Post # 1
Fiancé and I really want to have a small rehearsal dinner with just wedding party members and immediate family (that’ll still add up to like 25-30 people). We are shy people, introverted and don’t want a big stressful event right before the wedding. His parents have generously offered to pay for the dinner – but they’re insisting that we invite all their relatives traveling from out of town. That would mean a 40-50 person event at least. We’ve explained to them that we really want a small, intimate dinner, but they’re insisting. How does this work? Are we obligated to invite everyone if they’re paying? Our idea was to invite everyone to an informal brunch the morning after the wedding instead – that way, people still have another opportunity to socialize. But they aren’t happy about that either and told us, “The wedding isn’t just about you.” Looking for a way to compromise on this and not get talked into something we don’t want to do. Should we just pay for it ourselves and say no thanks to their gift and the obligations it brings?
This topic was modified 5 years, 9 months ago by msowl.
Post # 2
Sorry to hear about your dilemma. Honestly I think if they’re paying the option of 40-50ppl is gonna happen so if you prefer your small intimate gathering… just pay yourselves.
Post # 3
Just tell them that you really want something small and and you are respectfully declining that they pay. Tell them you understand the wedding is not just about you/FI (kinda is lol) but that the other relatives will be able to celebrate the combing of the family on the wedding day. Stress to them that you just wasnt something small to relax.
Post # 4
A compromise would be to suggest that you have the smaller rehearsal dinner, but the FIL’s can extend an invitation to the OOT’s to join you for coffee and dessert/drinks after.
Post # 5
Many people subscribe to a tradition that out-of-town guests are invited to the rehearsal dinner. (For the record, my DH paid for our Rehearsal Dinner, and we only invited close family and those involved in our rehearsal and their spouses. We had a semi-destination wedding that was Out of Town for everyone, including us. If we had done that, we would have had to host a vastly larger number of people.)
If your Future In-Laws are hosting and paying, they have every right to choose to invite their out-of-town family. For them to host this event and NOT invite these individuals may be interpreted as a breach of etiquette on their part. Please note that I am not saying it would be a breach of etiquette — only that your Future In-Laws likely believe that it is and that their family members may believe this also, based on their traditions.
I would try not to stress over this and to enjoy the party that your Future In-Laws want to provide for you, or, as prior posters have noted, you could also choose to decline the offer and have a much smaller event that you and your Fiance host yourselves. In your case, however, it’s likely that your Future In-Laws would not be satisfied with that compromise, because they still may feel that they have an obligation to host their Out of Town family and friends the night before the wedding, and they obviously cannot be in two places at once and would not want to host a pre-wedding party without the bride and groom being present.
Post # 6
Since they are hosting, I would personally just allow them to invite the 15-20 extra people. It is not likely to change the dynamic as much as you think. To me, this would simply not be a battle worth fighting.Chances are, you’ll say hello and goodbye.
Post # 7
I see where they are coming from but then isn’t that also disrespectful to your out of town family? At that point if you invite yours too it may as well be the actual wedding. It just seems like a lot of people.
Post # 8
Yep exactly. If we invite their aunts/uncles/cousins we have to invite mine too. I just don’t want *two* big events – the wedding is already big! (Well, only 100 people but to us it feels big – we are introverts and don’t like schmoozing with big crowds, especially obscure relatives whom we don’t know well.)
Post # 9
The way I see it, this could end in one of three ways:
1) You explain to your FI’s parents the potential for offending your family, and they back off, so you get your small dinner on their dime.
2) FI’s parents stick to their guns no matter what, so they get their way.
3) You respectfully thank them, decline the offer, and pay for your own rehearsal dinner.
Hopefully they’ll be reasonable once you present them with the hammer of logic, but if not, then you’ll have to decide what’s most important, the cost or the small relaxing dinner. Good luck!
Post # 10
Technically, you are supposed to invite out of town guests (out of town meaning they are forced to travel and forced to stay in a hotel room) out of courtesty to the efforts they are putting in to attend your wedding. However, it is YOUR and your fiance’s day, so you should be able to plan it how you like. Folks who attend should be doing so out of their happiness for your marriage. <br /><br />Since they are insisting on not doing it your way, request that they foot the bill. I believe anyone who has dollars in the game has a say. Otherwise, if they can’t compromise and continue to get offended, then you have more to talk to your fiance about than a rehersal dinner. For example, what are you two going to do when you tell Mother-In-Law that you’re spending the holidays with your family instead? especially if/when you have kiddies running around. Is he going to support the decisions you both agree on over his parent’s demands? Is he going to be the one to ground his parents? etc. <br /><br />Demanding and easily offended family members can quickly make things ugly. I wish you the best of luck in this sticky situation!
Post # 11
I’m of the opinion that you should invite anyone traveling from out of town. It’s just polite. If you want to pay/host, then do it however you like. If someone else is paying/hosting, then they should invite who they want so they get the chance to avoid being seen as impolite.
Post # 12
“Are we obligated to invite everyone if they’re paying?” — Yep.
“Should we just pay for it ourselves and say no thanks to their gift and the obligations it brings?” — Yep.