Post # 1
My Fiance and I are having a disagreement about the rehearsal dinner. He wants to rent a space and do a pot luck where all the guests would bring something. He also feels we don’t need things like tablecloths or decor because “It doesn’t need to be fancy”. I feel that for the money it’s going to cost us, we could have it catered and save ourselves a lot of work. I also think it’s rude to expect people who are already paying to be in the wedding to essentially provide their own dinner and then clean up afterwards. Has anyone ever done a pot luck rehearsal dinner? Any thoughts on this?
Post # 3
The rehearsal dinner is supposed to be a thank you to your wedding party and family. Traditionally, the groom’s family hosts/pays, but I’ve seen them held by the bride’s family and the couple themselves. But I’ve never heard of one where guests were expected to bring their own food AND clean up afterward – you’re right, it definitely is rude and you’re probably going to disgruntle more than one of your closest friends and family by doing it. Your Fiance might not see the big deal, but maybe try and convince him it’d be better to either cook/buy all the food yourselves, find a cheap caterer OR get a fun restaurant to cater. We have a local BBQ place that is so tasty and they even let you rent a BBQ truck and come to an event wherever you have it to serve food. Really laid back!
Post # 4
Hmm, this really depends on the people invited…are they all pretty relaxed? WOuld they embrace this idea at all? And are you going for a more formal meet and greet situation or a more of a chilled out get together?
If you have a few out of towners, how are they going to prepare food? Plus will they have their own transport or be lugging plates of food into a taxi?
Post # 5
Agreed – the Rehearsal Dinner is supposed to be cost-free to those who have had an integral part in making your special day just that (special). It is a huge etiquette no-no to have them bring anything, pay for anything (although I think an exception to this is alcohol – I think beyond a drink or two, you can have your guests purchase beyond that) or clean anything up. I think it’s more important to be creative with the money that you have to throw this for your guests.
Post # 6
I don’t think a potluck is the way to go – like the above poster said, the Rehearsal Dinner is a thank you to family & your Wedding Party.
However, I have seen some super fun & awesome RDs that had pizza, or BBQ – very casual. I agree w/ your Fiance, that the Rehearsal Dinner can be a casual affair, so no need for much decorating. But you should provide tablecloths, plates, cups, utensils, etc.
It is totally normal to keep it light, just enjoying time with your family & friends before the big day.
Post # 7
@MissCalifornia: Thank you! I feel the same way about the purpose of the rehearsal dinner. I’ve given him some possible restaurant suggestions but he seems to be fixated on this “pot luck dinner” idea because he thinks it’s the cheapest way to go. I like the idea of BBQ though…yum!!! 🙂