Post # 1
Argh! My fiance and I were planning to do a "wedding party only" rehearsal dinner (around 50 people including wives/husbands/SO’s/kids) at a nice restaurant, then have a fun little drinks party open to all of our out-of-town guests and relatives. But my extended family (aunts/uncles/cousins) are pitching a fit that they won’t be invited to the rehearsal dinner! If we add them, the guest list tops out at 100, and I don’t think it’s fair to do that my fiance’s family, who’s footing the bill. I would normally stand my ground but my family holds lifetime grudges about this kind of thing. How can I solve this without creating a huge rift between the families?
Post # 3
Since your extended family won’t actually be at the rehearsal, perhaps you could have dinner near the location with the participants, then move to someone’s house and have a dessert get-together for everyone?
If you provide homemade desserts and limit the alcohol to what’s in the house, you can have a nice party for a lot cheaper than it would be to buy everyone dinner.
Post # 4
I would simply explain that this is just for the wedding party and budget is an issue that you are takin into consideration. Obviously budget is an issue for everyone when it comes to wedding (for the most part) and I can’t imagine them being too sore on it for long once you let them know, that not only are you not footing the bill – it would be rude to invite your family and then not turn around and invite his which would bring the guest list to just about the size of the actual wedding, which isn’t doable.
Make sure they know his whole family isn’t invited and traditionally this party is only for the wedding party and the few out of towners that may be around as a curtosy.
And just remember – it’s your wedding weekend and it goes your way or no way and for everyone who has an issue with that TOUGH! 😉
Good luck hun!
Post # 5
Stand your ground. It’s totally unreasonable for them to expect to be invited to a wedding-party-only event, especially if you’re going to hold something afterward to which everybody is invited. Instead of apologizing for them not being invited to something they’re not entitled to to begin with, emphasize the part that they can come to: "We can’t wait to see you at the get together afterward. We’re excited that everyone will have a change to mingle and that we’ll get to see everybody." If they hold a grudge, honestly, that’s their fault for having unrealistic expectations.
Post # 6
(shaking my head) I can’t imagine why people would be so worked up over not being invited to the Rehearsal Dinner. It’s not like they aren’t invited to the wedding?! Things like that really grind my gears! Any family guy lovers?
On top of what the ladies already suggested above, can you just wash your hands of it by saying hey, I am not the host. My fiance’s family are hosting and they’ve allotted only so much for it. And go to a nearby bar or someone’s house afterwards where you will see visit with everyone then. (It gets so crazy the day before the wedding that it’s very likely that not all of them will make it anyway even though they’re throwing a fit about it)
Post # 7
Ditto all of the above. You should never feel obligated or forced to do something you feel uncomfortable with. Your family should understand that its a bonus to be asked to come to the rehearsal dinner and not a mandatory invite. Suggesting to have them join you for drinks is a great idea. I’d stick with that.
Post # 8
Stand your ground! Like others said, this is a dinner for the bride & groom and the wedding party. We paid for ours ourselves, and we considered it a partial "thank you" to the people who were being so helpful to us and giving up a lot of time and spending a lot of money to be a part of our wedding. It is NOT a second wedding! (We had to point that out to some people…ahem, dad…who seemed to feel that extended family should get to come as well.) I know a lot of people use their Rehearsal Dinner to also spend time w/ Out of Town guests, and we would’ve liked to, but b/c nearly all his fam was Out of Town, it would’ve opened up a slippery slope for us (why is one aunt invited just b/c she’s Out of Town, and the other aunts/uncles aren’t?), so we nixed that idea.
If the extended fam just really wants to celebrate with you, then yes, by all means suggests after-dinner drinks or dessert somewhere else or at a family member’s home. (But since it sounds like something THEY’RE pressuring you to do, don’t feel obligated to host it! You shouldn’t have to throw a party for other people just b/c they want you to!) Good Luck!
Post # 9
you guys rock! we spoke to both sides last night and met in the middle — a "wedding party only" rehearsal dinner, then an open cocktail/dessert/coffee hour for Out of Town guests/relatives immediately following. PHEW! thanks to everyone who offered their advice – my fiance and i really appreciated it! 🙂
Post # 10
yay! i’m so glad it worked out for you guys. 🙂