First and foremost… I see that this is your PREMIER Post here on WBee… so a BIG Welcome to “The Hive”
Lol, I am one of the resident Etiquette Snobs here… so here is the low-down (as per the Post Institute)
Traditionally the Groom’s Parents HOST and PAY FOR the Rehearsal Dinner.
And by all accounts your Inlaws have the REQUIRED BASES Covered… B&G, Parents, Sibblings & Spouces, Bridal Party & Spouces, GrandParents. Thats it … thats all
Anyone else is a GENEROUS offering… so GodParents, Aunts & Uncles, Cousins & their families, and Out of Towners.
NOT REQUIRED… just a nicety.
As someone else said… “This ain’t YOUR rodeo”… you may be the star attraction as the B&G, but you are not the HOSTS.
So it can be touchy broaching this subject with your future Inlaws… something that your Fiance as their son should be the one to do (if at all). Gotta remember how we see all these posts here on WBee about Guests who try to invite themselves to Weddings… well hankering for an Invite to the Rehearsal Dinner is kind of the same thing… not polite to ask.
That said, if your Fiance does bring up the subject (IN PRIVATE) with his Parents then he should have some ideas of HOW this might go down IF the Guest List was to increase substantially…
1- He’ll need a very specific number on how many EXTRA BODIES would be involved (be precise… YOU do not want to go back later and revise that number… better to die a SHAMEFUL Death)
2- IF the numbers warrant that the Rehearsal Dinner would now need to be moved… he’ll need an idea of WHERE, and HOW MUCH that change would cost (could be a totally different venue… or type of after party… such as a Backyard BBQ as someone suggested)
3- AND lastly, if there is any funding available from other sources to off-set these additional REQUESTED GUESTS
Quite honestly if # 3 and # 2 aren’t do-able… then # 1 really doesn’t matter… and you can forget the whole conversation, and just stick with whatever the Inlaws have in mind.
Also, you should note, that although your extended family may be hurt by being excluded, they’ll get over it (you may have to explain… space is limited… the Inlaws have gone the traditional route for Invites)…
BUT whatever you do, don’t roll your eyes, or put your Inlaws in a bad light… that would be really really RUDE. And I sure as heck wouldn’t be recommending that any of these “jilted” Relatives call up the Inlaws trying to weasel their own Invites… that too would look bad on you
The big thing to remember here is… if you make an Etiquette Faux Pas on this… and hurt your Future Inlaws feelings (or embarrass them)… that could truly effect your relationship with them for a long long time to come. Which is WHY you need to think long and hard about doing something that goes against the grain here in regards to the normal RULES OF ETIQUETTE
Personally, I think I’d just let it lie. And be grateful you have Inlaws who are even willing to step up to the plate and host such an event… there are plenty of Brides here on WBee who wish their Inlaws would be more involved.
As others have said, there is nothing stopping you & your Fiance, or your Parents, from giving your Guests other info… and suggestions on things to do… or organizing other events. Putting together a Welcome Package, with maps, ideas, schedules, etc is a good idea for Out of Towners IMO
Hope this helps,