(Closed) out of town guests invited to rehearsal dinner?

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
2781 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

How about having your rehearsal dinner at a place where the budget is more accommodating so that your Out of Town guests wouldn’t be a problem? I do agree that if I were in your position I would want to invite them for a meal beforehand and if your FH’s family have said they’ll pay for the rehearsal dinner then they and your FH should have taken this into account, which it sounds like they didn’t. I don’t see how they could possibly argue to changing to a different venue if they needed to – especially if they could save money in the long run.

Post # 4
Member
92 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I’m not sure where the money should or will come from, but I think you have to invited those out of town guests.  I’m with you, they drove 10 hours to see you get married, it’s nice to thank them with a dinner.  Are you having your rehearsal dinner at a restaurant or is it being catered?  Chances are, if it’s being catered having a few extra people won’t cost more money.  I know we had extra people show up to our rehearsal dinner and we still had enough food that we ate leftovers for a week afterwards (we had our rehearsal dinner catered).  Are you closing enough with your soon to be in-laws that you could talk to them?

Post # 5
Member
708 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

First of all, I know it is tradition to invite out of town guests to the rehersal dinner, but I don’t think it is rude to have a small rehersal dinner with only immediate family and bridal party (even if people have come a long way). So as long as your Fiance family is not inviting more than immediate family and Bridal Party, you will not look rude. However, it seems like you really want these people at the dinner and I think your Fiance might be being a bit unreasonable here. He could at least talk to his parents about it and see what they think. They may say no problem.

Post # 7
Member
636 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

Is there any way you can change the location of the rehearsal dinner to a more affordable place so you can invite the out of towners for about the same cost?

Post # 8
Member
3176 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

That’s really a decision you have to make personally. From what I’ve seen on the boards your going to get varied responses on whether out of town guests should or should not be invited to the Rehearsal Dinner. I do think its inconsiderate that your FH won’t even discuss it with you and moreso his parents. Thats a communication thing. Also are you mad that he is inviting more guests than you to the actual wedding? Its never a good idea to start comparing what you are getting/giving verse what he is getting/giving. Sometimes things aren’t black and white as far as fairness goes. I will say that I have a large family all of which are coming from out of town so everyone will be invited to the Rehearsal Dinner. Meaning we will have the same number of people (about 100) at the Rehearsal Dinner (minus maybe 10) as the wedding.

Post # 9
Member
92 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Definitely not your mom’s place to pay (regardless of what she makes)…she’s paying for the wedding, she should not have to contribute to the rehearsal dinner as well….

Post # 10
Member
1995 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

we had a similar situation.  FI’s family paid for the (relatively cheap bbq) rehearsal dinner at our apartment clubhouse.  We invited NONE of my Out of Town family members.  I was bummed, but they wouldn’t have fit!  I know they would have like to been invited but nobody complained to me!

Post # 12
Member
160 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

It sounds like this is more a problem between you and your Fiance than it is about money or family conflicts.  If you are close to your Future Mother-In-Law or Future Father-In-Law, consider calling them to see where they stand.  Or maybe you and your Fiance can have them over for dinner to discuss the issue as a family.  I agree with the other posters that there is a solution – you just have to figure out which route you should take.  You can even just have a backyard BBQ or simple Ukrop’s catering delivered to the Rehearsal Dinner location.  Have you already booked a venue and agreed to purchase their food?  I see that your wedding is a week before mine, and in the fabulous metropolis of Richmond 🙂

Post # 13
Member
7173 posts
Busy Beekeeper

If been to only a handful of Out of Town weddings and the two that are immediately coming to mind – I was not invited to the rehearsal dinner.  I think it’s more of a luxury to do and would be nice – but not a mandatory-awful-break of etiquette.

Post # 14
Member
208 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Here’s a thought… Could you invite only the bridal party/immediate family to dinner and all other Out of Town guests to dessert? That’s what we’re doing. I REALLY wanted to invite everyone who had to travel to our rehearsal dinner, but that’s over 80% of our guest list. We simply couldn’t afford two receptions. So our awesome venue coordinator suggested a traditional rehearsal dinner followed by an Out of Town dessert reception — a budget and etiquette-friendly compromise!

Post # 15
Member
1699 posts
Bumble bee

Well, you are most certainly right that guests who drive for ten hours from out of town need to be treated hospitably when they arrive; the minimum hospitality being to offer them food and drink. But your fiance’s mother is also “right” that as hostess of this rehearsal dinner she gets to set the guestlist and is not obliged to invite any “extra” guests who are not either part of the wedding party and officiants, or their spouses and fiances. And neither you nor your mother should ask her to do so — *overtly*.

But social negotiations can get quite hard-nosed as long as the long guns remain covert. What your mother should do is apologize to your future mother-in-law for being obliged to decline her very kind invitation to the rehearsal dinner but explain that, since these VERY close family have driven SO FAR she simply could not forgive herself if she left them to fend for themselves while she was basking in FMIL’s “SO GENEROUS” hospitality. So she is very sorry, but she will have to hurry off immediately after the rehearsal to entertain her out-of-town guests.

At that point your fiance’s mother has two choices: she can either accept your mother’s apology and then overhear you explaining to everyone at the rehearsal dinner why your mother isn’t there (which you explain as “of course she has to take care of our guests and of course she couldn’t impose on Future Mother-In-Law to bring them to the rehearsal dinner uninvited, when Future Mother-In-Law has been SO GENEROUS to host this lovely event for us”). Future Mother-In-Law will be perfectly aware that she will actually look quite ungenerous, especially if your bridesmaids are bemusedly asking one another “but, aren’t out of town guests supposed to be invited to the rehearsal dinner?

So if she is sophisticated and wise, she will take her other choice, which is to grit her teeth and force out the words “Oh, my dear, I wouldn’t dream of it: you must invite them to join us!”  By which she means “well, since you’ve put me on the spot, I am going to have to give in rather than look stingey.” And if she is not sophisticated and wise, your mother and your out of town guests will doubtless have a lovely time, accompanied by a chuckle or two at the expense of a lady who has more money than breeding.

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