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Customs and Traditions

"Rehearsal" Dinner but no rehearsal?

We are not having a wedding rehearsal because we don't think it's necessary.  However, FMIL said that she and FFIL want to host a party for us anyway, in place of a rehearsal dinner.  She said not the night before the wedding (which is fine with me, I'd rather be relaxing) but maybe the Saturday of the weekend before or the Weds or Thursday of the week of the wedding (the wedding is on a Saturday).  She said she would invite my immediate family and our wedding party, and FI's immediate family plus aunts/uncles/cousins.  The thing is, we are already having a small wedding (85 guests), FI has lots of aunts and uncles and I feel like this party is going to end up being 30-40 people, or almost half of our wedding guests.  

I really appreciate the thought but I'm wondering if people are going to think this party is odd given that there's no rehearsal and our actual wedding, where all of these guests will be attending, is just a few days later.  I don't want to hassle our friends and family to feel obligated to come out to this.  Would you side eye it if you were a guest?

Everyone is generally local, but some may have an hour+ drive to get to this party and our wedding.

Re: "Rehearsal" Dinner but no rehearsal?

  • doeydodoeydo Southwestern Ontario member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    Hmm.  I wouldn't call it anything like a 'rehearsal dinner' since you are not having a rehearsal.  Your future in-laws can host a party if she wants to, though. I probably wouldn't call the party anything, it is just a get together before the wedding.
  • I think it sounds nice.  A prelude to your wedding night.
  • We're having our wedding out of town so some of the WP, and parents, will be staying overnight the night before.  We aren't having a rehearsal either but thought it would be nice to have a dinner for the people who needed to be there the night before.  We're doing super casual - probably Round Table Pizza.

    Maybe you could suggest that you limit it to only your parents, siblings, and WP (and children if you have them)?  That could cut down the list a bit.

  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited January 2014
    I don't see any problem doing it the night before and calling it a rehearsal dinner.  As a BM, the RD is usually one of my favorite events.  You have all the excitement and anticipation of the upcoming day, but you get to spend a little more low key time with the couple.  

    I would be weary of doing it the weekend before or midweek.  Many people may not want to spend two weekends in a row on your wedding or have to take time off work.  

    ETA: You can always call it a welcome dinner or kick off dinner if you don't like the term rehearsal, although I don't think it matters.
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I  didn't know there was a limit on how many celebrations you could have in the days leading up to the wedding.    For our 100% OOT wedding it went like this:

    Wed - dinner with parents, aunt and her BFF and 2 cousins and their spouses

    Thursday - dinner at the rental house for 40-something people.  Included my parents, siblings + families, group of my parents friends and a couple of the wedding party who were in town.  (DH's family was not in town yet)

    Friday - open house party at the rental house for 100+ people.   Everyone who was in town was invited.   

    Saturday - 140+ at the wedding.

    I LOVED being able to spend time with people more than just the wedding day.

    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • I went to a destination wedding (Vegas), the grooms family had rented a condo near the hotels we were staying at. The invited everyone over the night before for a casual meet and greet. First time the families had met. It was a nice way for everyone to meet each other in a relaxed setting. There was no rehersal as it was a hotel ceremony.

    I did a cook-out about 2 months before my wedding, meet & greet for the same reason. Gave our families a chance to meet in a casual setting and not everyone in my bridal party knew each other so it gave them a chance to meet before the big day. No reason you couldn't do it the weekend before, maybe a Sunday brunch to make it a shorter event and less time commitment from everyone.

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