Post # 1
Okay, I am in bit of a situation. I want to do the right thing, so I figured I’d ask you wonderful Bees and hopefully you all can help me figure it out.
I just got a text from the leader of the string quartet we hired to play at our wedding ceremony saying that they would all be attending the rehearsal and were wondering where the rehearsal dinner was at and at what time. I immediately kind of froze because I hadn’t planned on having the string quartet there! The only “vendors” we had planned on having was, of course, our preacher and his wife (and the photographers, but see further down for why). We also have 2 wedding singers and an organist attending the rehearsal and the dinner, but they are my cousins and are doing this for free (they are singing/playing during our sand ceremony).
Anyway, as I was getting ready to text my mom about it, I got another text from the leader saying that we need to put them down as 6 because her husband and the husband of another woman in the group were also going to attend (come again?)
So now I am confused. I’ve always thought that hired folks did not attend the rehearsal dinner, even if they attended the rehearsal itself, and certainly not their spouses. However, since it was brought up so casually, I’m thinking I might have missed this certain etiquette rule or in the least, misunderstood who I was to invite. Is this along the lines of feeding my photographers and DJ during the reception? My photographers have become my dear friends during this stress-filled wedding planning time, and are actually DONATING my entire wedding package to me, so I’ve invited them to the rehearsal dinner too since they wanted to shoot my rehearsal too. So… since without getting the background scoop on my cousins and my friends giving their services to us for free, would it seem like I am just excluding my string quartet and being rude? Should I just invite them too? Was I suppose to invite them in the first place? I want to avoid being inadvertantly rude (and will invite them no questions asked if it is proper etiquette), but I also don’t want to be taken for a ride if this is not the norm. Not at $150 a person. (After tax, that is almost $1,000 for the 6 of them, which luckily includes unlimited mixed drinks, wine, and beer.)
(PS, I just went through the contract. No where does it say that they are to be invited to the rehearsal dinner, but it does say that we pay them $800 for the day-of preformance and $200 for the rehearsal practice, so our $1,000 for them is actually broken down. $200 per person on day of, and $50 per person for rehearsal. Not sure if that changes anything or not…)
Post # 3
@SakuraBlossomBee: Well it wouldn’t let me edit (not sure why I was getting an error when I tried to edit… but okay…) so I am adding this as an after thought:
I am wondering now if they are also planning on attended the reception and dinner too? Was I suppose to count them in as well? (So many details I seem to overlook!)
Post # 4
Um, that sounds crazy to me. I would never invite a vendor to my rehearsal dinner! Perhaps you could just say something along the lines of “I’m sorry but we’re only having our bridal party and immediate family at the rehearsal dinner.”
And as far as the reception, we only offered to feed the vendors that were going to be there all night (photographer and DJ, but both declined). You are under no obligation to invite these people to the rest of your event.
Post # 5
@Westwood: “I’m sorry but we’re only having our bridal party and immediate family at the rehearsal dinner.”
That was my initial reactions, but since we’re inviting what looks to be paid vendors (photographers and the wedding singers) it wouldn’t be completely honest. However, I don’t think there is anyway this lady would have found out that the others were invited. Plus, since neither of them are charging for their services, and the fact that the singers are my cousins (family) and the photographers are my friends (new friends, but still great friends indeed), they aren’t really “vendor-vendors”.
Post # 6
@SakuraBlossomBee: no, absolutely not should the vendors be at the rehearsal dinner. you are paying them to attend the reception and it looks like in this case also for the rehearsal only. (your family vendors that you personally invited can be there but no vendor should invite themselves).
as part of most vendor contracts, they ask to have a meal included. ie. my videographer said a meal was only required if they are there for over 5 hours.
that being said, you just have to give them a meal. it doesn’t have to be what all the guests are getting. if you want to give them mcdonalds, give them mcdonalds. many hotels provide a vendor meal which is much less than the guest meal. ask your caterer about that.
