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Etiquette

Rehearsal Dinner

So originally, FILs said they would cover the rehearsal dinner. We discussed the list with them, and the final number came out to 28 with spouses and children. They agreed that cutting anyone would just be rude.

Now, they have decided that the cake is "more important" to them, and they do not care about a rehearsal dinner, so they will pay for that instead. Obviously, the two are not equivalent. We expressed to them that they did not have to pay for the cake in order for us to take their feelings into account, and that we certainly had it covered. They insisted, and I sort of got the impression that they might not feel comfortable with the cost of the rehearsal dinner. I totally get it - even at the inexpensive place we chose, it will be around $18-20 per person, mostly because you don't take people out to dinner and tell them only to drink water.

Now, I would certainly love to hear opinions on how to deal with this, but I feel that the ship has sailed. Rather, I am wondering the etiquette on changing the dinner to be family only. We really cannot afford 28 people since our budget is tight as it is, but the 11 family members are definitely manageable on the budget we had set aside for cake. We think our friends will probably understand, especially since we plan on covering hotel cost for Friday night (before this even came up), and would set aside time to thank all of them specifically and maybe have a drink together.

Any thoughts? Is this awful to do? No one has yet been invited to this dinner, so there won't need to be any invitation revocation.
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Re: Rehearsal Dinner

  • Will these friends of yours be at the rehearsal? If yes, you need to host them afterward. Think of how it would sound to be leaving and say "Bye Susie! See you tomorrow! We'll meet you at the restaurant, Aunt Jane!" The rehearsal dinner doesn't need to be anything fancy, you could always order pizza at someone's house afterward. My friend hosted a barbecue at her parents' house after her rehearsal and it was nice.

  • Sorry, by "we" I meant them. With us approving their choice of restaurant. They wanted to come look at the place when they were here to visit last, so that's when we decided.

    I can definitely afford to have everyone in my home, but the problem is that we live about 45 minutes to an hour away from Cleveland, where the wedding will take place. It's also on the opposite side of the city from the one bridesmaid who does live locally. So we would be at the venue, then driving 45 minutes, then eating dinner, then all driving back into the city to the hotel, and the one BM would drive an additional 30-45 minutes to her home. I feel a bit inconsiderate doing this, even though I would personally be fine with it since I make the drive into the city everyday for work.

    But I totally hear what you're saying. My mom and dad do want to practice walking me down the aisle, since the aisle is a marble staircase. Since the MOH and best man are our siblings, do you think we could have a "family only" rehearsal, then take the fam out to dinner? I just thought of that, and it might actually be easier for everyone...
    Anniversary
  • You probably don't actually need everyone to attend the rehearsal, so long as you figure out the logistics of who will walk with whom and when and communicate this to the wedding party. I think the family only rehearsal and dinner sounds fine.
  • You could still do pizza at a place by your venue for probably cheaper than $18-20/person.  Anyone invited to the rehersal needs to be fed after.  So, if you only have your family rehersing, you only need to feed them.  
  • In Response to Re: Rehearsal Dinner:
    Sorry, by "we" I meant them. With us approving their choice of restaurant. They wanted to come look at the place when they were here to visit last, so that's when we decided. I can definitely afford to have everyone in my home, but the problem is that we live about 45 minutes to an hour away from Cleveland, where the wedding will take place. It's also on the opposite side of the city from the one bridesmaid who does live locally. So we would be at the venue, then driving 45 minutes, then eating dinner, then all driving back into the city to the hotel, and the one BM would drive an additional 30-45 minutes to her home. I feel a bit inconsiderate doing this, even though I would personally be fine with it since I make the drive into the city everyday for work. But I totally hear what you're saying. My mom and dad do want to practice walking me down the aisle, since the aisle is a marble staircase. Since the MOH and best man are our siblings, do you think we could have a "family only" rehearsal, then take the fam out to dinner? I just thought of that, and it might actually be easier for everyone...
    Posted by RWolff
    That right there may fix your problem for you.  Don't uninvite people, just tell them that the venue has changed to your home.  The fact that it is so far out of the city might cause people to decline to attend.  Just be very gracious about it, and tell them you understand.

