Wedding Etiquette Forum

Rehearsal Dinner Drama

My fiance's mom and stepdad offered to pay for our rehearsal dinner. When they figured out the cost for 38 people (28 people from my family but only 8 people from theirs) it turned out to be more expensive than she expected. She then suggested that we have it in the church basement and bring in pizza or some catered food. I am absolutely fine with this. A nicer dinner would have been fun but they just closed on their house at a loss and they are in the process of moving the week before the wedding so I understand that money is tight.

The problem is my family (mom, dad, and aunts). They made it loud and clear that they do not want to have the rehearsal dinner at the church but they also made it loud and clear that they will not be contributing to the cost (my folks are paying for the bulk of the wedding so that is understandable). At first my fiance and I considered chipping in with his mom and stepdad but now that everyone has so loudly voiced their opinions about how my fiance's mom's idea isn't good enough for them we want to cancel it and not have a rehearsal dinner at all.

What would you do in this situation?

Re: Rehearsal Dinner Drama

  • jess9802jess9802 member
    First Comment First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited September 2010
    I'd tell my mom and dad to shut up and enjoy the RD that is so graciously being hosted by my in-laws.
  • If FI's parents are paying, then they dictate what is involved.  If your parents don't like the event as planned, then they can help defer the costs or cut their list.  You do not have to invite a ton of people. The only people that are required to be invited to the dinner are those people directly involved with the ceremony.  If your parents are inviting OOT guests, then there is room to cut.  We paid for our rehearsal dinner. We set a specific budget and refused to go over it. We told both sides that we could either go to a nice dinner and an uber fancy place and have 14 people attend or we could have a BBQ at the house and invite 40 people.  We all opted for the smaller event. 

    Basically, unless your parents are contributing, they do not have a say in what kind of event is planned and they will create mucho tensions in the family if they get snarky about this.   You have to have a rehearsal dinner, so let the inlaws plan it and let your side of the family to let it go.
    ROCK IS KING!!
  • Tell them that unless they're willing to contribute monetarily to making the rehearsal dinner a little more formal than a potluck at the church - then they have no right to complain.
    panther
  • Did they give an explanation on why the current plan is such a problem for them?  Is it simply because it's not "expensive" enough?  That's pretty petty if so and I'd be inclined to tell them if they'd like to skip the RD, let you know in advance so you can make arrangements for the 8 who will be attending.

    Married in Vegas - June 2011


  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_rehearsal-dinner-drama?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:081d7aa9-6aec-4930-95f2-b2509fc7b885Post:2e8a5348-7d21-4f63-8d5f-f060732d8527">Re: Rehearsal Dinner Drama</a>:
    [QUOTE]I'd tell my mom and dad to shut up and enjoy the RD that is so graciously being hosted by my in-laws.
    Posted by jess9802[/QUOTE]

    that!
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_rehearsal-dinner-drama?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:081d7aa9-6aec-4930-95f2-b2509fc7b885Post:78242920-7352-4dac-8cac-092d060c8e75">Rehearsal Dinner Drama</a>:
    [QUOTE]My fiance's mom and stepdad offered to pay for our rehearsal dinner. When they figured out the cost for 38 people (28 people from my family but only 8 people from theirs) it turned out to be more expensive than she expected. She then suggested that we have it in the church basement and bring in pizza or some catered food. I am absolutely fine with this. A nicer dinner would have been fun but they just closed on their house at a loss and they are in the process of moving the week before the wedding so I understand that money is tight. The problem is my family (mom, dad, and aunts). They made it loud and clear that they do not want to have the rehearsal dinner at the church but they also made it loud and clear that they will not be contributing to the cost (my folks are paying for the bulk of the wedding so that is understandable). At first my fiance and I considered chipping in with his mom and stepdad but now that everyone has so loudly voiced their opinions about how my fiance's mom's idea isn't good enough for them <strong>we want to cancel it and not have a rehearsal dinner at all</strong>. What would you do in this situation?
    Posted by rrkenney[/QUOTE]

    If you're having a rehearsal, you need to have a dinner for those who are involved in it, and their SOs.  You can certainly opt not to invite the other members of your family who aren't involved in the rehearsal.
    Married 10/2/10
  • I'd let them know that they will  be missed at the RD..  As guest of your FIL's they have the choice to accept or decline, not to make a fuss with someone else's choice. 
  • An RD is like any other hosted event. Invited guests do not get a say in what will be served or will the party will be held. It's that simple. Just like PP said politely tell your parents that it's not their party, not their choice.
    image
  • Thanks for validating how I feel, I thought they were being really out of line!

    The additional guests are my OOT family and I don't feel like I can cut them because we're a very close family and some of them we haven't seen in years. Also, my bridal party is just three cousins and two of them are sisters that are 12 and 14 so their mom and stepdad really should be there. It would feel wrong to have their mom and stepdad but none of the other aunts/uncles.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_rehearsal-dinner-drama?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:081d7aa9-6aec-4930-95f2-b2509fc7b885Post:0fe51804-b92d-440b-b517-35840456b834">Re: Rehearsal Dinner Drama</a>:
    [QUOTE]If FI's parents are paying, then they dictate what is involved.  If your parents don't like the event as planned, then they can help defer the costs or cut their list.  Basically, unless your parents are contributing, they do not have a say in what kind of event is planned and they will create mucho tensions in the family if they get snarky about this. 
    Posted by vsgal[/QUOTE]

    THIS!
    imageAnniversary
  • Your family is being obnoxious, as you already know.  Even the suggestion that they help pay is obnoxious - "Sorry, but what you can afford simply isn't good enough for us.  Here, we'll chip in so that it's up to our superior standards." 

    Don't cancel the rehearsal, and don't let your parents and aunt (!) who are being snobs bring you down.  Enjoy what your inlaws are graciously providing. 
  • Honest to God, the most fun RDs I've been to were at Pizza Hut and a dinner with Costco lasagnas, salad, and rolls at the bride's house. The point of the RD is to spend time with your wedding party, family, and maybe out of town guests, because your time on the wedding day will fly by in a total blur. The RD doesn't need to be fancy or formal or a dressy occasion. You get a lot of that on the wedding day itself.
  • I'd tell your parents that what your FILs plan is what you'll be having, and if they'd like to complain, they're welcome to decline the invitation.  And then I'd go with whatever the FILs want to do.
    DIY & Planning | Married 

    Married: 2010
    Mom to J: 2011
    Mom to H: 2014

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    Dresses may be easier to take in than let out, but guest lists are not. -- kate51485
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