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Pre-wedding Parties

Just found out my RD is actually a welcome dinner

My parents are planning a "rehearsal dinner," which isn't really a rehearsal dinner (I just figured this out today), it's actually a welcome party for my family and only my family. No one in FI's family is invited because they didn't contribute to the wedding. I was not consulted about any details of this dinner. I had no input on the guest list. I had no input on choosing the place. I didn't even know what place they chose, my sister knew but I didn't. I don't know if my attendants are invited, and I don't know if FI's attendants are invited. The thing that makes me really angry is that there's only 2 people in FI's family who she wants to invite, but apparently it's going to cost too much to have them, yet my sister's BFF is invited along with her boyfriend. 

I wish they had spoken to me about this. We could have chosen a more budget friendly restaurant so inviting 2 more people wouldn't be an issue. I'm assuming there is no actual rehearsal dinner, which is crappy for the attendants. I can't afford to host one or I would. I had gone along this whole time thinking this dinner was a RD, since that's what my mom kept referring to it as, but when I saw the guest list today I realized that it's not. 

I'm super grateful for everything they've done, but I don't feel like this was the right thing to do. I don't think it's right to exclude every single one of FI's guests, she asked for 2 people and her attendants. I don't think it's right not to have an event to honor all the attendants. I understand that my parents are paying a lot for this, and again, I'm grateful, but I just feel that if it was going to be such a major issue, we could have chosen a different place. 

I don't know what to do, any suggestions? And please let me know if my post makes no sense, I'm trying to explain it the best I can but I'm not sure it came out right! Thanks!

Re: Just found out my RD is actually a welcome dinner

  • If you're having a rehearsal, you need to host a rehearsal dinner. If you're not having a rehearsal there's no need for an RD. If you have an RD you need to invite anyone included in the rehearsal.I would skip the rehearsal so you don't need to host anything.

    I don't really get how your parents could get this far Long in the planning with you having absolutely no idea this was going on. I think you decline their offer to host this party or tell them you want to co-host so you can invite your FI's family if its important to you.
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  • They had asked me for a list of the people I thought we'd be inviting a few weeks ago, so I sent them the list which included most of my family, the attendants, and the 2 members of FI's family. They responded by saying they don't know how many people we can invite and they would get back to me. Today my mom started asking me about my attendants so they could be added to her list (which I thought was weird, because they were already on my list). So I asked her to send me her list and it was my family, her friends, and my sister's BFF. 

    FI's half-brother and sister are in the wedding, so if we invited all her attendants, we'd be inviting them and not the parents. Her parents aren't in the wedding due to family drama with another family member (long story), they all agreed it would be best to let her brother walk her down the aisle to avoid problems. 
  • My parents are planning a "rehearsal dinner," which isn't really a rehearsal dinner (I just figured this out today), it's actually a welcome party for my family and only my family. No one in FI's family is invited because they didn't contribute to the wedding. I was not consulted about any details of this dinner. I had no input on the guest list. I had no input on choosing the place. I didn't even know what place they chose, my sister knew but I didn't. I don't know if my attendants are invited, and I don't know if FI's attendants are invited. The thing that makes me really angry is that there's only 2 people in FI's family who she wants to invite, but apparently it's going to cost too much to have them, yet my sister's BFF is invited along with her boyfriend. 

    I wish they had spoken to me about this. We could have chosen a more budget friendly restaurant so inviting 2 more people wouldn't be an issue. I'm assuming there is no actual rehearsal dinner, which is crappy for the attendants. I can't afford to host one or I would. I had gone along this whole time thinking this dinner was a RD, since that's what my mom kept referring to it as, but when I saw the guest list today I realized that it's not. 

    I'm super grateful for everything they've done, but I don't feel like this was the right thing to do. I don't think it's right to exclude every single one of FI's guests, she asked for 2 people and her attendants. I don't think it's right not to have an event to honor all the attendants. I understand that my parents are paying a lot for this, and again, I'm grateful, but I just feel that if it was going to be such a major issue, we could have chosen a different place. 

    I don't know what to do, any suggestions? And please let me know if my post makes no sense, I'm trying to explain it the best I can but I'm not sure it came out right! Thanks!
    Can you afford pizza?  The rehearsal dinner doesn't need to be fancy it just needs to happen.  I went to one where the MOG made a bunch of pasta and served it in her backyard.  
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    lc07grumbledore
  • I can totally afford pizza. There's a pizza place close to the venue that I love, and I was thinking about that but I wasn't sure if it was a good idea. 

