(Closed) Rehearsal Dinner Help

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
472 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010 - Ladder 15 Restaurant

I have a similar situation where everyone is from out of town, but the Future In-Laws won’t be paying/hosting it.  Personally, I think it’s okay for relatives/friends outside of the immediate family and bridal party to pay their own way.  It’ll be a nice way for you to catch up with some people, and most will be understanding that under other circumstances, they wouldn’t even be able to spend the evening with you!

I don’t know what’s proper etiquette in the situation, but I say do what feels right for you.  It’s understandable that your Future Mother-In-Law doesn’t want to pay for everyone, so I think her suggestion is a pretty good compromise!  Talk to her about your concerns though, and hopefully you can come to an agreement.  Good luck!

Post # 5
235 posts
Helper bee

We’re in a similar situation (desination college town wedding) and I have been trying to figure out the same thing.  Many of the guests are coming a day or two before to enjoy the area, play golf, wine taste, etc.  I think we are going to have the rehearsal dinner as a BBQ at a park so we can include extra family, but the OOT friends might meet up later at a club somewhere for awhile.  My son has such a large bridal party (20 including the B and G) that by the time we add parents, grandparents, flower girl and parents, and few close family members, we really don’t want to end up paying for a “wedding before the wedding!” Maybe you should suggest to your Mother-In-Law that you would like the rehearsal dinner to be special and intimate (family and bridal party only) and save the excitement of seeing the other friends at the wedding the next day?

Post # 6
769 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

What about doing a get together after the dinner?  Tell people that you’ll be in the restaurant bar for a few drinks after the dinner (or whatever/wherever) and invite out of town guests to drop by and say hello?  I think it could get awkward when the bill comes if you go w/ her idea…

Post # 8
2641 posts
Sugar bee

I like Amani’s suggestion a little better. I understand FMIL’s idea, but in practice, I think it would be awkward.  Even though these other guests would probably figure that some folks are being paid for, (and obviously they wouldn’t be) I still think come time for the check, it will be weird.  Some ppl have to pay some don’t….

Not to mention the Rehearsal Dinner usually includes some little speeches and gifts for the Bridal Party.  And these guests won’t get any of that either. 

I guess I feel that for people who aren’t in the Bridal Party, sitting on the fringe (ie. Bridal Party dates, or Out of Town guests) the glue that holds them to the Rehearsal Dinner, is the fact that someone shows they care enough to have them there by inviting them, and paying for their dinner.   (And nothing personal to Rehearsal Dinner, but if I had to pay for my dinner, I might choose another restaurant, and have a livelier time with other OOTers, and not sit through speeches etc.)

Post # 9
1079 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Besides the $ issue, part of the idea is to have dinner with your closest friends and family. And the wedding party can get to know each other (one of my bridesmaids doesn’t know the other two, and my friends don’t know FI’s friends at all). So, I think all those extra people would make it really hard to enjoy dinner with your close friends. It’s also really hard to arrange with a restaurant for a large party when you don’t know how many people are coming, how much will be spent, and have to arrange separate checks. I like the meet-up-for-drinks later idea.

Post # 11
1385 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I’m in the same situation, we’re having a semi-DW in Sedona, meaning that 100% of our guest list of 60 is from out of town. We’re inviting all family and bridal party members… well that’s 36 of our guests. Yes we’re inviting over half our guest list, but thankfully my Future Mother-In-Law + Future Father-In-Law both agreed that those are our close family & friends and they should all be there. I initally asked her if we should just do immediate family but she said she’d rather have everyone there.

I think what you’re doing having it be intimate is fine! But I wanted to suggest this: after the wedding we’re having a “S’Mores Snack by the Fire” and we’re inviting our close family and friends again through word of mouth. So they get to spend lots of time with us. :o) It’s another thing to think about!

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