Post # 1
My Future In-Laws are paying for the rehearsal dinner (and they have also contributed to the wedding as well). My Future Mother-In-Law sat down with me to go over the guest list for the rehearsal dinner and it included the wedding party and their spouses/children, the flower girl and her parents and our parents. I can tell expense wise, Future Mother-In-Law would like to keep the number to a minimum. However, my grandparents (and I think possibly 2 of my aunts and their families) expect to be invited. My Fiance has no grandparents. What do I tell them? I originally thought that rehearsal was only for the wedding party and parents and also, the rehearsal and dinner is like 45 minutes away for the grandparents.
I kind of mentioned to Future Mother-In-Law about inviting one of my aunts to the dinner because she had offered to help us decorate the entire day of the rehearsal and I thought that would be nice and Future Mother-In-Law kind of gave me a shocked look but hesitantly agreed. That’s why I don’t want to bring up about the grandparents. Is this normal to NOT invite the bride’s grandparents?
Post # 3
I think you should definitely invite your grandparents, mine would be EXTREMELY offended if they were excluded.
Post # 4
I hadn’t even considered inviting my grandparents to our rehearsal dinner. Mine live about three hours away though. I can understand if your Future Mother-In-Law wasn’t expecting the extra head counts for your grandparents and aunt, so maybe your family can offer to cover the added cost of inviting them?
Post # 5
I know they SHOULD be invited, but technically neither I or my parents are hosting/paying for this. I feel uncomfortable asking them to spend even more money.
Post # 6
The aunts/uncles and their families do not need to be invited no matter what they expect. It would be nice if the grandparents were invited, regardless if your fiance has any left. It is a bit odd that they are not included but they aren’t technically part of the bridal party (and theoretically, neither are parents, especially those of the flowergirl, etc). but it is up to the hosts (your future in laws in this case) to decide on the final guestlist since they are paying. If they can’t afford a ton of people, then either the guestlist needs to be cut where you can or else go for cheap and casual (which rehearsal dinners are by default) and serve pizza and soda so that everyone can join in the festivities. If you aren’t able to talk to your in laws now, it will only get harder down the road when much bigger issues arise. This is nothing compared to what you will face after you are married.
Post # 7
I would for sure invite grandparents 🙂
Post # 8
I can tell you that both of my grandmothers would be EXTREMELY offended if they were not invited. And if your Aunt is going to spend all day helping you, then she most certainly should be invited as well. Im not for huge rehearsal dinners that costs tons of money. for what? maybe instead of having it a resturant, have something at someones house and have it caterered or something. Thats what will probably end up doing, because just my immediate family/bridesmaids alone I have 30 people. and that doesnt include my Fiances groomsmen and their extra’s and his family.
you make due with that you have. and its your weddding/rehearsal and you should have whoever you want there. and I get so annoyed when parents or in laws are adding money to the wedding for things and feel like they have say in something. ITS OUR DAY. thank you for contributing and i will take your ideas into consideration, but its OUR day and WE will decide what we want.
Future Mother-In-Law wouldnt dare tell me I couldnt invite who i wanted. I had this talk with her the other day actually cause i told her that my cousin and her daughter from out town will be there and I want them there. she is like my sister.
sorry for all of that! lol =) If you want your grandparents/aunts there , then you should have them there. and if your in laws cannot afford the extra people, that is ok too. offer to pay for them, or do an alternative and find a way to have everyone you want there.
Post # 9
I think the immediate family of both the bride and groom needs to be invited. To me this means grandparents. My grandparents are like a second and third set of parents to me and I consider them just as close as my parents.
Although Future Mother-In-Law is paying, this is not just an event for her family. The wedding and everything surrounding it is about joining of two people and two families. She needs to give your family the same sort of respect she would to hers, (regardless of the fact that her own parents are not alive). Imagine if all those times the bride’s parents pay for the entire wedding, if they told the groom and his family that since they are paying they will make the decision who to invite from his side. I think this is totally unacceptable and completely opposite in spirit of what wedding are really about.
Post # 10
Argh, I just tried to post but it didn’t work. To sum up the novel I wrote last time: 1. unfortunately, the (other) golden rule applies here: he who has the gold makes the rules. Rehearsal dinners are neither necessary nor required, and since she’s paying for it, I think it’s rude to demand an invite.
2. However, you don’t seem to be doing that so I applaud you for being fabulous!
3. I would be horrified if my grandparents were not invited to the dinner, but that was the tone of our rehearsal dinner- it was for many people, not just those who had to rehearse.
4. Despite my horror, it is not my place to demand that someone pay for someone else at a party that they are throwing for me. I can request, sure, and I can be upset if they don’t want to follow my wishes, but tough beans for me. If I want someone to come and the host is uncomfortable with the cost, then I need to pony up.
5. You are an awesome daughter in law for being concerned about your MIL’s feelings and not just demanding it!
Post # 11
While we certainly consider our grandparents immediate family, my FH and I are not inviting them to the rehearsal. The rehersal is an event and dinner meant to thank those involved in the wedding, not a mini-reception. The only people we are inviting are the parents, siblings, and bridal party – and that’s still 35 people for us. On the other hand, my grandparents and aunts and uncles don’t expect to be invited – it’s just not how weddings work in either of our families.
However, if you think your grandparents would be extremely offended, maybe you could strike a deal with your Future Mother-In-Law. Maybe offer to pay for them? It’s unconventional, but it’s obvious that she’s already uncomfortable with the price (let’s face, what mother isn’t with the price of weddings today?), and maybe she hadn’t budgeted on the additional people. I’d suggest offering to pay for them – with your grandparents being 45 minutes away, they might decline anyway. No harm, no foul – and no one’s feelings are hurt.
Post # 12
I think it is important to include your grandparents and any other close family/friends for that matter. The rehearsal is a way to include people that are really important to you in the wedding festivities/weekend. The rehearsal dinner is usually more intimate so you can spend more time with those people you want to (especially because at the wedding and reception there will be more people and less time).
A good way to include those few extras is to cut cost of the meal per person or maybe do a buffet instead of a sit down dinner. Or you could ask your Future Mother-In-Law if you can cover the cost of those added peoples’ meals because you really want them there but you understand her cost restrictions.
Post # 13
Oh, and I just re-read your post and realized I didn’t answer your question- I think that “normal” for invitations to rehearsal dinner varies a great deal. I think that traditionally (?) the rehearsal dinner was just for the people who would participate in the actual rehearsal, and they’ve evolved from there. Some people go above and beyond this, which is why they’ve morphed into family things, and sometimes include the out of towners.
Post # 14
I can’t say what normal is but for us it is to only invite those that are the actual bridal party and there to “rehearse”. This would’ve included any one else that came to help set up but we don’t have any of those. We will include 2 siblings that aren’t in the bridal party.
Post # 15
All relatives of both the bride’s and groom’s families are supposed to receive invitations to the rehearsal dinner. If they live too far away to conveniently attend, then they probably won’t attend. I would feel just as uncomfortable as you do about bringing this up with the Future In-Laws, though. It’s true that you can’t make demands about a party someone else is throwing in your honor. Breach the topic, with lots of deference, gratitude and respect.
Post # 16
I agree with Selene221; if there is room, I’d advocate for grandparents, but aunts, uncles and others aren’t automatic and since money is tight and you aren’t hosting, you can’t really complain unless you offer to make up the difference.