(Closed) Rehearsal dinner feels a bit to large….will the wedding be overshadowed?

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: Should more than half the wedding guests be invited to the rehearsal dinner?

    No!

    Yes!

  • Post # 17
    Member
    1469 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: April 2012

    @Miss_Dr.Pepper:   Our rehersal dinner was about 35 peole, we wanted bridal party and out of town poeple and immidate family to be a part of the rehersal.  and our wedding was 75 people and no it did not overshadow the wedding at all.  The rehersal dinner is such a different tone then the wedding and it was perfect!!!  I am glad we invited everybody we did and had a rehersal dinner, it was fun and special.  Our rehersal dinner was even in the same location as the wedding and it was perfect it really felt like two seperate events.

    it definitly ADDED to the MAGIC of the wedding weekend experiance and made it that much more special ๐Ÿ™‚

    Post # 18
    Member
    4413 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    We had 45 of our 58 wedding guests at the rehearsal, and it was great! As PPs said, it is a wonderful opportunity to actually talk to people that you may not get a chance to at the wedding. And keep in mind, a rehearsal dinner is VERY different from a wedding. The Rehearsal Dinner was about chatting and eating, while the wedding was about DANCING. Completely different types of fun. I was glad to get to spend that time with the family members I hadn’t seen in forever, and it made the wedding even more fun because we could all just let loose without feeling like we owed it to each other to have a long chat session.

    Post # 19
    Member
    3696 posts
    Sugar bee

    The thing to do here is think about your guests, and not yourself. The guests would really appreciate the chance to spend extra time together, and I really doubt it would “overshadow” the wedding. In their memories, it will be rolled in as part of the wedding and will only boost their appreciation for everything you did. (Even though your in-laws are hosting, in most people’s minds you and Fiance will get credit for “having such an awesome wedding weekend.”)

    I think if you talk calmly with your Future Mother-In-Law about the degree of formality, the heaviness of the menu, etc., she will understand. You want her as your ally, after all, and not an enemy, so it’s a good strategy to try to find a compromise on this that makes you both happy.

    Post # 20
    Member
    25 posts
    Newbee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    My brother invited everyone to his rehearsal dinner, because everyone had to travel for the wedding. I have to say, I had a blast at the rehearsal dinner, and a great time at the wedding, and I don’t think the wedding was overshadowed at all. It gave them more time to see their guests, and for guests to get to know each other. I’m having a destination wedding and plan to do the same, invite everyone who’s invited to the wedding to the Rehearsal Dinner.

    Post # 21
    Member
    1469 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: April 2012

    I also want to add that its a really great way to kick start the wedding festivities!!! One more thing to look forward to ๐Ÿ™‚ 

    Post # 22
    Member
    2 posts
    Wannabee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    Let me get this straight: your fiance’s family is throwing you a lovely rehearsal dinner, and being generous with who gets to come, and you’re complaining?  Wow.  I would love to switch places with you, and I can guarantee I wouldn’t be complaining.  I planned our entire rehearsal dinner by myself with zero help from his family, and it was completely stressful since I also planned the wedding.  I can’t believe you’re complaining that they just want to make it large.  Are you going to have gotten married beforehand? Is there dancing?  No? Then it’s not a wedding, nor is it competing with your wedding.  I can’t believe anyone would think it is appropriate to tell them what they can’t do.  It’s THEIR party.  Yes, they are throwing it for you– but that’s when you sit back and relax, and let them handle it.  If they want to invite random people on the street, that’s not for you to say.  Or, just throw their generous gift back in their face and do it how you want to do it, since you apparently must have absolute control.

    Post # 23
    Member
    1302 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    Our wedding was a 3hr drive for most guests, so we figured that anyone who wanted to show up a day early was welcome to hang out with us.  We had a Friday night barbecue & bonfire.  Honestly, I have better memories of that than of the wedding reception because it was a more relaxed atmosphere.  I didn’t care about “overshadowing” the wedding because I viewed it as extra time with our guests.  Thanks to that extra time, I really felt like I was able to talk to most of our guests during our wedding weekend.  (We also invited everyone to Sunday brunch too.)

