Post # 1
My parents are planning to host and pay for the rehearsal dinner to mine and my fiance’s wedding. We are running into issues however with the budget. Since my fiance has three brothers, and she wanted to include them in the wedding party with her seven bridesmaids. I am fairly easy going, and said I was okay with adding her three brothers to my groomsmen. This has caused the wedding party to be huge. My parents already are going to have a hard time taking care of the 8+ tuxes and a rehearsal dinner as is, but my fiance has decided that she needs to have extended family in the Rehearsal Dinner as well. My parents are wanting to just throw it for immediate family, wedding party and their significant others, grandparents and parents. We are looking at a group of around 30 before the extended family, and that could jump quite high once the guests she is insisting on attending would be added. It wouldnt be so bad if I did not have a huge extended family, but with over 100 cousins, uncles, and aunts, it would get expensive quick.
To make matters worse, she feels that it would be a simple enough matter to just “help out” by paying the way for her extended family to make it.
Any advice? This is causing a huge comotion and quite a bit of animosity between my fiance and my parents.
Post # 3
I don’t know where this idea that rehersal dinners are supposed to be mini receptions with all the family came from, but if you are not required at the rehersal or an SO of someone required at the rehersal there is no reason for you to be at the dinner afterwards.
Post # 4
@twintech: traditionally, the only people that come to the rehearsal dinner are the people that are part of the ceremonial proceedings – and thus part of the rehearsal itself. that would mean bride, groom, bride’s parents, groom’s parents, any escorts for parents (if divorced), bridal party and their dates.
if anyone else comes, it kind of negates the purpose of the reception, as PP said…
Post # 5
@twintech: Oh boy you have your hands full and she needs a dose of the real world – not to mention your parents point of view.
First off, with her brothers in the wedding – they don’t have to be groomsmen…ushers will be needed. Second, you are not required to pay for the men’s attire – it would be generous of you, but if you put a set amount down on each of them the guys would appreciate that. FYI: for cost & comfort, they are better off buying their own shoes – as long as they are same color- instead of renting.
You need to be upfront with Fiance – at this point anything you say is going to upset her just because she’s got that wedding stress – so now is the time to lay it on the line…politely.
Tell her that your parents have a set budget, and cannot open the dinner and she needs to stop inviting extra people so it can stay more upscale. If everyone is invited to the rehersal then there will be no element of surprise at the actual wedding!
Another option is to have small rehersal dinner with only those that are involved & parents, and then afterwards have a get together/aquainted that is open to the out-of-towners & additional people – keep it light with just some finger foods to snack on & beverages.
Post # 6
I just had the most stressful week trying to figure out how to get together a party for all of our out of town guests, because that’s what my mom really wanted, until I realized that’s it’s called a rehearsal dinner because it’s for the folks at the rehearsal. I talked to my dad about it and he said he’d already talked to our extended family and they were more than willing to make do for themselves that night. In fact, they’re just looking forward to hanging out with all the people they haven’t seen in a while. That’s not something we need to host! Grown ups can take care of themselves!
My solution: We’re throwing a normal rehearsal dinner – the traditional kind – and then putting out a bunch of desserts at the restaurant and letting people who are in town know we’d love it if they would stop by for dessert (on our tab) and a drink (on their tab).
Post # 7
@twintech: why are your parents paying for all the tux rentals? Our groomsmen are paying for their own. I think the brothers should be in the bridal party.
As for the rehearsal dinner, while it is partly dinner after the wedding rehearsal, it is very common (and expected where I am from) to invite out of town guests to the rehearsal dinner. Though that doesn’t mean it needs to be a 3 course fancy dinner! I attended a rehearsal dinner in the private party room at BJ’s and they had pasta and pizza- much better on a budget!! Just ask your parents what the budget is and then talk to your Fiance to figure out what is possible with that budget. Are her parents paying for the whole wedding? If so, I can imagine that the bride’s family will be paying significantly more and may think its only fair for your family to host a decent rehearsal dinner, regardless of the fact they may be in different economic situations.
Post # 8
@HeartsandSparkles: The reason my folks are paying for the tuxes is that it is tradition around here along with the rehearsal dinner. The out of town guests tradition is also recommended, however with probably 70 out of towners on my side almost 100 on hers, the cost is extremely prohibitive. That is why she thought she would “settle” for her extended family. She has made me well aware of how many should be attending if she had it “her” way, nor does she hesitate to remind me how much her folks will be paying.
Post # 9
Your fiancee doesn’t get to “decide” to add extended family to a party that your parents are throwing.
Your parents set the guest list because it’s their party. The rehearsal dinner is for the people who attend the rehearsal.
