Budget Weddings

Rehearsal Dinner: Do I need one?

Hi all! 

My SO and I are going to do a small church wedding with immediate family (just parents and siblings) a few weeks prior to our "real wedding." 

For the "real wedding," we're doing a short, simple ceremony at our reception venue. We each have 3 people in our bridal party (so 6 total) and my uncle will be officiating. It will be really simple and short, so I don't think there is any need for a rehearsal dinner. 

Here's what I was thinking instead...

SO and I take my uncle & his wife out for dinner a week or two before the wedding as a thank you and to walk through the day.

On the night before the wedding, I will take my bridesmaids and mom out for dinner as a girls night (we'll all be staying in hotel together), and my SO will take his groomsmen and parents out for dinner. We can both talk about the logistics of the next day with them; plus, we'll have a day-of wedding coordinator.

I want everyone involved in the wedding to feel special, so don't want to skip out on a meal entirely but don't think a big rehearsal and rehearsal dinner is necessary. Plus, we are definitely on a budget so would prefer for my SO's parents to put the money towards other aspects of the wedding.

My question -- is this okay? All three of my bridesmaids are coming from out of state (two driving distance, one flight distance), so is it okay if they don't get to bring their significant others to the dinner? Our wedding doesn't start until 5pm the next day so their significant others could always come the next day. 

Would appreciate any/all advice! Thanks!

Re: Rehearsal Dinner: Do I need one?

  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    edited January 3
    Hi all! 

    My SO and I are going to do a small church wedding with immediate family (just parents and siblings) a few weeks prior to our "real wedding." 

    For the "real wedding," we're doing a short, simple ceremony at our reception venue. We each have 3 people in our bridal party (so 6 total) and my uncle will be officiating. It will be really simple and short, so I don't think there is any need for a rehearsal dinner. 

    Here's what I was thinking instead...

    SO and I take my uncle & his wife out for dinner a week or two before the wedding as a thank you and to walk through the day.

    On the night before the wedding, I will take my bridesmaids and mom out for dinner as a girls night (we'll all be staying in hotel together), and my SO will take his groomsmen and parents out for dinner. We can both talk about the logistics of the next day with them; plus, we'll have a day-of wedding coordinator.

    I want everyone involved in the wedding to feel special, so don't want to skip out on a meal entirely but don't think a big rehearsal and rehearsal dinner is necessary. Plus, we are definitely on a budget so would prefer for my SO's parents to put the money towards other aspects of the wedding.

    My question -- is this okay? All three of my bridesmaids are coming from out of state (two driving distance, one flight distance), so is it okay if they don't get to bring their significant others to the dinner? Our wedding doesn't start until 5pm the next day so their significant others could always come the next day. 

    Would appreciate any/all advice! Thanks!
    I am sorry, but your plans are NOT OK.  You get one wedding, not two.  Is the small church ceremony going to be your legal wedding?  If so, your wedding reception must be on the same day.

    What you can do is to have a party on a different day to celebrate your marriage (NOT a second wedding reception).  This can be as fancy as you please, with dinner and dancing, but it is not your wedding reception, and any recreation of your ceremony is inappropriate.

    As for attendants, any bridesmaids will be at your wedding in the church.  If not, then they are not your bridesmaids at all.  Tell them that you have made a mistake and that you have changed your plans.

    I am so sorry to give you the bad news, but if you follow your current plans, you will be offending many people.  Your "real wedding" is when you legally become a married couple.  Anything else is just a pretend wedding with pretend bridesmaids.  To invite guests to your wedding (which is NOT your wedding) is just wrong.

    As an alternative, you could cancel the church wedding, and then your wedding would be at your reception venue, assuming that your uncle is legally able to marry you.  This might be the best choice for you.  This way, you can still have your bridesmaids.

    A rehearsal dinner is only needed if there is a wedding rehearsal.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    STARMOON44ahoyweddingeileenrob
  • MRDCleMRDCle
    250 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    member
    Hi all! 

    My SO and I are going to do a small church wedding with immediate family (just parents and siblings) a few weeks prior to our "real wedding." 

    For the "real wedding," we're doing a short, simple ceremony at our reception venue. We each have 3 people in our bridal party (so 6 total) and my uncle will be officiating. It will be really simple and short, so I don't think there is any need for a rehearsal dinner. 

    Here's what I was thinking instead...

    SO and I take my uncle & his wife out for dinner a week or two before the wedding as a thank you and to walk through the day.

    On the night before the wedding, I will take my bridesmaids and mom out for dinner as a girls night (we'll all be staying in hotel together), and my SO will take his groomsmen and parents out for dinner. We can both talk about the logistics of the next day with them; plus, we'll have a day-of wedding coordinator.

    I want everyone involved in the wedding to feel special, so don't want to skip out on a meal entirely but don't think a big rehearsal and rehearsal dinner is necessary. Plus, we are definitely on a budget so would prefer for my SO's parents to put the money towards other aspects of the wedding.

    My question -- is this okay? All three of my bridesmaids are coming from out of state (two driving distance, one flight distance), so is it okay if they don't get to bring their significant others to the dinner? Our wedding doesn't start until 5pm the next day so their significant others could always come the next day. 