    Post # 24
    Member
    55 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: July 2012

    Ms. Dr Pepper, Girls,…. check this out. marthastewartweddings.com/228723/etiquette-wedding-rehearsal-dinners/@center/272440/wedding-etiquette-adviser#/99417

    One can’t really say “oh don’t worry about it overshadowing the wedding!” because you do have a legitimate concern. The fact that your dad suggested it to your fiance, and not just told him, seems like he’s leaving a door open for you to express your wishes…your future hubby just needs to tell him that you were hoping to keep the rehearsal dinner small and a little more traditional (meaning just the wedding party).

    The rehearsal dinner is not about your guests. There are a couple ways to look at this-your guests may be leaving after work on a Friday night and be pooped by the time they get to the wedding location (not to mention too late for the rehearsal dinner). Or, they may just be looking to make a full weekend about it-if this is the case, send out an e-mail with a few fun things to do-recommend restaurants, addresses of movie theaters, “touristy” things to do, anything that doesn’t include the rehearsal dinner.

    And ps. its totally normal for the FI’s to bring things up with the hubby- I’ve found its less stressful that way-he can be the go-between and I don’t have to deal with their reactions to our choices ๐Ÿ™‚

    Post # 25
    Member
    55 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: July 2012

    oh and this little gem: “Whoever throws the party should definitely confer with the bride and groom to avoid any conflict with the theme, menu, or decorations of the wedding.” Thank you Martha!

    Post # 26
    Member
    786 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: December 2014

    I think it’s okay. I think if it’s nothing like the wedding it will be fine. We’re having a large rehearsal (80-90 people) but it won’t be anything like the wedding. 

     

    But I also think it’s okay to let your fmil know how you’re feeling too…were going to a wedding this weekend that is really faraway but the rehearsal dinner does not include any out of towners (just MoH, Bridesmaid or Best Man, and immediate family). And I think that’s also a fine way to do it. 

    Post # 27
    Member
    100 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    We actually had the majority of our wedding guests come to the rehearsal dinner. Small wedding, only about 45 guests, and most of them were from out of town, so the rehearsal dinner was around 30 people. I was worried about it overshadowing the wedding, but it turned out really nice. It was a great opportunity for everyone to get to know each other, and I think people actually had more fun at the wedding because they pretty much knew everyone by then!

    Post # 29
    Member
    2965 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    We are doing wedding party and parents and grandparents and my 2 aunts who have helped me thru this entire wedding because the ceremony is to be held in my parents backyard so when we come from rehearsal we are just going inside and having dinner. I don’t want any extra guests being there because they will see the rehearsal and I don’t want them to. Also my DJ, officiant, and my wedding planner will be present and they need to eat too. So that’s about 20-25 guests right there. Our guest list is 75 ppl max.

    Post # 30
    Member
    3460 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    View original reply
    @Miss_Dr.Pepper:  ๐Ÿ™‚ It was just hard getting them to *leave* the BBQ by the lake…everyone was ready to put down roots.  DH jokes he married me for their house (they feed us grilled food which we can’t get in our apartment, and eat outside on their deck), and it may not be too far off – one of the first times we saw each other outside of soccer was because he joined a bunch of folks I invited up there for Mem Day weekend. 

    I would suggest that when you call her, you don’t describe it as overshadowing the wedding, because she may react as we did here.  Instead say everything else – that you don’t want to have to worry about an allergic reaction the day before the wedding, that you would like a lighter meal to contrast and compliment the wedding dinner the day after and give the guests a different experience, etc. I really do think it’s nice to invite the OOTs if you can afford it (although not a “should” as in your poll) for the reasons described above.  One other option is to set up some event after the dinner to see the Out of Town people who are around.  For example, after the BBQ at my parents, we all headed to the wedding venue where we were staying (historic inn) and we rented their smoker pit so everyone could have smores afterwards.  Much bigger hit than even we anticipated (and the word “smoregasm” was coined…the leftover cookies from the bbq served as the bookends for the smore in lieu of crackers).  My cousin invited us after the rehearsal to a bar for a drink, which I think is pretty common.  You have options, just figure out what you want and be prepared to pay for it if need be.

    Post # 31
    Member
    55 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: July 2012

    View original reply
    @kay01:  totally irrelevant but its true, there is nothing like a good smoregasm.

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