Wedding Etiquette Forum

Rehearsal Dinner: Who to invite?

My fiancé thinks it is acceptable to invite everyone to the rehearsal dinner, but only pay for the wedding party. I understand that the rehearsal dinner is completely up to the groom and his parents. However, I feel that inviting people to the rehearsal dinner and then only paying for some people seems rude. 

What do you guys think?


Re: Rehearsal Dinner: Who to invite?

  • marie2785marie2785 member
    First Anniversary Name Dropper 5 Love Its First Answer
    edited March 2015
    I agree with you. It's rude to invite someone to an event and then make them pay for attending. Just have a smaller rehearsal dinner, or do something more casual.

    We're doing a backyard BBQ for our rehearsal dinner because FI wants to invite all of the OOT guests (~40 people or so, in additional to the wedding part and their families, so 70 people total). Thanks to my new BFF Costco, we'll be able to provide beer, wine, and plenty of food for a pretty cheap price.
    [Deleted User]onefootinthebayou
  • What a way to make the non WP feel like they are servings rate guests.

    Your FI's idea sucks. I'd rather not be invited to the RD than be asked to pay.

    What I am OK with is hearing via word of mouth that the B&G will be at a place for drinks and anyone is welcome to show up.
    [Deleted User]
  • Also wanted to point out that it is NOT necessarily the groom and the groom's parents responsibility. They can certainly, generously, offer to pay for and host it, but that doesn't mean it is required of them. If the bride and groom want to rehearse, and therefore have a rehearsal dinner, it is the couple's responsibility to make sure the event is properly done.
  • edited March 2015
    His parents are paying for it. It's also a way to get his mom involved without having to implement all of her (crazy) ideas into our wedding. So I was completely on board with letting them handle it, and then this is the idea that they come up with... 

    Thanks for your responses! 
    SP29
  • At the last wedding that FI and I attended, all guests were invited to the rehearsal dinner. We got an invitation upon checking in to the hotel, and it said that it started at 8 pm. FI's parents were part of the WP, and at 6:30 pm were texting us asking why we weren't at the rehearsal dinner. We had a few errands to run because we had forgotten to pack a few things and couldn't make it over there until just before 8 pm anyways, but it turns out that the WP was invited early, and then everyone else was invited later. We get there, and FI's father and I go to the bar to order drinks right at 8 pm. The bartender pours them and then asks for money. FI's father is extremely confused, as up until this point all the drinks were free. The couple turned it into a cash bar at 8 pm, and almost all of the food was gone before non WP guests arrived. The little food that was there was cold. It definitely felt like we were "second class" guests, and we ended up at a bar down the road to get more food later since we barely ate. I would have much preferred to go out with FI to a restaurant in town instead.

    I would definitely only invite the people that you can afford to fully host. 

    [Deleted User]futuremrshpSP29
  • At the last wedding that FI and I attended, all guests were invited to the rehearsal dinner. We got an invitation upon checking in to the hotel, and it said that it started at 8 pm. FI's parents were part of the WP, and at 6:30 pm were texting us asking why we weren't at the rehearsal dinner. We had a few errands to run because we had forgotten to pack a few things and couldn't make it over there until just before 8 pm anyways, but it turns out that the WP was invited early, and then everyone else was invited later. We get there, and FI's father and I go to the bar to order drinks right at 8 pm. The bartender pours them and then asks for money. FI's father is extremely confused, as up until this point all the drinks were free. The couple turned it into a cash bar at 8 pm, and almost all of the food was gone before non WP guests arrived. The little food that was there was cold. It definitely felt like we were "second class" guests, and we ended up at a bar down the road to get more food later since we barely ate. I would have much preferred to go out with FI to a restaurant in town instead.


    I would definitely only invite the people that you can afford to fully host. 
    That's terrible! It's fine to invite people to come after the dinner to a bar for (cash-bar) drinks, as long as the invitation is casual (i.e. word of mouth, or an email or text or whatever, or I suppose even a note in the welcome bag at the hotel is fine), but you have to be careful about this happening!
    I think it's best to do the drinks at a secondary location so guests don't show up while you're still eating the dinner, and/or get confused about a hosted vs. cash bar.
    AuroraRose41
  • AuroraRose41AuroraRose41 member
    First Anniversary First Comment 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited March 2015
    MandyMost said:

    At the last wedding that FI and I attended, all guests were invited to the rehearsal dinner. We got an invitation upon checking in to the hotel, and it said that it started at 8 pm. FI's parents were part of the WP, and at 6:30 pm were texting us asking why we weren't at the rehearsal dinner. We had a few errands to run because we had forgotten to pack a few things and couldn't make it over there until just before 8 pm anyways, but it turns out that the WP was invited early, and then everyone else was invited later. We get there, and FI's father and I go to the bar to order drinks right at 8 pm. The bartender pours them and then asks for money. FI's father is extremely confused, as up until this point all the drinks were free. The couple turned it into a cash bar at 8 pm, and almost all of the food was gone before non WP guests arrived. The little food that was there was cold. It definitely felt like we were "second class" guests, and we ended up at a bar down the road to get more food later since we barely ate. I would have much preferred to go out with FI to a restaurant in town instead.

    I would definitely only invite the people that you can afford to fully host. 
    That's terrible! It's fine to invite people to come after the dinner to a bar for (cash-bar) drinks, as long as the invitation is casual (i.e. word of mouth, or an email or text or whatever, or I suppose even a note in the welcome bag at the hotel is fine), but you have to be careful about this happening!
    I think it's best to do the drinks at a secondary location so guests don't show up while you're still eating the dinner, and/or get confused about a hosted vs. cash bar.


