Post # 1
Hey ladies, I thought I would ask for advice on how to handle this issue. My fiance have been planning to pay for our rehearsal dinner with immediate family, the officiant and his wife and the bridal party. We already have a head count of 28 (I am one of 4). W havent made a reservation yet but it’s down to two restaurants. While on vacation three weeks ago, my very sweet MIL verbally extended the invite to her sister and a few cousins, who we weren’t planning on inviting. They would be coming from out of town to attend. I kept silent at the time and no one has said anything since, should we talk to her and gently say who we are planning on inviting? or just go ahead with the original plans without saying a word?
Post # 2
Have Fiance call her.
“Hi Mom. Roxie and I are making reservations for the rehersal dinner, and I remember you accidentally invited aunt and x, y, z. Unfortunately we are only able to pay for the guest list we already had and these guests aren’t invited.”
See what she says. She might offer to pay, and if not:
“UNfortunately we cannot host them. Since you invited them without our permission, you need to tell them they aren’t invited.”
Post # 3
Most of the time it’s customary to invite out of town guests to the rehearsal dinner, so I’d assume that’s where your Mother-In-Law is coming from. I think it’s nice to invite out of town guests, but if you don’t want to I think you have to tell your Mother-In-Law and Mother-In-Law needs to call them and explain.
Post # 4
I would have your Fiance talk to him mom and say that you were keeping it small and if she wants those people there she needs to pay for them. In some areas it is custom to invite all out of town guests to the rehearsal dinner so she might be coming from that school of thought. But it needs to come from him since he’s paying otherwise you’re basically just doing the same thing she did. And of course if it comes from you you’ll be the horrible daughter-in-law. If Fiance okays them he still needs to have that conversation with her or she’ll overstep your entire marriage. If he doesn’t okay them coming he needs to talk to her and she needs to talk to them.
Post # 5
You will get all sorts of opinions when you ask a question here. I seriously doubt that most of the time, out of town guests are invited to the rehearsal dinner. For many couples, that would mean inviting almost the whole guest list two evenings in a row. A lot of couples can’t afford that. Many couples also choose to stick to the original purpose of a rehearsal dinner- to thank and honor the wedding party.
If your budget doesn’t allow them to be invited, or you don’t want to favor them over other out of town guests, Fiance can talk to his Mom as a pp suggested.
If you want to compromise, yu could invite them (and other OOT’s) to join you for coffee and dessert later in the evening.
Post # 6
julies1949 : I have been invited to the rehearsal dinner for every out of town wedding I’ve been to. Distant relatives, very old friends, sorority sisters etc. My FI’s cousin invited more than half of her 300 person guest list to her rehearsal dinner because they were from out of town. And she also had a Sunday brunch for those from Out of Town. My cousin is doing the same thing and the weddings are on opposite sides of the country. The way you try to put down other bees without seeming like you’re actually putting them down (daily) is so ridiculous. (I even edited to add dinner where I missed it because I know you’ll say, “a rehearsal and rehearsal dinner are two very different things” then go on to explain the difference to me like you do on every post that says bridal party or wedding party.)
Post # 7
I think you (or FI) have to call Mother-In-Law and let her know. It would be worse for the extra guests (or more) show up to the restaurant because she told them the place/time with them having no seats or dinner.
Post # 8
I am including family who traveled for our wedding to our rehearsal dinner.
Post # 9
whoami : Perhaps this is one of those “regional” differences. We were invited to 5 out of town weddings between the long weekend in May, and Canadian Thanksgiving, and other than the one in which I am a bridesmaid, we were not invited to the rehearsal dinner. Nor were any other out of town guests.
Like many things in life, generalizing from your own personal experience doesn’t always work. As I said, there is a compromise available.
Hope you feel better for having vented.
Post # 10
I agree that your Fiance should talk to his mom and explain the situation. We had a lot of out of town guests for our wedding so we stuck to having only the members of the wedding party (includes siblings), parents, grandparents, and the wedding parties dates for the rehersal dinner. I had other out of town family members who came for the wedding but it just wasn’t reasonable in the budget to invite everyone to both.
Post # 11
I’d cut them out. My step grandmother basically invited my out-of-state aunt and cousin to mine, but I told her no. She was mad because they were traveling, but I had to explain to her that on my FI’s side, all of his cousins would be traveling at least 5 hours. We also have several people invited from Europe. None of these people are invited to the rehearsal dinner, because the number is so high. She’s pissed, because she can’t see past the people she’s most concerned about, but I’m not about to look like an unfair asshole because she’s worried about my aunt being left behind (at my uncle’s house, mind you) for 2 hours.
Post # 12
You are 100% not obligated to invite Out of Town guests to your rehearsal dinner. By definition, the rehearsal dinner is a meal hosted for those that are involved in the wedding rehearsal. I feel that in recent years it’s become more common to invite Out of Town guests, but it is by no means the norm. As an Out of Town guest I would never, ever presume to be invited to this event if I were not in the bridal party, a reader, etc. Mother-In-Law needs to tell those cousins that she was in error inviting them.
Post # 13
julies1949 : Ditto on it being regional. I’m in Ontario and I’ve only been to one rehearsal dinner where Out of Town guests were invited (and this is likely because they were houseguests of the mother of the bride- & the rehearsal dinner was at her house). In some cases, Out of Town guests comprise a good chunk of the wedding guests.
I do think your Future Mother-In-Law over-stepped her boundaries though. If she wanted to include additional guests she should have checked with you & your Fiance first to ask if it’s okay and she should have offered to cover the additional cost.
Post # 14
julies1949 : Totally agree that it’s regional. I’ve never been to an out of town wedding where I was invited to the rehearsal dinner. And around where I’m from, a lot of times, SOs aren’t even invited to the rehearsal dinner, as it is just to honor and thank the wedding party – as you said. I caught a lot of flack a couple of weeks ago on here for not originally inviting SOs to our rehearsal dinner (FI’s parents requested keeping the costs as low as possible).
OP, I think your Fiance definitely needs to have a talk with her and tell her what the plans were. I had the same issue where my ILs were wanting to invite a lot more people than we originally planned and we ended up having to change to a different (cheaper) restaurant so everyone could be included (which is fine as they are paying for it). But you can bet Fiance had a talk with them first about inviting people outside of the original plan.
Post # 15
- Wedding: September 2015 - Hotel Ballroom
I second what scissorgirl said!