Post # 1
Living in New England, I feel there are certain expectations at a wedding. We are doing a destination wedding in Newport, RI. My family is all from MA and his is from Jersey. Everyone will be considered an out of town guest. Do you think it is expected that everyone should be invited to the rehersal dinner and that we need to do a morning after brunch?
We are mostly paying for the weddings ourselves and are pretty young, we graduated college last year and are in the begining of our careers. We need to make cuts somewhere, but we also want to do what is right.
Post # 3
I’m going through the same type of questions right now. Though it’s not a destination wedding, many of our guests are going to be from out of town, and even if they are local many will be spending the night at the hotel so they can enjoy (re: drink!) the night.
My answer is no, you don’t have to do anything. With that said, it’s what you want to do that matters here. We decided not to invite everyone to the rehersal dinner but we are inviting everyone to "Join us for drinks" at a local bar after the rehersal dinner. We are doing the dinner a little earlier then typical and it will be over by 7:30, then we plan to meet any other out of town guests at a local bar from 7:30-10 (the bride and groom are outta there at 10pm, the rest can stay til close for all we care!) We are deciding right now if we want to host some appetizers at the bar and maybe a couple hundred dollar bar tab (talk to a bartender, you would be surprised that $500 goes a long way). One of the big reasosn we decided to to this is becuase it will be helpful to us — if we greet a lot of the out of town guests the night before, then we wont be seeing them for the first time at say the receiving line or cocktail hour or even during the reception — so we wont have to spend as much time during the wedding "greeting" all our guests. (Of course we will greet them but we will have just seen them the night before so it will go a little quicker!)
As for the next day and a brunch/bbq — again you could maybe say that you’ll be at a local restaraunt (pick a chain, it will be easier to get some bigger tables at around 11am) to send the bride and groom off — you can just put these things into an out of town bag (dont go crazy with this either! just put some places of interest and maybe a cookie, people will be happy with just that!!)
Sorry – probably too much advice. But we’re all in the same place, trying to save some money. I do not think it’s necessary to "entertain" our guests throughout the weekend, but it is nice to give them more time to see you then just the 5 hour "wedding".
Post # 4
I agree, I don’t think you have to invite everyone to the rehearsal dinner. If you invited everyone, it would be like having and paying for two weddings- one more casual than the other.
Post # 5
I agree, and I wouldn’t worry too much about the expectations. As a guest, I would only expect that the immediate family and bridal party would be involved in the rehearsal dinner, since it’s indeed intended to be an opportunity for them to rehearse the events of the day.
Post # 6
- Wedding: April 2021 - The Grand Old House, Grand Cayman
I’ve noticed a lot of destination wedding materials say that you should invite everyone to the rehearsal dinner, have a morning-after brunch for all guests, and treat your guests to a fun "destination" activity. This stressed me out A LOT when I first started planning, until I started talking to people and realized that no one expected to be entertained like that for the whole weekend. We are having a "welcome party" (appetizers and drinks) and the wedding/reception. Only the immediate family/bridal party is invited to the Rehearsal Dinner. And we organized a snorkel trip, but guests are paying for it themselves. Forget what the etiquette says, do what you and your Fiance can afford and what will make you happy!
Post # 7
I have to agree with Miss Kitten. I just got back from a Destination Wedding in Hawaii (my big sis!) and even though my brother tried to organize a few group activities, it worked out a lot better for my sister and her husband to just find a way to do something social with each group of people who had come to the wedding. Most people didn’t want to be entertained by the bride and groom, but that may also be because of WHERE they had their destination wedding. I have never been to Newport so I really can’t say whether your guests would find it an interesting vacation destination WITHOUT your wedding. Either way, don’t worry about the etiquette–focus your energy on determining what your priorities/values are about this aspect of the wedding, and then come up with a solution that fits.
Post # 8
I flew to London for a wedding, which was a destination for 90% of the guests. I def. expected to be invited to the night before dinner and brunch, since they expected me to travel so far.
I also went to a wedding in Newport that was destination for most, but only 2-3 hours drive on average. There, I didn’t expect anything beyond the wedding, and we didn’t even drive up until Saturday. We were invited to a brunch the next day. Brunches are great because its hard to get to everyone at the wedding and its nice to say "see you tomorrow!" Plus you can do brunch really really cheaply.
I think it depends on the hardship you expect from your guests – in your case, I think you are fine not doing anythine more, but of course people would appreciate it you could! At the very least, provide suggestions of places to see, eat, etc. Newport is a great destination!!
Post # 9
Our wedding is half way between where we live his family and all of his friends live and where my parents live. I went to college in SC and all of my friends are coming up to CT for the wedding. I feel guilty for not doing more for them but our budget is shot. My mom has already blown my wedding out of control and the last thing I wanted was a huge rehearsal and I stuck to my guns on that one. But all my friends are asking if they’re gonna get to see me before hand. Going out for drinks is a good idea. Maybe thats what we’ll do but brunch the next day sounds expensive to me. Am I wrong? Peopel that have done that about what does that cost?
Post # 10
I looked into pricing for the day after brunch and it looks like it would be a few thousand. Places aren’t cheap there!
I really like either the going out for drinks or drinks and apps ideas.
Thanks for all your thoughts, this is making me feel better, I was getting extremely stressed!
Post # 11
Newport — What about just announcing that you will be somewhere for breakfast at the end of the reception? It could be thought of as a last minute thing — have the DJ/Band say "Sara and Bob will be having their first brunch as husband and wife tomorrow morning at xxx place — if you have time before you leave go grab some breakfast for yourselves and give your best wishes to the bride and groom." I think people would get from that statement that you aren’t paying for their breakfast — just that you will be in a certain place at a certain time and that others are welcome to join. The less formal you make it (don’t announce it on the website or in the weekend plans) it will just seem like you forgot but you’d LOVE to see anyone the next day!
Post # 12
We were in the same boat…all our friends from Boston/all our family from New Jersey. Fortunately, Mr Corn’s parents wanted to pay for a rehearsal party that included everyone that was invited….in the end, it was so aweome to have everyone together the night before the wedding. I truly believe it made the wedding that much more special because not only had we already seen everyone to say our hello’s but everyone had already met everyone else! We did not do a day after brunch, because that defintely would have been over the top for us.
I have been to a wedding in Burlington, VT with the same type of atmosphere, and they invited everyone to a local bar after their official rehearsal dinner and provided small hors d’oeuvres while everyone else had their own tabs at the bar. That worked really well, and had the same effect.
Post # 13
Our wedding was in Cancun so everyone had to fly in from Taiwan, Japan, US and Canada. Since we didn’t pay for any of the travel costs, we had a welcome dinner party so people got to know each other and also pay for a group event on the day after the wedding. People had the option between two events or not participate at all.
I was thinking maybe it’ll be nice to do a happy hour before the wedding, so it’s not that expensive but people get a chance to talk?
Or maybe you can make awesome Out of Town bags for everyone? Like local attractions, maps, any local candy, bottle water, wedding program.