Post # 1
I am in serious need of some Bee advice. We’re having a really small rehearsal dinner at a local inn the night before our wedding. Really, really small. As in 10 people. Only the wedding party of 6 people, us and our parents. My mother-in-law is taking serious issue with this because she feels as though the out of town guests on her side should attend because they are staying at the inn that night. Her argument is that they’re staying there, so they should be invited because otherwise she would be neglecting her hosting duties by not entertaining them the night before. She feels like eating at another table during the rehearsal is the same thing as ignoring them entirely.
Our side is that we want to keep things small, simple and minimize the amount of people coming. It’s roughly 10 extra people to invite the guests that are staying there, so although it’s probably not a big deal for most, for us it is. Plus, they have a seperate part of the dining room for bigger gatherings, so it’s not as though our out of town guests would be eating at the table next to us while we’re having the rehearsal dinner… there would be enough distance to avoid any awkwardness because we’d be in different rooms. And we’re not saying we don’t want to visit with the out of towners at all, we plan to for most of the day, but it’s just for the dinner that we’d like to keep things small.
In spite of our reasons, she is persistent in her desire for them to come. And she’s now saying that if they aren’t invited, she and her husband will occassionally be leaving our table to visit with the other guests at their dinner tables. Essentially, she’s threatening to partially boycott her son’s wedding rehearsal dinner if she doesn’t get the invites she’s looking for. We’ve tried reasonging with her, but she’s persistent and won’t budge until all the out of town people on her side of the family are invited.
Any advice on how to deal with this?
Post # 3
Could there be two times for the dinners: one an earlier dinner with say just her and the out-of-towners, and then a later dinner for the rehearsal dinner?
That way, she could go to both dinners! She’d just have to eat a bit lightly for her first meal… 🙂
Post # 4
I kind of understand a LITTLE bit where she is coming from, because it would be awkward as a guest to come down for dinner and see all of my family at their table. It might make some guests feel weird, and possibly run the risk of them crashing your rehearsal dinner and talking to you guys the whole time anyway after they see you in the restaurant. If I couldn’t find a resolution with your Mother-In-Law, I would possibly consider another venue. Not saying you should change your plans for her, but if you were at another venue she would not have any excuse to add to the invites. Is she adding these people and expecting you guys to pay for them? She shouldn’t force you to add anybody to your rehearsal dinner because like you said you want to keep it small. I’m sorry you’re in this position, it’s a tough spot. 🙁
Post # 5
That’s a good idea Mr. Bee.
Is she paying for the RD? If so, can she simply offer to pay for the OOT’s dinner?
While I ilke the idea of inviting OOTers to the Rehearsal Dinner, it kind of sounds like she has motives other than to be generous to them for their efforts in coming to the wedding. For one, you indicated she is only concerned with her oOT guests. (What about the OOTers on your side? If your parents were paying for the wedding, would it be fair to say we’re paying for the wedding so only ppl on our side are invited? Sorry, I might have read that wrong. Just seen too many posts like this before.)
And to piggy back on the first thought, I think she is wanting to visit with all of the Out of Town guests on her side. That one I can’t hold against her. If Mr. Bee’s idea works for her, she will get to visit with them. OR maybe she can work out a welcome party to host in one of the hotel rooms after the RD? Otherwise, if she insists on leaving to visit with the OOTers, maybe just figure out a timeline for the Rehearsal Dinner, so she doesn’t miss speeches and important stuff. And let her go.
Post # 6
Hi. I understand the awkwardness of ignoring out of town guests, as it is a cultural thing and cultural expectation for us to invite out of towners. Let her invite them to join you, especially if she is willing to foot the bill for both. Be nice. You get more with honey than vinegar. Ask her if she would be willing to also include your out of town guests. This is not about who will win the argument.
My cousin invited us to dinner because for us it is a cultural expectation for out of towners to be include; and then the groom’s mother told her she had to uninvite us. It was terrible. In the end the groom’s mother changed her mind, but the awkwardness was still there and we ended up not going to the wedding for a different reason. But it isn’t a nice way to start the marriage.
What will you do?
Post # 7
I disagree with the suggestions to invite the Out of Town guests. Maybe I’m wrong in how I interpreted your post, but it seems as though your reasons for keeping the dinner small aren’t just financial, but mainly to keep it more intimate. I do think you’re running the risk of some Out of Town possibly feeling awkward about being at the same venue as the rehearsal dinner, but if I were a guest, I really wouldn’t think it was a big deal at all. The rehearsal dinner is customarily limited to the wedding party and famiy, which most people hopefully would respect. I think it’s a little ridiculous that your Future Mother-In-Law can’t take a couple hours to spend at the dinner, especially if there will be other time during the weekend to hang out with the Out of Town guests.
Post # 8
Thanks so much for all your suggestions, everyone.
Like Lili316 said, the reasons for keeping it small aren’t just financial. We’d like to keep it small even though she has offered to pay for the out of town guests. The problem with inviting the ones on her side is that it opens up the expectation for all of the OOT-ers coming to the wedding to be invited. And since almost the entire wedding is from out of town, it wouldn’t make sense to invite the ones that are staying at that particular inn and not invite others who are staying elsewhere. She sees to think its fine to just invite the ones on her side and doesn’t want to talk about inviting others.
I know it might be a little awkward for the OOTers at that venue, but my fiance and I honestly don’t think they’ll be offended. It’s only his mom that seems to think it’s rude.
As for mrbee’s suggestion to have another dinner… we already offered to host a lunch on the day of the rehearsal for the OOTers because most of them will be there a couple of days ahead of our wedding, so there would be enough time to visit with them during the day of the rehearsal. But she insists that they be invited to the actual dinner, which is why this is so difficult.
I’m just not sure what to do if she remains persistent and unreasonable? It feels like she’s just going to boycott unless her guests get invited, so should I just let her go? Honestly, I don’t want her to be there if she’s going to be sulking over this issue, but my fiance is obviously really hurt by the idea of his parents only partially attending.
Post # 9
Wow this is an issue my friend is dealing with as well. I saved myself from this and I am having it 2 weekends in advance to avoid any problems but my friend has 80 people in total from out of town and her Mother-In-Law is paying for the rehearsal and determined to invite everyone. She is upset because she wanted something small and for it to be for the bridal party only. She has no choice really but to give in since she is paying. So i feel you and wish you luck. You can do it like me if you aren’t doing a destination wedding 😉