(Closed) Rehearsal Dinner/OOT Relatives

posted 10 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
5271 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2009

I am in a somewhat similar situation, except I was like your FI; I thought inviting Out of Town guests to the Rehearsal Dinner is excessive & unnecessary. In my case FI’s parents are paying for the Rehearsal Dinner, but we have been upfront with them that my Out of Town guests won’t be coming in until the day of the wedding, so in reality its going to be more of my FI’s family reunion with the addition of myself & our wedding party. If it is important to you, make the additional costs, but if your Fiance really doesn’t want to do that, it can be played out so that your RD is a " brides family reunion" of sorts.  

Post # 4
Member
1428 posts
Bumble bee

In my family it has always been tradition to invite the bridal party & Out of Town guests from both sides to the rehearsal, I think if your Out of Town guests are invited then your FI’s Out of Town guests should be invited too. My cousin had a backyard rehearsal bbq at her FMIL’s house and it is still the best rehearsal dinner I have ever attended.

Post # 5
Member
1205 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

My mom thinks it’s best to only include the wedding party and immediate family in the rehearsal dinner. Based on our situation, Dear Fiance and I will be asking anyone who is in town and wants to join us for dinner to come… and yet we haven’t decided who will foot the bill. It will be at a restaurant and we may ask everyone to pay their own way (it’s not expensive). So the budget issue you present would be a problem for me as well. 

I think I would agree more with only including wedding party if there is a lot of rehearsing going on. 

First, I want to ask your your Fiance feels about your Out of Town guests being invited? 

Second, could you provide them with another option? They very well may not want to mix and mingle, but rather enjoy a dinner/evening with people they already know rather than make small talk with strangers (even if they are new family).

Post # 6
Member
216 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2018 - Outdoor ceremony, banquet hall reception

We are not inviting Out of Town guests to the rehearsal dinner. It’s just too much. Mr. Powder Puff’s parents are paying for the rehearsal dinner, and I would hate to ask them to cover the cost of all of those extra people. It snowballs, you know?

That being said, could you maybe host something after the dinner is over for the Out of Town people, if you feel it’s necessary. Maybe a few cocktails and munchies, so you can mingle and say hello, but not have to pay for a full-on meal for them?

Post # 7
Member
390 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

We haven’t had a wedding in my family in a long time, so we really don’t have a tradition. My Future Mother-In-Law is in charge and paying for the rehearsal dinner.  I know she will invite all the wedding party, all of both of our families that will be in town, and probably some of her friends, even if they don’t have a specific role in the wedding.  I think she sees this time as sort of a party/reunion (this seems to be her take on the entire wedding really, insisting people I’ve never met and Fiance hasn’t seen in over 10 years be invited), and honestly, I just don’t care enough to fight her on it.  If she’s paying, and that’s what she wants to do, I’m just going to let her.  I will attend, exchange pleasantries with everyone (including those I don’t know) and bow out when I’m finished, leaving them to enjoy themselves for the remainder of the evening/night.  

Post # 9
Member
124 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2009

80% of our guests are coming in from out of town, so we decided to come up with a compromise. We are having a Rehearsal Luncheon that we will be inviting immediate family and the wedding party to on Friday afternoon. That evening we will be having an informal get together for all of the Out of Town Guests and extended family. We were fortunate enough to have it catered, but were considering having an ice cream bar just as a chance to get everyone together.

Post # 10
Member
2434 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

I had a pretty similar situation to you.  My Fiance (now hubby) and ILs wanted something small and intimate while myself and my parents wanted to invite all the Out of Town guests.

I put my foot down and insisted that I wasn’t inviting people to travel a long way and then singling out some relatives for inclusation in the dinner while others were left to fend for themselves.

Now we were lucky to not be in a position to choose between our honeymoon and the dinner.  However, it’s obviously important to you.

I think you should be honest with your Fiance that it’s really important to you and that the whole point of the wedding is gathering to celebrate with family and friends from both sides of your families.

If your mom is generous enough to offer and she can afford it without undue hardship, take her up on her offer to pay for the guests.  Perhaps you will be in a position to pay her back your first anniversay- that way you can have everyone at your rehearsal dinner and have your honeymoon?

Post # 11
Member
2640 posts
Sugar bee

It’s proper etiquette to invite all Out of Town guests to the rehearsal.  It might not be typically done in your FI’s family, but that doesn’t mean they’re right.  Having them at the rehearsal dinenr provides them with a few things. 

1. Gives them a thank you for the extra effort of time and money to come to the wedding.

2.  You are providing them with a dinner, which otherwise would be yet another expense for them to incur.

3.  If they are unaquainted with your city, you will be keeping them from ahving to orient themselves and find a place to eat.

4.  Since they are Out of Town, it gives a little more opportunity for them to catchup with family while they are in town.

If you  can swing it, I really would lean towards inviting them.

Post # 13
Member
198 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

we are only inviting the wedding party and immediate family to the rehearsal dinner. that’s how i’ve always heard of it being done and if we did invite all of the Out of Town guests, we would almost be having to wedding receptions. one solution that might work for you is to invite just the bridal party and immediate family to the rehearsal dinner and then plan a low-key event for all of the Out of Town guests. 

Post # 14
Member
3331 posts
Sugar bee

We’re not inviting all the Out of Town guests to our rehearsal.  We’re paying and wanted to keep it pretty small and informal.  Since my whole family is local and his whole family is Out of Town, it felt weird to invite all of his family, but none of mine.  Inviting them all together was just too much–we wanted to keep it small and affordable!  We’re just doing our parents, grandparents, siblings, the wedding party and their spouses. 

Post # 15
Member
186 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

My family is Out of Town but my girlfriend’s is not. We are inviting most of the family members that are Out of Town as well as the majority of the friends that will be traveling from afar.

We expect about 70 people.

Post # 16
Member
2022 posts
Buzzing bee

We are inviting just immediate family and those involved in the wedding (including grandparents) to the rehearsal dinner.  My FI’s mom is hosting it so if she wants to invite some her FI’s Out of Town family members I will not mind. 

To alleviate the concern over not attending to our Out of Town guests the night of the rehearsal dinner, my Fiance and I are hosting an Out of Town welcome cocktail hour after the rehearsal dinner (it is all at a resort, so we are just doing it in the golf clubhouse bar rather than one of the restaurants).  Beer and wine only and maybe some light apps.  We haven’t figured out a budget for the event yet. 

If you are doing something in the backyard you could easily do something like this. 

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