Etiquette

Rehearsal Dinner Help!

We are getting married next year, and are paying for most of the wedding  ourselves.  We had a location picked out for the rehearsal dinner that we both really wanted. If we were to use this location, then our venue for the reception, a sister property of the rehearsal dinner restaurant, would lower our required price per head by $15.  Then my mother offered to pay for the rehearsal  dinner.  This was very generous however my mom and stepfather can't afford to pay for the rehearsal dinner where we wanted it.  She being the mother of the groom, would it be rude to ask her if she would mind if we paid the difference?  I don't want to offend my mom but we were all set to book this place and now are in limbo merely out of guilt.

Any suggestions?

Re: Rehearsal Dinner Help!

  • I think it should eb one or the other.... If she pays, you should concede to a cheaper place. If you have your heart set on your choice of venue, then you should turn down her offer to pay.
    Offering to pay the difference might come off as condescending, even when you don't mean it to be given the circumstances. That might not be a road you want to cross right now, ya know?


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  • "Mom, that's such a sweet and helpful offer.  How about we split it?"

    Or, dnbeach's suggestion, above.  Depends on how your mom will take it.  Go for whatever will make her feel less guilty.
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  • You know your mom best so you'll have to decide how she would respond. 

    But in my family, it would be fine to say thanks so much for the help, we'd really like to have it at x place because we love the place and it will actually save us quite a bit on the reception to have it there. So how about we plan to keep it there and you contribute however much you're comfortable with? (In case it matters, I'd also let them know that you're perfectly comfortable extending the invitation in their names to the rehearsal dinner regardless of who's technically paying for what.)
  • Would it be affordable for them if you gave your parents what you would save on the reception? If so, I think that would be a fine way to make the RD less expensive without hurting their feelings. You can think of it as the RD being marked up a bit to subsidize the reception, so if they're taking care of the RD, it's reasonable for your parents to realize the savings that would result from booking the RD at a certain place.

    If you passing the savings on to them is not enough, I think you do need to either accept the RD they can afford, or pay for it on your own, unless they did something like offer you a lump sum for the RD or unless you know your mom won't be hurt or feel condescended to. 


  • I would definitely go with either dnbeach's suggestion or squirrly's. Don't make her feel obligated to pay for the place you really want if she can't afford it.
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  • Are you waivering on location because you really have your heart set on it or because of the reception cost savings?  If it's just the reception cost savings, will they really make up the difference of having your mom pay for the rehearsal dinner instead of you paying for it? 

    If it's a "dream" location, I'd probably talk to my mom and say that my Fi and I had already scouted out this place connected with the wedding venue and would like to have it there because it goes with the theme or feel of your wedding, it's so close to the actual rehearsal, their food was amazing, it makes you feel like a princess or whatever reason you have that makes this special for you.  I'd thank her for her offer and if she still would like to contribute, then great.  If she'd rather not, well, you already budgetted for this place.

    If it's for the financial benefit of $15 off per person, I'd check the math and see if it makes up for the cost of the rehearsal dinner.  maybe you have a hug wedding and a small bridal party, but I know that for mine it probably wouldn't work that way.

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