Post # 1
- Wedding: October 2010 - Ladder 15 Restaurant
Here’s the situation: I’d really love a rehearsal dinner the night before our wedding, but I haven’t budgeted any money for it! I know that this cost is traditionally covered by the groom’s parents, but they will not be contributing to the wedding (or rehearsal).
Is it completely unreasonable to invite our bridal party and close family members to a rehearsal dinner and have them pay for their own meal? I feel like they could decline if they didn’t want to pay for it, right? I’m trying to picture what my reaction would be if someone required me to pay at their rehearsal dinner, and honestly I don’t think I’d mind as long as they didn’t pick the most extravagant restaurant in town.
What do you think? Have a rehearsal dinner and make everyone pay for themselves, or skip the rehearsal dinner?
PS…I had thought of a potluck, but everyone is coming in from out of town!
Post # 3
Find a pizza place you love that is cheap and within your budget. Or if you don’t like pizza, find something else everyone can agree on that you can afford. You can’t invite people to a party and then tell them to pay for their own food. Rehearsal dinners are casual lowkey events to begin with and should not cost a small fortune, despite what many people turn them into.
Post # 4
Have them buy there own dinner and drinks and buy them dessert! Or buy them all a drink for coming out. Something so it is super cheap for you, and still shows you care enough to want to buy them something. I really wouldn’t care if I had to buy my own dinner, as long as it wasn’t some really overpriced establishment. So I think it should be fine, all your guests are going to want to hang w/ you anways. Or you could cook them a big meal.
Post # 5
Could you host something at your place? We’re thinking of doing a BBQ Rehearsal Dinner at our house!
Post # 6
Personally, I would be turned off if there was a Rehearsal Dinner and I had to pay for my own meal, but I have a few suggestions.
First, you don’t have to have one at all, but if you really do want to do something, keep it simple & fun. Do you have a house or space where you could have everyone? If so, you could do just snacks & punch, or even a pizza party. If you have access to a grill do a bbq with burgers & hot dogs.
A Rehearsal Dinner doesn’t have to be over the top, and often a very relaxed meal/environment is just what everyone needs before the big day 🙂
Post # 7
- Wedding: October 2010 - Ladder 15 Restaurant
The reason it wouldn’t be convenient to have it at our house is because we live about 30 minutes away from Philadelphia, where all of our guests are flying into and staying downtown (without cars). We’d have to make a ton of trips to get everyone there.
I wouldn’t ask the guests to pay something outrageous and I have nothing extravagant in mind…maybe $15-20/person without alcohol. I do like the idea of buying dessert or a round of drinks though…we could do that!
Post # 8
I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask people to pay for their meal, just make sure your Rehearsal Dinner is at some place that has food for a reasonable price. Honestly, one of my favorite rehearsal dinners we had pizza ordered in and ate it in the church basement. It was a blast!
Post # 9
Can any of those folks carpool? 30 mins is really not that far. The folks who are invited to the rehearsal dinner are typically just the wedding party and their spouses.
Post # 10
Hmm…you know these people have already come out a significant amount of money for flight, hotel, attire for the wedding and a gift…..the rehearsal dinner is just a way to thank them, please don’t make them pay for their own meals….I mean they may already have to pay for breakfast/lunch/dinner depending on how long they are staying. I agree with Selene221, 30 minutes is not bad at all, is it possible to arrange carpools? And remember the dinner doesn’t have to be fancy….get party trays from Sam’s, make sandwiches, order pizza (there are so many deals right now) and keep the number down by only inviting wedding party.
Hope this helps…
Post # 11
I like the ideas from the others carpool and order pizzas. That would be cheap and fun. You could have beer and wine and play board games. It would be a great night! If you can’t get back to your home what about a friends home that lives in the city?
Post # 12
I think you can find a way to do this on the cheap — without making your guests pay for their meals, which I bet a lot of them wouldn’t appreciate. We’re doing BBQ for our rehearsal dinner, which won’t be expensive at all. The “restaurant” is basically a BBQ stand outside of the local brewery. They’re going to set up some picnic tables for us, and I think it’s going to be a really fun solution for hosting a cheap rehearsal dinner.
Post # 13
I like the pizza idea, too. The oher thing you can do is just mention casually to your wedding party on an individual basis that there is no formal rehearsal dinner planned after the rehearsal but if everyone is wanting to go grab a bite afterwards, you guys can discuss it and/or decide where to go that night and everybody pay their own way. I don’t know your wedding party, but my guess is that even if you don’t plan a dinner, this will happen anyway, and everybody will wind up coordinating where to go together afterwards. And no one will expect you to pay at that point, either.
Post # 14
What about a Rehearsal luncheon? That’s what I did since Darling Husband and i were paying for the rehearsal. I found a place that gave us a plated lunch with entree, side item, beverages and a dessert for about $13 per person. If it would have been a dinner, it would have cost us at least $20 per person.
Post # 15
I agree with others that there are lots of ways to have a rehearsal dinner on the cheap. We ended up deciding to do a BBQ because we didn’t like the feel of a restaurant rehearsal dinner, but in our research we found a pizza place that could do a dinner for 50 for around $500. I was surprised, but it included pizza, wings, breadsticks, and beer. Soda was included for free.
Post # 16
I know budgets are tight but really, these people have gone to some trouble to support you on your day and it is really good karma to be a little generous.
Be Creative — Just do something simple, Is there a great happy hour near the hotel? or a great little dive diner? Do breakfast for dinner – always much cheaper.
How about a night picnic at a nearby park or historical monument — you didn’t mention what time of year your wedding will be…
One great tradition my family has is duriung the winter we all meet for hot chocolate & cookies in the snow at the Historic Chicago Watertower. What about something like that — it would make for great pictures.