I'm in a bit of a weird situation when it comes to guests and wedding party, and would love some ideas and suggestions.
First: our wedding is budget, DIY, needs to be kept small and as affordable as possible. FI's mom is older (he was an unexpected baby) and about to retire=no $$ support and his dad abandoned him; my mom is not in my life and my dad is disabled and about to lose his job, so I cannot ask him. Our families are pretty small overall so we just do not have the funds.
That all in mind, our wedding party is 2 per side, and parent-wise, we have a single mom and my dad and stepmother. However, the maid of honour lives a two hour flight away and doesn't get many vacation days. Our wedding is a Sunday, and I anticipate she'll fly in late Friday after work. The best man is also flying three hours from the other side of the country.
Most of my closer friends live in the US and I'm in Toronto; my bachelorette party wouldn't be the same without them. Obviously, though, they can't all fly in twice.
So now, I'm stuck with the conundrum that I'm supposed to hold the rehearsal dinner the night before, but I also have friends who want to have a sorta bachelorette bash the night before. The ceremony is late afternoon, and I don't get hungover. I can't afford dinners for all these out of towners to pull them into the rehearsal dinner, though. I wish I could, but I can't. I'd put the wedding off another year, but my dad's health is BAD.
What's my best option here? I've considered doing a rehearsal sans MOH and Best Man and dinner with family on the Friday night (it's an informal ceremony) and then a night on the town Saturday. Or we could maybe do a brunch Saturday after rehearsal?
Do we even NEED a rehearsal if we're having a non-denominational ceremony at the same spot as the venue? Could we not just meet with the officiant ourselves? Our parents have been married twice already and know the cues, I'm sure.
My entire family has had unorthodox, DIY weddings, and I genuinely don't know how much of this usually works.