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Do I get a say in rehearsal dinner location?

My FMIL and FFIL are kindly paying for and hosting our rehearsal dinner (it's actually a lunch because our rehearsal is in the morning). She wants to have it in Uptown Charlotte, NC, which is 30+ minutes from our venue, where we are rehearsing. 

I love Uptown and she says she wants to do that so that the out of town guests can "get a feel for the city." However, I just see a lot of problems with this. Our wedding party is fairly large. Then you have to add in their significant others and both of our families. Now she wants to include out of town guests too. I have no problem with that if she wants to spring for the expense, but I feel like driving 30 minutes and then dealing with trying to park uptown with over 30 people will be somewhat of a nightmare. I'm truly just trying to think of my guests and wedding party. 

I want to suggest we have it much closer to the venue and that if she wants to go uptown with her side of the family to show them the city afterward, then they can. Besides, after a rehearsal lunch, she will have plenty of time to entertain if she would like to. My fiance feels the same way and is up to discussing it with her, but I just don't know if it is out of line to be picky about location when we have no financial stake in it. 

Re: Do I get a say in rehearsal dinner location?

  • k&n62517 said:
    My FMIL and FFIL are kindly paying for and hosting our rehearsal dinner (it's actually a lunch because our rehearsal is in the morning). She wants to have it in Uptown Charlotte, NC, which is 30+ minutes from our venue, where we are rehearsing. 

    I love Uptown and she says she wants to do that so that the out of town guests can "get a feel for the city." However, I just see a lot of problems with this. Our wedding party is fairly large. Then you have to add in their significant others and both of our families. Now she wants to include out of town guests too. I have no problem with that if she wants to spring for the expense, but I feel like driving 30 minutes and then dealing with trying to park uptown with over 30 people will be somewhat of a nightmare. I'm truly just trying to think of my guests and wedding party. 

    I want to suggest we have it much closer to the venue and that if she wants to go uptown with her side of the family to show them the city afterward, then they can. Besides, after a rehearsal lunch, she will have plenty of time to entertain if she would like to. My fiance feels the same way and is up to discussing it with her, but I just don't know if it is out of line to be picky about location when we have no financial stake in it. 
    If she's hosting and paying it's up to her where to hold the event; unless it's causing problems for your guests, although I do think she should have checked with you and your FI to make sure it was all right. While 30 minutes away is not ideal I don't think it's prohibitively far, especially if we're talking about it all being in the same city. 

    If youre strongly opposed to the location your FI should talk to her, but I kind of think this is something to let go. You accepted her offer to host and pay, and that's what she's doing. If you really dislike her plans you can decline the offer and host it yourselves. 
    Viczaesar
  • I agree with @charlotte989875. Does the restaurant/club have a parking garage? For DD's rehearsal dinner, her inlaws had it at a restaurant in the downtown area of a large city (bigger than Charlotte). There were two garages nearby that had vouchers for the restaurant. There were about 50 people at the dinner. It really wasn't a huge deal. That being said, the MIL did consult with DD and SIL about what restaurants they would like to use.
    charlotte989875
  • My FILs are paying for the RD as well, and also inviting all extended family. (Maybe this is an NC thing? We're up in Chapel Hill!). The restaurant is a little bit away from our rehearsal venue, but our WP is fairly small and mostly immediate family. There is a parking garage a block or two away, and the venue for our RD will validate the parking so there is no cost to our guests. It's maybe not the FIRST place I'd choose myself, but FILs really like it and wanted to have something in that part of town as well.

    FMIL did give us a couple choices and we picked the one that made the most sense logistically and budget wise, while still keeping the guests' best interests in mind. If you feel like this choice of venue puts a burden on your guests you may have some ground to speak up. Otherwise, a 30 minute drive isn't terrible, and it sounds like she's chosen a location with a few extra things to do after the rehearsal (which was kind of also how we ended up with ours).
  • Since its a lunch and not a dinner it probably wont be all 30 invited people that show. That means taking a whole extra day off of work and I'd guess some of the SO's  and def out of town family (that would need another night at the hotel just to come to this lunch) might choose to just see you at the wedding.

    Additionally, I think its easier to park during the day rather than at night if nothing more than then being able to read all the fine print on parking signs. 

    IMO I would let this go.


    charlotte989875OliveOilsMom
  • Thanks for the advice everyone.

    She hasn't specifically chosen a place yet, she just said she knew she wanted to do it uptown. Many Charlotte restaurants don't have a specific parking garage, but I do believe most offer validation for nearby decks. It's actually not in the same city as our wedding. Our venue is in Concord, NC. It's not that far, but I know just to get to the very edge of the city is at least 30 minutes and if she chooses to really go into the heart of the city, it will be longer.

