Sorry this is long, I
need a little venting.
My fiancé and I are
getting married in less than two months. We're doing a destination
wedding in Florida, however our guest list is pretty large for a destination
(expect 150ish guests). Our wedding is a few days after Christmas, so it's high season there and things are busy. My FMIL has not booked plane tickets or a hotel room for the wedding for herself, my FFIL, or her youngest son who is under 18.
My FMIL offered to host our rehearsal dinner for us. The way she phrased it was
"let me take care of the rehearsal dinner, I will handle everything."
Later, she confirmed this sentiment by discussing details with our venue,
telling us that the rehearsal dinner "will be on [her]." She was very
excited about getting involved, and I was more than happy to pass off the job.
I have discussed a few minor details with her over the past few months,
but other than that have not really been involved in the planning, as I was
trying to respect her space and not encroach on her event.
We sent out our wedding invitations last week, and I asked her if she could give me some details on the dinner so
that I can let our bridal party know for travel planning purposes. When I
asked I found out nothing has been booked. She discussed doing something at the
hotel where the wedding is, but has not reserved anything or picked out a menu
(She did give us 5 menu options, however). More than that, she called my fiancé yesterday
and asked him how he wanted to go about paying her back for the dinner.
Based on our past conversations, we were under impression that she would
be paying. We're happy to cover the cost, but we never budgeted for this
and now we're at the point that we're writing final checks to all of our other
vendors. More than that, if we do the rehearsal where she wants it (the
hotel), the menus that she picked out range from $95/person for burgers and hot
dogs to $115/person for chicken or fish. Mind you, this is the cost
BEFORE adding any alcohol. To me that's WAY too expensive for what we're
getting (seriously $100/person for a cookout...).
And here's the icing on
the cake, we did our guest list when we sent out our save the dates in May.
She invited 5 couples who are family friends but did not do "and
family," so their kids were not invited. This was her idea &
final decision. We confirmed these details in September when we
finalized our guest list to send to the printer. Invites are sent.
At the time she called to ask us to pay her back for the
rehearsal, she also informed us that 3 of those families are coming and decided
to make it a family vacation. Then she asked if she could change the
invite to include all of their kids - to the tune of 7 additional guests over
the age of 21. Between the cost per person from the venue and all the
extras at the wedding (favors, paper...) this will cost us about
So here is where I need some advice...
With respect to the rehearsal, since we are paying, is it out of
line to tell my FMIL that we would like to look at other more reasonable
options for the rehearsal, and essentially take over the planning. We
can't afford to spend $95-115/person for a rehearsal dinner, especially not
when we hadn't budgeted for it. Moreover, I appreciate her help, but
we're getting down to the wire and we need to have something booked. It's
high season in FL and restaurants will be packed as it is.
With respect to the additional guests, does this seem like a fair compromise
- I was going to explain that it's just not in the budget to add an additional
7 adults, but invite the kids to come for the dancing portion of the reception
and the after party. I figure their parents made the decision to do a
family vacation knowing the kids weren't invited, so it cannot come as a shock
if we don't change our minds on that. If she wants to pay for the additional guests, I'm happy to add them, but we just don't have the $$.
Thanks for listening and any advice! This is not what I had hoped to be worrying about on the home stretch to the big day. Eloping is starting to sound pretty good!