    This is what this couple did, but it actually said verbatim "Come join us for a welcome dinner at X location at 8 pm!". FI and I showed up right before 8 (because of his parents insisting) and some of the food was gone already. I saw it on others' plates but there wasn't enough for us. I honestly think that you should only put a note in the welcome bag if you plan to host it properly. Otherwise word of mouth or text saying "hey we are at X bar if you want to join us!". 

    Also, I'm not going to lie, because of the open bar turning into a cash bar at the dinner, no one knew what the situation would be at the wedding itself. A lot of us went to a liquor store the next morning and bought some wine to store in our hotel room in case we wanted to drink but didn't want to pay exorbitant prices at the venue downstairs. We started drinking it during the 2 hour gap that they had and partied in a hotel room with FI's family and 20 of his friends before the cocktail hour. Once at the cocktail hour, some of his friends were ordering 2 drinks at a time because they were worried it would be open bar only during cocktail hour and wanted to have their fill before it turned into a cash bar. It turned out to be an open bar for the entire night, but because everyone got very drunk early on thinking it would switch to a cash bar, by the end of the reception almost no one was drinking alcohol anymore and no one really wanted to dance or party. 

    Moral of the story, the rehearsal dinner also sets a tone for your wedding if you choose to invite all wedding guests, so plan accordingly. 

    ETA: Also, the drinks that FFIL and I ordered at the dinner were beers. No crazy liquors or mixed drinks. You even had to pay for soda after 8 pm, which is why we prepared ahead of time for the wedding, and also got some sodas and juices for the hotel room. 

  • I will never understand people who want a fancy [insert rehearsal dinner, wedding reception, etc] but since they can't afford it, decide to make other people pay for it, rather than realizing "Well, we don't get everything we want and that's not in the cards for us right now."
    AuroraRose41
  • slothiegalslothiegal member
    First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited March 2015
    flantastic said:I will never understand people who want a fancy [insert rehearsal dinner, wedding reception, etc] but since they can't afford it, decide to make other people pay for it, rather than realizing "Well, we don't get everything we want and that's not in the cards for us right now."
    ---------

    BECAUSE EVERY BRIDE
    DESERVES HER SUPER SPUSHAL DAY SHE'S DREAMED ABOUT SINCE BIRTH EVEN IF IT COMES AT A COST TO OTHERS.

    Duh.

    Anniversary

    image
    [Deleted User]amelishaAuroraRose41slothiegal
  • MandyMost said:

    At the last wedding that FI and I attended, all guests were invited to the rehearsal dinner. We got an invitation upon checking in to the hotel, and it said that it started at 8 pm. FI's parents were part of the WP, and at 6:30 pm were texting us asking why we weren't at the rehearsal dinner. We had a few errands to run because we had forgotten to pack a few things and couldn't make it over there until just before 8 pm anyways, but it turns out that the WP was invited early, and then everyone else was invited later. We get there, and FI's father and I go to the bar to order drinks right at 8 pm. The bartender pours them and then asks for money. FI's father is extremely confused, as up until this point all the drinks were free. The couple turned it into a cash bar at 8 pm, and almost all of the food was gone before non WP guests arrived. The little food that was there was cold. It definitely felt like we were "second class" guests, and we ended up at a bar down the road to get more food later since we barely ate. I would have much preferred to go out with FI to a restaurant in town instead.

    I would definitely only invite the people that you can afford to fully host. 
    That's terrible! It's fine to invite people to come after the dinner to a bar for (cash-bar) drinks, as long as the invitation is casual (i.e. word of mouth, or an email or text or whatever, or I suppose even a note in the welcome bag at the hotel is fine), but you have to be careful about this happening!
    I think it's best to do the drinks at a secondary location so guests don't show up while you're still eating the dinner, and/or get confused about a hosted vs. cash bar.
    This is what this couple did, but it actually said verbatim "Come join us for a welcome dinner at X location at 8 pm!". FI and I showed up right before 8 (because of his parents insisting) and some of the food was gone already. I saw it on others' plates but there wasn't enough for us. I honestly think that you should only put a note in the welcome bag if you plan to host it properly. Otherwise word of mouth or text saying "hey we are at X bar if you want to join us!". 

    Also, I'm not going to lie, because of the open bar turning into a cash bar at the dinner, no one knew what the situation would be at the wedding itself. A lot of us went to a liquor store the next morning and bought some wine to store in our hotel room in case we wanted to drink but didn't want to pay exorbitant prices at the venue downstairs. We started drinking it during the 2 hour gap that they had and partied in a hotel room with FI's family and 20 of his friends before the cocktail hour. Once at the cocktail hour, some of his friends were ordering 2 drinks at a time because they were worried it would be open bar only during cocktail hour and wanted to have their fill before it turned into a cash bar. It turned out to be an open bar for the entire night, but because everyone got very drunk early on thinking it would switch to a cash bar, by the end of the reception almost no one was drinking alcohol anymore and no one really wanted to dance or party. 

    Moral of the story, the rehearsal dinner also sets a tone for your wedding if you choose to invite all wedding guests, so plan accordingly. 

    ETA: Also, the drinks that FFIL and I ordered at the dinner were beers. No crazy liquors or mixed drinks. You even had to pay for soda after 8 pm, which is why we prepared ahead of time for the wedding, and also got some sodas and juices for the hotel room. 


    I think if the note in the welcome bag had said "So happy you made it to town for our wedding! Bride and Groom will be at the hotel bar from around 8-10pm tonight if you'd like to stop by and say hello before the big day!"it would be fine. Obviously not hosted, and not required, and no food served. The way it was done in your case was clearly a mess. 
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