Post # 1
Initially I thought it was okay if my parents wanted to include all of their out of town family/friends to the rehearsal dinner. This would potentially add about 20 people to the dinner. After thinking about it more, my Fiance and I thought a small intimate dinner with just the bridal party, our parents, and his aunt/uncle & grandpa. None of my grandparents are living and I barely know my aunts/uncles.
My Mom was yelling at me on the phone today insisting that she provide some sort of dinner for her out of town guests. My brother got married 2 years ago and just had bridal party and parents which greatly upset my parents.
I don’t know if Fiance and I are being unreasonable, and should just bend, or if we should go ahead and do what we would like to do. My FI’s parents will be paying for the rehearsal dinner and both sets of our parents are helping us pay for the ceremony/reception. My FI’s extended family and his parents’ friends will probably just drive up on Saturday (the day of the wedding) whereas my parents’ relatives live on both coasts and will be coming from much farther away.
Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks in advance!
Post # 2
monkey84 : If FI’s parents are paying, they get to decide the guestlist, not your Mom.
Post # 3
monkey84 : I agree with julies1949. If they aren’t paying for it then they can’t just add on 20 more mouths to feed that someone else has to pay for.
If your mom really feels that strongly would she be willing to pay for the extra 20 guests? Or what about having an early dinner for the extra 20 people somewhere else and then having your rehearsal dinner later?
Post # 4
Thanks for your replies! We will talk with my fiance’s parents about who they’re thinking for the guest list. It’s not really a money thing- pretty sure that my parents would be okay paying for the extra 20 people.
Post # 5
monkey84 : If your Mom insists on hosting the OOT’s she could invite them to coffee and dessert following the smaller Rehearsal Dinner that you would prefer.
Post # 6
Or she could give a day-after brunch. But she really has no say about the guest list for a party she’s not hosting.
Post # 7
Thanks everyone! Those are good ideas. We talked to FI’s mom and they were thinking just bridal party and immediate family.
I did wonder if it is rude to my dad to not invite my two out of town aunts/uncles (his sisters), that I’m not close to and aren’t in touch with me, when my FI’s aunt and uncle will come because we are both very close to them.
Post # 8
MOG X2, and we honored all requests by the brides’ families both times. I think it’s mingy and unkind to exclude close family who have traveled some distance to attend the wedding. We also included SOs for all of the wedding party.
Post # 9
These relatives feel close enough to YOU to travel from out of town to celebrate your wedding. Assuming your FIs parents want to accommodate this request I think it would be rude to exclude them.
Post # 10
We had a small rehearsal dinner, but followed it with an open invitation for a bonfire, drinks, and snacks for anyone who was in the area already (hosted it in my parents’ backyard). I have a much bigger family, much of it Out of Town, and I didn’t want to ask my ILs to host all of them, so this was a good compromise.
Post # 11
monkey84 : If you are drawing the line at aunts/uncles on one side it makes sense to do so on the other as well.
Post # 12
If it’s not a question of money or space, personally I do think it’s nice to include the out of towners. Most of the weddings I attend as an out of towner do this now.
But it’s not up to me or you. Your in laws are hosting and get to decide based on their budget and their own considerations. Inviting only the immediate family and wedding party is perfectly acceptable etiquette-wise.
What I personally would not do is mix the two groups so that you have party guests all dressed up with people showing up for a casual event. That makes it all too obvious that there was a nice rehearsal dinner to which the out of towners were not invited. Plus people will still be talking about it.
She could, however, rent a hospitality room in the hotel where the out of towners are staying as a casual place for them to gather for coffee or dessert as jules mentions. If you or she want to stop by for a few minutes, fine.
I would probably just do a next day brunch.
Post # 13
I’m having a similar dilemma. My Mother-In-Law told me she wanted to invite the wedding party, immediate families and out-of-town family members who are coming in for the wedding. This seemed pretty reasonable to me, but my mother wants to include all of her friends from out of town that are traveling in as well. I’m not even including MY out-of-town friends at the rehearsal dinner. I tried to explain to my mother that to include ALL out of towners would be 70% of the wedding guest list! She feels like her friends will feel snubbed if they aren’t included, but I really don’t want over 100 people at my rehearsal dinner… It’s not a question of money; my Future In-Laws told us they aren’t worried about the cost no matter how many people we invite. I have a while until my wedding (June 2018) so we haven’t figured out what we are going to do yet. :\
Post # 14
It does seem like some sort of exclusion has to be done. If one side wants the out of towners there, then does the other side get its out of towners too? Let the mushrooming commence.
It seems silly to let it grow until before long, all the guests who will be at the wedding the next day, will be at the Rehearsal Dinner the night before. Unless that is what everyone wants, in that case, tell them to knock themselves out.
Post # 15
I think it’s important to choose a relationship cut-off and treat both sides of the family equally. I would *not* invite aunts/uncles from one side and exclude aunts/uncles from the other side.