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Etiquette

Out-of-Town Guests to Rehearsal Dinner? Or Is a Meet & Greet Enough?

Hi there,

My groom's family has our rehearsal dinner all booked and ready-to-go. We're having a destination wedding, so inviting all out-of-town guests was just not in the budget (we did look into it). It was a hard decision, but everyone will be out of town guests, and we couldn't afford to have a mini wedding the day before the actual wedding, if that makes sense. So we're keeping it strictly immediate family and the wedding party.

Because we couldn't invite all out-of-town guests to the dinner, we're having our small rehearsal dinner early in the afternoon, then hosting a casual meet and greet at a reasonable hour where everyone can come for drinks/a dessert/that kind of thing. 

The Emily Post website seems to say this is totally fine, but I've gotten word that all my aunts are talking about how rude this is (even knowing about the meet and greet we're hosting). And it's making me feel horrible. I'd love any creative ways to smooth over this situation and make everyone feel extra included, even if not everyone is invited to the rehearsal dinner. Maybe even some inexpensive ways to make the meet and greet more personal so our guests know how much we appreciate and love them? Or any advice for handling this situation, really. 

I'm definitely not a born wedding planner and need all the help I can get ha!

Re: Out-of-Town Guests to Rehearsal Dinner? Or Is a Meet & Greet Enough?

  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Hi there,

    My groom's family has our rehearsal dinner all booked and ready-to-go. We're having a destination wedding, so inviting all out-of-town guests was just not in the budget (we did look into it). It was a hard decision, but everyone will be out of town guests, and we couldn't afford to have a mini wedding the day before the actual wedding, if that makes sense. So we're keeping it strictly immediate family and the wedding party.

    Because we couldn't invite all out-of-town guests to the dinner, we're having our small rehearsal dinner early in the afternoon, then hosting a casual meet and greet at a reasonable hour where everyone can come for drinks/a dessert/that kind of thing. 

    The Emily Post website seems to say this is totally fine, but I've gotten word that all my aunts are talking about how rude this is (even knowing about the meet and greet we're hosting). And it's making me feel horrible. I'd love any creative ways to smooth over this situation and make everyone feel extra included, even if not everyone is invited to the rehearsal dinner. Maybe even some inexpensive ways to make the meet and greet more personal so our guests know how much we appreciate and love them? Or any advice for handling this situation, really. 

    I'm definitely not a born wedding planner and need all the help I can get ha!
    You said the meet and greet would be held at a “reasonable time.” Is that during a meal time? If it is at a meal time you need to have actual food. Otherwise I think an optional meet and greet with hors d'oeuvres and cocktails would be nice. 

    Also Miss Manners is a great source for etiquette. Post has jumped the shark a bit since her kids/grandkids took over. 


    image
    banana468short+sassy
  • Hi there,

    My groom's family has our rehearsal dinner all booked and ready-to-go. We're having a destination wedding, so inviting all out-of-town guests was just not in the budget (we did look into it). It was a hard decision, but everyone will be out of town guests, and we couldn't afford to have a mini wedding the day before the actual wedding, if that makes sense. So we're keeping it strictly immediate family and the wedding party.

    Because we couldn't invite all out-of-town guests to the dinner, we're having our small rehearsal dinner early in the afternoon, then hosting a casual meet and greet at a reasonable hour where everyone can come for drinks/a dessert/that kind of thing. 

    The Emily Post website seems to say this is totally fine, but I've gotten word that all my aunts are talking about how rude this is (even knowing about the meet and greet we're hosting). And it's making me feel horrible. I'd love any creative ways to smooth over this situation and make everyone feel extra included, even if not everyone is invited to the rehearsal dinner. Maybe even some inexpensive ways to make the meet and greet more personal so our guests know how much we appreciate and love them? Or any advice for handling this situation, really. 

    I'm definitely not a born wedding planner and need all the help I can get ha!
    Well, I think destination weddings just have a way of having a lot of opinions.

    There can be a lot of reasons to have a DW but often when having one (where you're really in the destination that isn't near anyone)  a lot of people think that means upping your hosting game to all those you invite to attend.

    Can you come up with a less expensive RD?  Could you offer to spring for more rounds of drinks at the meet and greet or more food?     Just think about how much your guests are probably spending to be there.   It doesn't mean a young couple should go for broke to host them but anything that you CAN do to host them for taking what will probably be a lot of money and at least a full weekend to attend is going to go a long way.

    Looking into local restaurants or food options would probably be great.  Even gift bags or comps you may be able to get if all your guests are staying at the same hotel may help as well. 
  • Unfortunately, finding a less expensive RD is out of the question now (my fault for not considering this earlier, and my future in-laws are now tied into a venue with a max of 50, which we're meeting).

    I LOVE the idea of having the optional meet and greet at 8ish and of providing cake/dessert and cocktails and the gift bags are an awesome idea, too. Thank you all so much. That was super helpful and gave me a great start!
    charlotte989875ei34MesmrEwe
  • edited January 23
    Also love the idea of springing for more drinks/food/something at the meet and greet, so they really get something out of it. Thank you, thank you. 
    charlotte989875ei34
  • Could you have a meet and greet the night before the rehearsal? One with drinks, heavy hors d'oeuvres (enough to make a meal), etc? That way, the guests who aren't invited to the RD won't feel like you're giving them second best. 

    I get that someone else is hosting the RD and they have their own budget, but since it's a DW, you do have a responsibility to do something for everyone who has made the effort to come to your wedding. 

    This is one of the challenges of having a DW. 
  • maine7mob said:
    Could you have a meet and greet the night before the rehearsal? One with drinks, heavy hors d'oeuvres (enough to make a meal), etc? That way, the guests who aren't invited to the RD won't feel like you're giving them second best. 

    I get that someone else is hosting the RD and they have their own budget, but since it's a DW, you do have a responsibility to do something for everyone who has made the effort to come to your wedding. 

    This is one of the challenges of having a DW. 
    They are doing something for EVERYONE. The reception. And now on top of that a dessert meet and greet the night before. Sounds lovely and perfectly within etiquette. 
    ei34ShesSoColdInLoveInQueens
  • ei34ei34 member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    maine7mob said:
    Could you have a meet and greet the night before the rehearsal? One with drinks, heavy hors d'oeuvres (enough to make a meal), etc? That way, the guests who aren't invited to the RD won't feel like you're giving them second best. 

    I get that someone else is hosting the RD and they have their own budget, but since it's a DW, you do have a responsibility to do something for everyone who has made the effort to come to your wedding. 

    This is one of the challenges of having a DW. 
    Would this meet and greet be in addition to the one that OP is already having?  I don’t see the difference between two events on two days vs. two events on the same day.

    Im only speaking for myself, but I don’t like when there’s too much going on when I’m a DW guest.  I’m there to see the couple get married on their wedding day, but outside of that it’s my vacation.
    ShesSoColdcharlotte989875
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