where people can walk and pick from about 12 different restaurants.
Is it a must to do both of these things for your out of town guests?
Post # 3
Is it a must to do both of these things for your out of town guests?
Short Answer: No
Longer answer: Many rehearsal dinners do not involve OOT’s unless they are part of the wedding party or immediate family.
This is a trend likely started by someone with money, that many brides (or Moms) seem to think is mandatory now. It’s not. The rehearsal dinner is to thank the members of the wedding party for their time and support. No reherasal, no wedding party, no dinner necessary.
Ditto for the brunch.
Post # 4
@FleeSircus: Nope! So many people throw around the “you only get one day!” so I think you should use it to your advantage…say you only get one day, and you’re only planning that one day…your wedding!
Post # 5
@pineapplez17: ummmmm…..this is an awesome point
Post # 6
Are they offering to pay? If so, I would let them host those events (since they find them necessary) and offer to make an appearance at both events, but not promising to be there the entire time.
Post # 7
@FleeSircus: Why not ask your parents/IL’s to organise a family get together in a park. It could be BYO and not a wedidng event. Just a while everyone is together we thought a family day would be nice kind of thing. You could even make it BYO or pot luck.
Post # 8
@thenewmrsmax: Yea – this is the part that makes it kind of tricky.
My mom has planned this wedding and it’s gorgeous and beautiful but I know she has gone above and beyond when it comes to spending. I know we can never really know what goes on financially with someone else but I do know that she’s really breaking the bank even against our wishes. I’ve struggled with this and it’s a long story. I DO NOT want her paying for these extra events. She would honestly drain her retirement if you let her.
FMIL has offered to pay for both too but FI does not want her to. He owes her money for student debt and doesn’t want to offset that by having her spend money on this.
We cannot afford it.
Now I know my FMIL has talked to my mom endlessly so if we’re not letting the FMIL pay then my mom with think she needs to pay. IT’s a big mess. On top of the fact that no matter how much it is financed….we just don’t want it!
Post # 9
@j_jaye: Well we’re coming in from NYC and it’s a Feb wedding so a park isn’t an option since it’s so cold and the FMIL can’t host it at her house because that means it would be excluding his dad (messy divorce.)
It’s like every angle has a complication.
Post # 10
@FleeSircus: What about a community centre or school hall/gym? Or church hall if anyone is a member of a church?
Post # 11
@FleeSircus: Good luck getting out of them! What we found is that our relationship with our parents (or really DH’s parents) was more important than my stance of a wedding is a day, not a weekend.
We compromised with a rehearsal dinner of just family that was open to everyone afterwards and then a late brunch that we would show up half way through. Did I enjoy it or want it? Nope! DH knew it, but it made things with my in-laws much smoother. In the end, it isn’t just about us, it is about bringing two families together. If the families love to socialize (and plan and pay for it), it may be easier to just show up and smile.
ETA: If money is an issue, what we did for ours was have a get together at a bar. People could get food or drinks, but we weren’t hosting it. Your mom might be able to swing that if it is really important to her. For my parents, entertaining their family was worth the money.
Post # 12
@j_jaye: These are all really good recommendations but people will only be in town from Friday-Sunday and even we’re leaving Monday morning.
The only way it could really be done is if it was at the hotel which would cost a ton of money. I don’t know…..I guess we’ll see
Post # 13
@FleeSircus: No. Absolutely not a necessity. I’ve been to all those things, too and they are nice but as an OOT guest I assume I’m going to have some time on my hands and never expect to have something planned for me.
Our venue is about a 2 hour drive for most of my people and we have a few dozen flying in from various places. We certainly don’t feel obligated to do those kinds of meals, since really a rehearsal seems silly… our bridal party can figure out how to walk down an aisle! We have thought of maybe hosting a small “welcome” brunch the day before, but it’s really just because we love this brunch place our friend owns and that’s an excuse to make everyone go. I really highly doubt anyone would ASSUME that was happening without our saying so, though.
Post # 14
If they want to pay for it, let them host something at their houses for the OOT guests. That wouldn’t be so horrible–sometimes it is nice to have a more intimate dinner for some folks you haven’t seen in a while from out of town. It doesn’t have to be anything big or even a rehearsal. Wouldn’t a few pizzas and a salad work at mom’s house?
Honestly, as an out-of-town guest, sometimes I would get especially sick of all the little events pple have planned around the actual wedding itself during a weekend. Ya, sure, I flew in for your wedding, but i don’t need/want to spend every waking moment w/ you those 2-3 days if I’m not a close family memeber or in the wedding party. If i’m in a new city especially, I like to explore on my own!
Post # 15
@FleeSircus: We had guests coming in from all over the place, and many of them I hadn’t seen in a long time. We decided to have a very informal “rehearsal” picnic the evening before the wedding. I’m SO glad we did. It meant that I saw all the people I hadn’t seen, got to talk to them, and then there was no pressure the day of the wedding to talk to everyone (although I tried). It made everything nicer, in my opinion. If it had been a formal affair, which my mother-in-law wanted, I would have hated it. Instead, we had lobster rolls and Mo’s Italian sandwiches (which are the BEST) and a keg of Smuttynose Pale Ale.
Then, the day after the wedding, my mom invited everyone to her house for brunch. I don’t know how successful it was — we didn’t go! We showed up at like 2pm. If your mom wants to do something for the guests, let her…just tell her you might not make it. =)
Post # 16
Hold your ground, flat out tell them no. Sorry. Not happening.
You’re probably going to be so tired and exhausted with everything that seeing family/hosting/being “ON” will NOT be the first thing you want to do right after marrying the man of your dreams.