    Would appreciate any/all advice! Thanks!
    Your real wedding is the one where you get legally married. So that would be the wedding with your immediate families I suspect? So the second event you're throwing, you won't need a bridal party or officiant as you will already be married. Therefore, no need for a rehearsal or rehearsal dinner. But you should be taking your families to a meal or something as a thank you after your actual wedding. 
    CMGragainSTARMOON44ahoyweddingInLoveInQueens
  • We're only doing the Church ceremony for our families because both of our parents are very religious and it's important to them. The ceremony that means the most to us is the ceremony at the day of our "real wedding," it will be personalized by my uncle (who knows me and my SO very well) and that's why we want our bridal party to be apart of that. It will be intimate and personal.
    knottie00b1c9b74bf484ba
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    edited January 3
    We're only doing the Church ceremony for our families because both of our parents are very religious and it's important to them. The ceremony that means the most to us is the ceremony at the day of our "real wedding," it will be personalized by my uncle (who knows me and my SO very well) and that's why we want our bridal party to be apart of that. It will be intimate and personal.
    It does not matter.  Your wedding is the day that you legally are married.  I doubt if any church official would consent to perform a wedding ceremony that wasn't legal.  Any subsequent wedding ceremony is not valid.  Please reconsider your plans.  The word that you are already married will get out, and people will not be pleased that you invited them to a fake wedding instead of your actual wedding where you become a legally married couple.  I am sorry, but that is exactly what your second ceremony will be!
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    STARMOON44ahoyweddingInLoveInQueens
  • I understand what you're saying, and definitely don't want to insult any guests.

    Maybe we'll do the church ceremony at some point later on (post the civil ceremony where my uncle marries us). I have been googling around and it looks like in the Catholic Church you can do a convalidation ceremony after a civil ceremony. 
  • I understand what you're saying, and definitely don't want to insult any guests.

    Maybe we'll do the church ceremony at some point later on (post the civil ceremony where my uncle marries us). I have been googling around and it looks like in the Catholic Church you can do a convalidation ceremony after a civil ceremony. 
    Why are you doing a civil ceremony separate from the religious one?
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
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    We're only doing the Church ceremony for our families because both of our parents are very religious and it's important to them. The ceremony that means the most to us is the ceremony at the day of our "real wedding," it will be personalized by my uncle (who knows me and my SO very well) and that's why we want our bridal party to be apart of that. It will be intimate and personal.
     As others have said, you get married ONCE.  There is no such thing as a "real wedding".  When you "quote' something in this sense, it implies/indicates that something is not accurate or appropriate.  This "real wedding" is exactly that; it is neither accurate or appropriate.

    As an adult you need to decide if you are marrying for yourselves or your parents.  If a civil ceremony is what means the most to you and your partner, then choose that wedding.

    A convalidation is NOT a simple process.  Please do not assume you can walk into a parish office and pick a date for a convalidation.  For that matter, even if you move forward with a private church ceremony, you will need to fulfill certain requirements. 

    It is impolite to ask anyone for money towards YOUR wedding.  If your SO's family offers to contribute, then you can accept it.  However, please realize that for many people, offers of money have strings attached.
    charlotte989875CMGragain
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    edited January 4
    Convalidation ceremonies are not weddings.  They are intended for couples who convert to Catholicism after they are married.  They are not for people who decide they don't want to follow church rules. 
    The Catholic church takes the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony very seriously.  Does the priest know you are having a wedding ceremony which you consider to be your "real wedding" at another place after receiving the sacrament?  This would be an insult to the sacrament , and many priests would also object to your plans.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    ahoywedding
  • My parents and H's parents would have all preferred we got married in a church. I haven't willingly gone to church since I lived with my parents, and neither had H. Guess what? We got married at our reception venue, outside in a garden. It was lovely. We told our parents it was important to start our lives together the way WE wanted, and they were okay with it. 

    Are you Catholic or do you intend to convert to Catholicism? They don't play when it comes to weddings and the sacrament, and definitely will not entertain your convalidation ceremony if you don't intend to convert. 

    I would suggest having the wedding that you and your FI want. If that includes a wedding party and you have a rehearsal (not necessary, but most couples have them), then you need to host a rehearsal dinner afterwards. It can be as simple as pizza and beer/soda at your place or the hotel or whatever, or it can be a meal at a restaurant. You definitely need to invite SO's of the wedding party to the rehearsal dinner, and of course all SO's of all guests to the wedding (whoever they consider a SO). Especially since they're traveling, "they can just come the next day" seems a bit harsh. That means two people driving two separate cars from the same location to the same location which is foolish and wasteful. 
    charlotte989875MairePoppyeileenrob
  • All of this just sounds like a bad idea.

    Do you two want to be practicing Catholics?   Have you even booked the church?  Do your guests know what you're planning??  

    As someone who was married in a Catholic ceremony why would you receive a Sacrament if it wasn't your intention to do it for yourself?   That's not something you should do to make your parents happy.   

    Secondly, how is any wedding ceremony not intimate and personal?  Sure a church is big but it's only the two of you getting married.   It's intimate and personal BECAUSE you're getting married!  
    CMGragain
  • lyndausvi said:
    As someone who was raised Catholic, but not longer practicing, I find you plans offensive to the Catholic church.

    (*snip*)
    I am not Catholic, was never raised that way and even have some fundamental disagreement with some Catholic practices. However, even I agree that these plans are super offensive and just.....wrong.
    *********************************************************************************

    image
    levioosalyndausvisparklepants41
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