Is your fiancee getting pressure from her family to invite the extended family to the rehearsal?
Post # 10
No to the extended family. It isnt another reception and with a 14 attendants that is already enough. Tell her it will be too much for your parents and unless she or her parents are willing to come up with the difference, it just wont work!
Post # 11
@twintech: no one other then bridal party, their significant others, parents, siblings and grandparents need to be at the Rehearsal Dinner. (maybe like anyone involved in the ceremony like readers etc)… extended family is too much and it will be too hectic.
Really, if your parents are hosting it then they decide budget and who’s invited, the B&G dont technically have anything to do with it outside making sure all Bridal Party members are on the list!
Secondly, if you had room for her brothers are dont mind having them thats fine, BUT this is 2014 and most people today dont go for the “you have MY sister on your side, or your brother on MY side” stuff…. if your the bride and have a good male friend or brother they can stand on your side and a bridesman, and if the groom has a sister or friend she can stand on his side as a groomsmaid. They typically wear the same thing as what their respective sexes are wearing (or for girls standing as a groomsmaid they may wear a black dress to match the suit colour). I have been involved in weddings where both instances have happened and will be again next summer. Im Maid/Matron of Honor in my best friends wedding and we have a guy friend who’ll be with us.
Not sure if you can change that now but you can certainly put your foot down about the Rehearsal Dinner…. if anything speak to your parents and tell them to tell her no. Just because her parents are paying x amount of money doesnt mean everyone can do the same. Having 100 people at a Rehearsal Dinner is ridiculous, thats not a rehearsal…. if she wants to get together with the Out of Town guests then have a welcome dinner or BBQ or something….but NOT the Rehearsal Dinner.
When you have a couple of Out of Town guests its nice to invite them but when you have like 100 then NO its not appropriate. We had about 3 people form my family who flew in so they came but my Darling Husband family is from italy and stayed with his parents so they automatically had to be invited since it was at their house…. by the time it was said and done we had like 35+ people (6 standing on each side as well) …and it was a bit overwhelming….especially when your meeting people for the first time…
Post # 12
@ApollosAgapi: Unfortunately, the groomsmen have been decided and alerted. We had to push the wedding date back from the original date (boy was that a fight) due to me losing my job and almost going bankrupt the end of last year. A deposit on the venue has been made already and our new date has been set. Our wedding party is already gearing up. To tell her brothers tough luck now would not only really upset her, but her whole family. It is my fault for trying to be accomodating and not sticking to my guns in the beggining and now I guess I am paying for it.
My fiance has basically laid a huge guilt trip on me and and has decided for herself what should go on for my family’s contribution.
Our meal at the reception wont be terribly upscale, so having a smaller Rehearsal Dinner that can be more refined as a thank you to all participants would be great.
I love the idea of an after party of sorts. I hope that is something she would like.
Post # 13
Tell her that this is your wedding, not a family reunion. If she wants to host a brunch the morning after the wedding and use it as a giant party for everyone she see’s fit, that she’s welcome to do so. It’s not about them and if you don’t want wedding 2.0 constructed by this woman, you have every right to tell her that.
Post # 14
@twintech: I agree with some PPs- if she won’t budge, that doesn’t mean you or your parents have to because your parents are hosting and the guest list that they’re suggesting is appropriate.
If she/her family wants all these ppl (or even all out of towners) at some event, maybe they can do a cupcake & punch event or something like that- cupcakes (depending) run $2-4 each, so that wouldn’t be a huge expense for them (since she’s pushing for all these ppl to be at the rehearsal dinner & saying she’ll pay).
it’s unfortunate, but she sounds pretty unpleasant. I hope the rest of your planning is going much better than this is. maybe it wouldn’t hurt to remind her that your parents paying for the rehearsal dinner etc. and you having her bros as groomsmen is gracious of you/your parents, not just required, and it should be appreciated.
Post # 15
@twintech: This just sounds like a bad scene all around. I am hesitant to question someone’s marriage and relationship based on a few paragraphs, but she isn’t sounding too great in any of this.
Post # 16
She honestly is incredibly sweet and giving. She tends to have a hot streak though, and I suppose when she feels that EVERY part of the wedding should be handled by her, especially when she is used to having her way (only girl in her family, parents never could say no) it makes for a bit of a disaster.
We hadban agreement to keep each other involved with all the preparations, and I suppose she felt that means she could dictate all things, nevermind who is paying for what and how sticky of a situation it would create.
Taking the honor from my parents by implying them cheap and inviting whomever you want to an Rehearsal Dinner just is crazy to me.