(Closed) Rehearsal Dinner Alternatives

posted 10 years ago in Beehive
Post # 3
388 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

You’re in a tough spot, but it sounds liek you’ve thought it through and handling it very well.  Kudos to you.

Yes, your mom is paying for the wedding in AZ, but his family is paying for the party in Italy.  It’s a little ethnocentric of your mom to then expect for his family to stick to American tradition and pay for the rehearsal.

It sounds like you’re doing everything pretty fairly down the middle, and both families are incurring big costs, and don’t forget travel costs, too! 

Rather than do two separate events with a cocktail party, then a rehearsal dinner, why not just do one causual party after the rehearsal that will included the wedding party and all out-of-towners?  No one says that you HAVE to have a fancy rehearsal dinner.  People are just happy to be fed and be with you for your special day.

Gently, but firmly, continue to voice to your mom that traditions are great, but you are marrying someone who has different traditions.  He’s joining your family, and you’re joining his, so you’d rather not start the new journey by offending his family.  Best of luck!

Post # 4
59 posts
Worker bee

wow, that’s tough and it does sound like you’ve come up with some good ideas already…

One other idea might be to remind your mom that traditionally speaking of course, the rehearsal dinner was started just as a natural outgrowth of the rehearsal itself. And I think it became a tradition that the groom’s family hosted that dinner just out of convenience to the bride’s family, since they would be keying up for the big event that they’re hosting the next day. And so the rehearsal dinner became this show of generosity from the groom’s family–but your groom’s family is showing their generosity with a whole other big event in Italy!

If she’s worried that she feels like guests will expect a rehearsal dinner, then maybe just push for something really casual as a get-together. SoCalBeachGirl is right: It’s just about gathering. Grab a sandwich platter from a local deli and hang out at a park or something…

Post # 5
98 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

SoCal and brenda said it perfectly above, so I will just second their posts.  If you do decide to do something, see if you can pay by wire-transfer or with an Italian credit card, since the euro buys about a dollar-and-a-half these days, you’d be getting a 33% discount! 

AND can I express how wildly jealous I am that you get to live in Italy?!?!  mr beanchar and I lived in Padova for a year and go back to visit about twice a year.  It’s my dream to live there permanently someday.  Where in Italy are you?

Post # 7
388 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

It is MUCH easier mediating from the outside.  You know that I could never reason with my own mother rationally that way!!!!

Brendalynn nailed it perfectly, the tradition of the groom’s fam paying for the rehearsal is due to bride’s fams paying for the wedding.  Since FI’s fam is paying for a second party, it’s logical to bend the rules a little!  Maybe that’ll help your mom see the light.  Isn’t is weird how tradition suddenly becomes SUCH a big deal during wedding planning?  Who knew?

I, too, am jealous of your Italy locale.  We visited Italy on our honeymo0n and I am in love with Capri & Sorrento.  GOOD LUCK and have fun, it’ll be beautiful and wonderful.

Post # 8
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

Another thought – the rehearsal dinner traditionally (since your mom seems to place a high importance on tradtion) is for the members of the wedding party.  Just those folks who actually participate in the rehearsal.  The idea of inviting out of town guests is pretty recent.

For our Rehearsal Dinner, we are inviting just a few out-of-town guests.  Essentially only those who are travelling alone, and don’t know our other guests.  We figure that when we have 6 or 8 close friends, travelling as couples, all from the same city, they can and will coordinate dinner together.  The important thing about out of town guests is that someone doesn’t end up eating dinner all alone.  If you don’t have anyone travelling alone, I would leave the out of towners out of the Rehearsal Dinner.  And a casual dinner, even dinner at someone’s house, is just fine.  One bee is having a pool party/barbecue Rehearsal Dinner.  For my sister’s wedding we went to a nice but casual Mexican restaurant for the Rehearsal Dinner. 

And really (to be blunt), unless your mom is going to host the Rehearsal Dinner, its none of her business.  I presume that your FI’s parents aren’t calling her up to tell her how to plan the wedding.  I would decide what you and Fiance can afford and host it yourself, if you possibly can.  Invite only the actual people involved in the rehearsal, find a friend who will let you use their house, and make some traditional Italian food maybe.  Perhaps your Future Mother-In-Law would like to help you cook.  It would be really relaxed and fun, and a taste of real Italian culture for the American side of your family.

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