    I guess I'll just keep my mouth closed and if any of the guests take issue with it, then I'll have my fiance bring it up with her. 
  • Hello to a fellow Charlottean! 

    Ultimately, if your FMIL is hosting, then it's her call.  But if I were planning an event, I would definitely consider input from the couple. 

    What day of the week is the RD?  I would not even try on a weekday--DH works up there, and he takes Lynx because driving and parking can be such a nightmare.  If y'all do end up going this route, is valet an option at the restaurant?

    Also, what time of year?  Even for lunch, if the Panthers are home then lunch could be pretty tough for traffic/parking.  Then again, if it's a race weekend, it may work out better than Concord, depending. 

    Most of our guests stayed in Ballantyne, and those who wanted to head Uptown had plenty of time to do so after our RD.  Some (like my brother) headed to SouthPark instead.  Some hit the pool at the hotel and called it a night.  IDK, I feel like forcing everyone to schlep Uptown is not as good of an option as letting them go afterward if they choose.  But as the hostess, it's her call.  
    OliveOilsMomcowgirl8238k&n62517MairePoppy
  • To me 30 minutes isn't terrible but I would probably get annoyed if it was much longer than that and we were passing other locations that would work just as well/better. 

    My main points when looking for a venue for a RD (in a much smaller PA town of course) were.

    1.  Within 20-30 minutes of venue and hotel guests were using
    2.  Ample parking (off street in my case) so guests did not have to spend time looking or spend money parking at a meter.
    3.  Enough room to host everyone plus SO.

    I think as long as your FMIL is hitting those main points you are fine.  If she is putting "vision over comfort" I do feel your FI has a right to raise his concerns with her...however ultimately she is hosting so she gets the say. 

  • My FILs are paying for the RD as well, and also inviting all extended family. (Maybe this is an NC thing? We're up in Chapel Hill!). The restaurant is a little bit away from our rehearsal venue, but our WP is fairly small and mostly immediate family. There is a parking garage a block or two away, and the venue for our RD will validate the parking so there is no cost to our guests. It's maybe not the FIRST place I'd choose myself, but FILs really like it and wanted to have something in that part of town as well.

    FMIL did give us a couple choices and we picked the one that made the most sense logistically and budget wise, while still keeping the guests' best interests in mind. If you feel like this choice of venue puts a burden on your guests you may have some ground to speak up. Otherwise, a 30 minute drive isn't terrible, and it sounds like she's chosen a location with a few extra things to do after the rehearsal (which was kind of also how we ended up with ours).
    It is leftover from when most couples got married in their hometowns so there were few OOT guests. OOT guests/family were invited to the RD. I'm originally from NC and have family in SC. This is how all of our RD's were. Now days, there are usually a lot of OOT guests, and they aren't normally invited to the RD. AT DD's wedding we did invite OOT family to RD because we don't see each other very often. OOT guests weren't invited because that would've been 65% of the guest list!
    PrettyGirlLostOliveOilsMom
  • @Heffalump Hi! Our wedding is on Sunday and our rehearsal is on Saturday morning in June. So Panthers and weekdays aren't an issue, thankfully! 
  • My FILs are paying for the RD as well, and also inviting all extended family. (Maybe this is an NC thing? We're up in Chapel Hill!). The restaurant is a little bit away from our rehearsal venue, but our WP is fairly small and mostly immediate family. There is a parking garage a block or two away, and the venue for our RD will validate the parking so there is no cost to our guests. It's maybe not the FIRST place I'd choose myself, but FILs really like it and wanted to have something in that part of town as well.

    FMIL did give us a couple choices and we picked the one that made the most sense logistically and budget wise, while still keeping the guests' best interests in mind. If you feel like this choice of venue puts a burden on your guests you may have some ground to speak up. Otherwise, a 30 minute drive isn't terrible, and it sounds like she's chosen a location with a few extra things to do after the rehearsal (which was kind of also how we ended up with ours).
    It is leftover from when most couples got married in their hometowns so there were few OOT guests. OOT guests/family were invited to the RD. I'm originally from NC and have family in SC. This is how all of our RD's were. Now days, there are usually a lot of OOT guests, and they aren't normally invited to the RD. AT DD's wedding we did invite OOT family to RD because we don't see each other very often. OOT guests weren't invited because that would've been 65% of the guest list!
    Ahhhh that makes sense, thank you! I've gone to a billion weddings but most of them were when I lived closer to my hometown, so it makes sense why I hadn't heard of it until now. I thought it was maybe just the way FI's family did things, since we went to an OOT wedding for his cousin that was the same way.
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Are the members of your wp familiar with the area? Can you carpool for those who aren't local? I'm with you OP that the RD should be conveniently located for the wp. I'd mention it to your FILs, but in the end, it's their decision, since they're hosting.

                
    k&n62517
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