Post # 7
I’ve never heard of this and it was weird and incredibly rude of people you only have a professional relationship with to invite thrmselves to somethng as intimate as a rehersal dinner. I think politely telling them your rehearsal dinner will be ‘family and close friends only’ would be best since it’s not even a lie. I can’t believe that out f these six people not one of them thought ‘hmm maybe inviting ourselves to a private dinner thrown by someone we don’t really know might be a little awkward’.
Post # 8
Wow, how rude of them! Inviting themselves AND others?
Do they need to be at the rehearsal at all? The only vendor who is coming to the rehearsal are the officiants, and they do not attend either the rehearsal dinner or the reception.
Post # 9
@ajillity81: I doubt that they would need to provide a meal for the rehearsal though. This is only what, an hour? And they are being paid for it. I would understand if it were all night, which is why wedding vendors are provided a meal since they can’t exactly leave during the celebrations for a meal.
@SakuraBlossomBee: As you are paying them for there services, no you do not need to invite them to the rehearsal. That is so bizarre. Do you know them outside of the working relationship? Like were they friends prior to this? Regardless I would just say that unfortunately you don’t have space and the Rehearsal Dinner is only for the bridal party and family.
Post # 10
@JrzyGurl: that was for the reception, she doesn’t need to feed them the guest meal, they can get the vendor meal.
they SHOULD NOT be at the rehearsal dinner at all.
only her friendors that she personally invited.
Post # 11
You are not required to provide them with a meal for either event. The general rule is if they’re working greater than 4 hours, then you feed them (at least, that’s what I’ve seen with musicians in Toronto), which is why DJs, photographers, videographers and DOCs that aren’t from the venue get a meal. They should DEFINITELY not be inviting spouses, they are paid professionals there to do a job, not guests. When I was working as a wedding co-ordinator, I would never have said I needed another meal for my SO.
The easiest thing you can do though is point out that no meal requirement is listed in the contract. Simple.
Post # 12
Sounds like they’re just trying to swindle a free meal out of you. Tell them it’s just family. Problem solved.
Post # 13
@SakuraBlossomBee: No you should not invite them to the rehearsal dinner! I’ve never heard of this. You hired them for services which sounds like they are outlined quite clearly. And if they’re playing during the ceremony and not during the reception, I wouldn’t expect for you to have to provide a meal at your reception either. If they are dismissed after ceremony, then they can go and eat elsewhere. Isn’t the point of vendors including a meal in the contract because they will be at your wedding during dinner time offering services, and would be working and not able to eat dinner otherwise!
Post # 14
“…since we’re inviting what looks to be paid vendors (photographers and the wedding singers) it wouldn’t be completely honest. However, I don’t think there is anyway this lady would have found out that the others were invited. Plus, since neither of them are charging for their services, and the fact that the singers are my cousins (family) and the photographers are my friends (new friends, but still great friends indeed), they aren’t really ‘vendor-vendors’.”
What you’ve said here should not be a factor in your decision making process whatsoever. I know you’re trying to be courteous and classy, and that is certainly respectable, but you don’t need to be in this situation, IMO. I would not tell them to F-off or anything like that since they will need to perform for your wedding, haha, but I would tell them what everyone else is telling you to say – that the dinner is only for family and friends in the wedding party. That is typical and they don’t know, nor is it ANY of their business, whether your other “vendors” are invited, or whether they’re family/friends, whether you’re paying them, etc., etc. You do what you want and feel comfortable doing and quite honestly, these presumptuous douchebags should be put in their place.
Post # 15
They absolutely should not be inviting themselves. Tell them you’re only inviting specific friends and family. If they want to come, they can seat themselves at another table and pay their own bill.
Post # 16
My god that is incredibly presumptuous and rude!! We invited our officiant and her husband only to our rehearsal dinner. The officiant did come. You may need to provide a meal at the reception depending on how long they are there (as pp’s said) but if they are only playing your ceremony I don’t know why you would. I would a) find a way to tell them no because its totally crazy to pay for 6 people to come to your Rehearsal Dinner and b) confirm how many hours you are hiring them for and when thy are expected to be done (and leave) or you may very well end up with 6 extra wedding guests it sounds like!