Advice please on rehearsal dinner issue

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 16
444 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

roxie30 :  My Mother-In-Law did this same thing and the way we explained it to her is that our wedding coordinator told us that at the rehearsal we were to ONLY have those directly invovled in the ceremony (immediate family only) as it would be too hard to get anything done if we invited everyone who wasn’t in the ceremony. We just explained to her that the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner were for those who were in the ceremony or involved in it. The dinner is provided because we asked everyone in the ceremony to give up their evening to rehearse so it wouldn’t really make sense to have people coming to the dinner that were not in the ceremony.

Post # 17
564 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

Yeah that’s a communication issue but if she’s not paying she can’t expand your guest list. It’s nice to invite all traveling family but that’s not always feasible (it would more than double our guest list for example).

I feel you. My mom is pressuring me to invite my aunt and uncles who are flying in. They came to my sister’s but only at the last minute when there was space in the minimum. My Fiance has a huge family and if I added people travelling it would get ridiculous. If I said my mom’s extended family only (which is actually how it wound up at my sister’s) it would put me in a VERY difficult position with my Future Mother-In-Law (who is paying for the dinner and has already tried to sneak one of her sisters in). 

Our policy is immediate family, living grandparents, and wedding party. Then we will invite one uncle who is effectively my FIs substitute dad since his father passed away and two family domestics from my FIs family who are functionally grandmothers to him. We wanted to also include his cousin, my close friend, who introduced us and would be a bridesmaid if I was having any, but we may have to drop that as it’s starting to look like so many extras on his side and none on mine and my mom’s getting frustrated. 

Of course my mom says my grandmas might not be able to afford to come anyway, so maybe we’ll have space!

Sigh. Oh, wedding politics.

Post # 18
1548 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

roxie30 :  I can understand why your Mother-In-Law wanted to invite some out of town guests – my parents will be inviting my aunts, one uncle and cousins that are coming from out of state (only 5 total), because they will be staying with us. My Fiance kinda pushed back on this issue because he didn’t think his parents should have to pay for people that aren’t in the wedding party or immediate family..until I reminded him that the rehersal dinner is the only thing his parents are paying for, while my family is paying for the whole wedding (who he has about 100 more guests than I’ve invited). I’d say if you can afford it, just let the extras come. If you can’t – ask your Future Mother-In-Law to pay for them. 

Post # 19
1993 posts
Buzzing bee

Ask Fiance to talk to his Mother-In-Law.  She might have totally not realized it would be a problem.  Hopefully people understand.  I have a large family and almost everyone was coming from out of town.  In some prior cousin weddings all the out of town family was invited to the rehearsal dinner.  But it was also in a rural area where things are a lot less expensive.  It was kind of hard spreading the word that they were not invited to mine but people understood.  It would have been like a 100 person rehearsal dinner and our future in laws had offered to host but only offered to host immediate family, wedding party and their spouses or dates, not an extra 50 or so people. 

Hopefully it isn’t a big deal!

Post # 20
9546 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

Your Mother-In-Law spoke out of turn and this is her mistake. There are many couples that choose to invite Out of Town guests to the rehearsal dinner, but it is not mandatory. It’s not even mandatory to have a rehearsal dinner. So, she made a wrong assumption and has put her foot in her mouth. The question, now, is what to do about it.

First discuss with your fiance if you guys are firm on the guest list. You guys need to be on the same page about this. If this makes you reconsider and want to extend the invite to Out of Town relatives, that would be fine. However, if you choose to keep the guest list small, which is totally valid, then he needs to speak to his mother. He doesn’t need to demand anything from her, he just needs to be clear about who is on the guest list. If she argues that she already invited these relatives, he can point out that while he’s sorry for the situation, that was her mistake for speaking without checking with you two first. Therefore, she needs to clear things up. 

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