    You kind of have to pick which is less rude.  Completely uninviting everyone, or letting them know unforseen circumstances have changed the venue.  Apologize, work with people over transportation issues, and it should work out ok.
    Don't make me mobilize OffensiveKitten

    image

    Anniversary

  • In Response to Re: Rehearsal Dinner:
    In Response to Re: Rehearsal Dinner : That right there may fix your problem for you.  Don't uninvite people, just tell them that the venue has changed to your home.  The fact that it is so far out of the city might cause people to decline to attend.  Just be very gracious about it, and tell them you understand. You kind of have to pick which is less rude.  Completely uninviting everyone, or letting them know unforseen circumstances have changed the venue.  Apologize, work with people over transportation issues, and it should work out ok.
    Posted by Peledreamsofrain
    Haha Pele I was thinking the same thing too! Rehearsal dinner self selection! My only reservation is that everyone in the wedding party except FI, me, and one BM are from out of town.

    Just ran the "family only rehearsal" idea past my FI and he agreed that it could be a good way of avoiding any awkwardness. I guess I just needed to talk it out, so thanks ladies!!
    Anniversary
  • libby2483libby2483 member
    1000 Comments 250 Love Its Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited December 2012
    Who is in your wedding party? If your friends are in your wedding party and will be there for the rehearsal, you need to host them at the rehearsal dinner.  Anyone involved in the rehearsal must be properly hosted by having a rehearsal dinner, but you could consider skipping a rehearsal (and rehearsal dinner) altogether.  Or, have the rehearsal dinner at a less expensive venue so you can afford to host everyone.  You could even order pizza or grill out at your home.  It doesn't need to be anything fancy.

    Edit: I typed this before seeing your second response.  I think a family only rehearsal and rehearsal dinner sounds just fine.
  • Have you thought about pizza and beers in the hotel? Probably not as comfortable as pizza in your home, but if you are paying for the rooms and heading there anyway, you could try to make that work.
  • In Response to Re:Rehearsal Dinner:
    Have you thought about pizza and beers in the hotel? Probably not as comfortable as pizza in your home, but if you are paying for the rooms and heading there anyway, you could try to make that work.
    Posted by KellyBrian2013
    I thought of that, but for 28 people, it's really impossible to fit everyone in a room. I will be spending the night with my girls (minus my one BM who will be 7.5 months pregnant) and FI will be spending the night with his guys, so we will be paying for those rooms. If this was not the case, I would not be as ok with the family rehearsal idea. But this way, our bridal party will get to go to the Indian's game, which a few of them joked about skipping the rehearsal for :) And since I work for a university nearby, I can get discount tickets if I ask early enough, so I might make this an extra little gift. FI is under the impression that not having to rehearse is a gift though LOL.

    Anniversary
  • In Response to Re: Rehearsal Dinner:
    In Response to Re: Rehearsal Dinner : P.S.  I want to see pictures of this.
    Posted by Edie Bee
     No problem! I love our ceremony space. We wanted something unique since we decided to break away from my family's Jewish traditions and his family's Catholic ones. Let's just say we've gotten good at advocating for ourselves and putting our joint foot down ;)

    These are the stairs

    And this is where the ceremony happens, with seating above and below. You can't tell, but the sight lines are fantastic from every seat.
    Anniversary
  • RWolffRWolff member
    100 Comments First Anniversary
    edited December 2012
    Maybe we should call it walking me up the aisle??
    Anniversary
  • I too think it would be fine for you to do family only.

    But if you really want friends there, you could consider a dry rehersal dinner. That should cut costs down quite a bit. Not sure what side of cleveland you live on (i'm only familar with the east side), but it seems like it should be relatively easy to find a venue that allows you a room for less than that.
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