(Closed) Rehearsal Dinner Ettiquete

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
230 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

I don’t think that anyone should ever have to apologize for only spending the money that they can afford to.  I once went to a wedding (when I was 19 and working part-time at minimum wage), and everything on their registry was $80+.  I ended up putting a twenty in a card for them and feeling guilty about it until my mom said the same thing to me that I said in the first sentence in this response.  I know that it’s hard when you want to have all of your closest friends and family involved in everything, but I would hope that most brides are understanding when people’s finances limit their involvement.

Post # 5
216 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

Oh dear….I’m sorry you are not having a good experience as a bridesmaid, and assure you that your friends are probably quite oblivious and self-absorbed right now (not to excuse their behaviour, but I’ve watched a lot of people get married and somewhere along the line people CAN get over-the-top when it comes to being inconsiderate).  I think your presence at the rehearsal dinner, and your contribution via the potluck aspect are two separate things.  It sounds like maybe you feel like boundaries keep being crossed, and maybe you’re wanting to not show up out of spite and general exasperation (which sounds totally warranted based on the past behaviour).  However, my opinion would be that the best way to handle this honourably would be to tell the B&G that while you are happy to show up for the rehearsal dinner, you really just can’t get it together to bring something.  Your presence will be meaningful to someone, even if it’s the bride’s mum, or the groom’s sister, or another member of the bridal party who feels the same way you do! Don’t let the wedding politics get in the way of trying to just be a good friend through the craziness.  If you still feel hurt by their behaviour in the months after the wedding, talk to them about it then.  Good luck!

Post # 6
450 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I agree with everything above. Your friend is in the wrong here, and I am sorry that you are having a bad experience.


This woman is your friend. Whatever wrong thing she is doing, you should try your hardest to be compassionate. The other bridal party members should also, but since we’re talking to you, this is what you have to do!

Yes, you should go to the rehearsal dinner, if at all possible. Even though its a pain. Unless you absolutely cannot go, you should try your best.

Not what you wanted to hear. I know. But, this is the "good" thing to do.  Just let the bride be self absorbed. If you don’t want to be friends with her, figure that out AFTER the wedding.

Post # 7
2271 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

Gee, I guess not but typically the groom’s family or the briude and groom should be paying for the rehearsal dinner.

Post # 8
469 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

I fully agree with Lexatron. 

Post # 9
124 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Wow, sorry to hear about your experience as a bm…that is a little inconsiderate of them…However I do think you should attend the rehearsal dinner. When you made your committment to be in the wedding, well, the rehearsal dinner is part of that and you should continue to support your friend (until the wedding is over at least). If you decide not to go, you should mention the cost as a concern to the bride so that she has a clue as to what you guys are going through as bridesmaids! Good luck!

Post # 10
3331 posts
Sugar bee

Wow, I’ve never heard of a Bridesmaid or Best Man having to pay her own way at the RD?!  I know that when you become a Bridesmaid or Best Man, you accept a certain amount of financial burden, but it sounds like your friend has gone a bit above what’s normally expected.  To me, there’s a difference between expecting your friends to buy their dress and throw a shower and the things that your friend is expecting of you.  

Do you think you can mention it to her, that you are already feeling strapped for cash and there’s no way you can afford the extra amount to cover the RD?  Have you talked to the other BM?  Do you know if they feel the same way?

Post # 11
1064 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

The dinner is supposed to be hosted as a thank you for being in the wedding, it’s not right you have to buy your own dinner? That’s so weird. We are lucky, my Fiance parents are hosting the whole thing at a really nice restaurant. We don’t have to pay for any of it. If we did however, it wouldn’t be fancy, more like a pizza and hot wing night, but we’d foot the bill as a thank you for those helping with my wedding. That’s a time to show how much the people in your wedding party and in your ceremony mean to you and to really thank them with their gifts and things.

Good luck i’m really sorry it has turned out this way.

Post # 12
169 posts
Blushing bee

the bride and groom are supposed to host the Rehearsal Dinner, period. tell them that you expected that they were going to cover it as is customary, and that you cannot afford anything else, and that you ll be at the rehearsal and the wedding, thank you very much!

Post # 13
217 posts
Helper bee

You should NEVER have to pay for your food at a rehearsal dinner if you’re part of the bridal party. END OF STORY! If they can’t afford one they shouldn’t have one. Don’t even get me started on having to buy your dress, hair AND bring food to their wedding. GOOD LORD!

Post # 14
440 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

That is really strange that they are not paying for the rehearsal dinner. They are breaking etiquette by asking their bridal party to pay for it.

Post # 15
149 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

tradition has it that finace’s parents/family pays for rehearsal dinner, I always thought the dinner was a thank you meal for the bridal party, especialy the party taht had to spend it’s money for every thing needed for the wedding, the least you can get is a meal.

Post # 16
613 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

I am so offended by this bride/groom’s behavior!  a) if I am IN the wedding, how am I supposed to bring a dish?  2) if the wedding is formal enough for a $200 Bridesmaid or Best Man dress and professional styling (hair), why is it a potluck?  Potluck means super casual to me. 3) how dare you expect me to pay for my own dinner at an event that you are hosting and INVITED me to!  WTF!!!

Frankly, I wouldnt go to the Rehearsal Dinner.  I’d go to the rehearsal and then take myself home.  However, the bride will be really pissed with you and it will likely have a lasting effect on your relationship.  Or, if you do go to the Rehearsal Dinner, i think you are excused from bringing a gift.

All the PPs keep telling you to take the high road.  I just couldnt in this situation.  I would feel underappreciated and taken advantage of.  Be the best Bridesmaid or Best Man that you can for her during this process, but dont help finance HER wedding.  Potluck?  WIth $200 Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses?  Really?

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