Post # 1
It looks like we will likely either be having a day-after the ceremony brunch with some close friends/out of town friends/family and the wedding party, OR a sit-down dinner the night before with the same bunch and the wedding party. But, we are NOT having a rehearsal dinner because we are NOT having a rehearsal.
So, my question is, does anyone know how one normally proceeds in this situation: does everyone who decides to come pay their own way for their meal, on either day? Because my fiance and I were going to invite those we wanted to attend, let them know it’s a way to get together (so maybe they won’t assume WE are paying their meal!), and go from there. We’re brainstorming. But I realized, I know NOTHING of rules of etiquette for this!!! Not something widely discussed I’ve found.
Post # 3
Traditionally, the groom’s family pays for the rehearsal dinner. If you are doing things the traditional way I think the groom’s family should pay, even though you are not having a rehearsal, so technically it is not a “rehearsal dinner.” If you decide to do a brunch instead, I’d say you could ask the groom’s family, since they didn’t have to pay for a rehearsal dinner.
People do all sorts of things now in terms of apportioning the costs… you could even do something very informal like pizza or chinese. I think it is the general consensus though that the one thing you can’t do ettiquette-wise is ask your guests to pay.
Post # 4
i was always under the impression that the rehearsal dinner was a way to thank your wedding party and close family for all the support they’ve provided for the wedding, regardless of whether or not there is a physical rehearsal. i definitely wouldn’t expect people to pay for this themselves, but it doesn’t have to be super fancy.
Post # 5
It’s typically a hosted event. But I have seen potluck and it’s worked out fine. I’m not sure how to do the wording if it’s not hosted and it’s a dinner at a restaurant. At my work they’ll refer to meals as no host if you’re expected to pay your way but I had no idea what that meant before I started working here
Post # 6
My FILs and my parents are spliting the cost of our next-morning brunch and my FILs are paying for the rehearsal dinner. I agree – if you have a dinner the night before even without an actual rehearsal, tradition would still proabably state that your FI’s parents would pay. I don’t know that there is really tradition with a next-day brunch as it is a relatively new thing.
Either way, I don’t think it is appropriate to ask your guests to pay. They are still your guests and the expense of either of these events shouldn’t be on them.
Post # 7
I think that if you do the planning and inviting, then you do the paying.
Post # 8
We are having a rehearsal but no wedding party and since we have so many relatives coming from out of town we decided to have a “welcome dinner” the night before the wedding instead of calling it a rehearsal dinner. My FI parents are paying for that. Since there will be money leftover we are also holding a brunch the morning after. I think asking guests to pay would only be appropriate for the morning after brunch. I’ve seen it before where the brunch isn’t something typical so people shouldn’t be offended if they need to foot their bill for it.
Post # 9
I dealt with this issue and resolved it somewhat differently than other posters. We wanted to have a morning-after brunch to spend more time with our many out-of-town friends, but knew we couldn’t afford it.
On our wedding website we put it up as one of the “events,” but we wrote: Come one, come all to a morning-after unhosted brunch. Meet us in front of the hotel to catch the shuttle or just meet us at (restaurant name) to grab some breakfast!
We think that the word “unhosted” lets people know that they are paying their own way. And we purposefully chose language that implied it was just a casual thing, just where people would be gathering to eat the next morning. I plan to have a general idea of how many people will be there, then just call the restaurant and make a reservation or let them know a crown of 10 (or whatever) will be there. We aren’t setting up a special menu or doing any kind of decoration.
Also, we aren’t sending invites, which I think is key.
I think this is ok form… but feel free to let me know otherwise!! 🙂
Post # 10
A day-before-the-wedding is usually a hosted event, as someone has already pointed out. However, the day-after brunch can be either, and I think these days, couples are doing non-hosted brunches to save on costs.
We did a brunch the day-after, but it was really casual. In everyone’s OOT bags, we put a note that said we would be at the restaurant between this time and that time, and if anyone wanted to come, please make reservations, and view the website for pricing information. We mainly had WP and immediate family come, with a few extended family members.
Post # 11
If it’s in your budget (or ur in-laws), do a hosted event. If it’s not, do a non-hosted. It’s tno a big deal.
I did a non-hosted brunch. It was a casual invitation via email stating that if there are any family members or friends the morning after, they’re welcome to join us at XXX. I also listed the cost per person. In that way, it’s clear that it’s non-hosted.
Post # 12
I’ll amend my answer to agree with those who have said that a no-host farewell brunch is okay… as long as it’s an informal, “come one, come all” deal without invitations issued, etc. But the rehearsal dinner (or welcome dinner, if you’re not doing a rehearsal) needs to be hosted, as it is supposed to be a thank you to the people involved in your wedding.