    I e-mailed my dad about my concerns, who tends to be a bit more level headed than my mom, so we'll see how that goes. 
    Good luck! You could always do the RD on a very small scale - think just the WP and immediate family at the pizza parlor (or save on gratuity and have it at your house). Then tell people "we'll be here at X:00pm" if any extended family/OOT guests want to meet up the night before. If your parents really want to chip in for this, they could rent a room and/or host the bar tab.
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  • I can totally afford pizza. There's a pizza place close to the venue that I love, and I was thinking about that but I wasn't sure if it was a good idea. 

    I e-mailed my dad about my concerns, who tends to be a bit more level headed than my mom, so we'll see how that goes. 
    If my wedding had been in my hometown the RD probably would have been at my favorite pizza place.  Instead we had it at an Irish Pub.
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  • My parents need everything to be extra fancy. I don't know what's up with that. I would have preferred something a little more chill so cost wouldn't be an issue. They're already spending so much for the wedding, which I appreciate, but this dinner is definitely something that could have been more budget friendly. 
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Since this is not really a "rehearsal dinner," make sure that 1) it doesn't immediately follow the rehearsal and 2) your parents don't bill it as such.

    As PPs note, you do need to provide some hospitality to at least the wedding party members and anyone else involved in the ceremony, immediate family members, and their SOs, as soon as possible after the rehearsal. It doesn't have to be upscale or expensive.  But clearly this "welcome dinner" shouldn't be it if your FI's family and wedding party members and their SOs are not included.
  • Your parents are free to throw a party with whomever they want. I would honestly host another party that would suffice as a rehearsal dinner on your dime if your parents will not invite your attendants and FI family. Depending on when this "welcome dinner" is you can plan your own. A rehearsal dinner does not have to be fancy or formal. It can be as simple as pizza or sandwiches in your home. If you cannot afford to do this then I would honestly not have a rehearsal.
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  • Wow! What a nightmare!

    The rehearsal dinner is for your attendants and also for your families... BOTH your families. A Welcome Dinner is for out of town guests. 

    If you are having a rehearsal, you must have a rehearsal dinner and include all attendants and both families.

    The rule of thumb is that the groom's family pays for the rehearsal dinner and the alcohol at the wedding. That's not how we are doing it (my fiance's parents have a lot more $$ than my parents), but for them to contribute NOTHING seems extreme. That said, I don't know your circumstances and everyone works it out in a way that works for them.

    It doesn't sound like you are resentful for having no financial support from his family, but maybe your parents are? I agree with all the below opinions to decline your parents support in this one and host a pizza party yourselves, or to scrounge up the extra money yourselves to contribute to the cost so that his family can be invited. You don't want to start a marriage out on the wrong foot with his family, so whatever you can do to include them - even if its making the RD super super budget - is important.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    majadiria said:
    Wow! What a nightmare!

    The rehearsal dinner is for your attendants and also for your families... BOTH your families. A Welcome Dinner is for out of town guests. 

    If you are having a rehearsal, you must have a rehearsal dinner and include all attendants and both families.

    The rule of thumb is that the groom's family pays for the rehearsal dinner and the alcohol at the wedding. That's not how we are doing it (my fiance's parents have a lot more $$ than my parents), but for them to contribute NOTHING seems extreme. That said, I don't know your circumstances and everyone works it out in a way that works for them.

    It doesn't sound like you are resentful for having no financial support from his family, but maybe your parents are? I agree with all the below opinions to decline your parents support in this one and host a pizza party yourselves, or to scrounge up the extra money yourselves to contribute to the cost so that his family can be invited. You don't want to start a marriage out on the wrong foot with his family, so whatever you can do to include them - even if its making the RD super super budget - is important.
    The bolded is incorrect.  It is not a "rule of thumb" that anyone pays for the rehearsal dinner or alcohol at the wedding.  Dry wedding receptions are acceptable, and anyone who chooses can pay for both the rehearsal dinner and/or alcohol if it will be served. 

    The real "rule of thumb" is that the couple cannot expect their parents or anyone else to pay for these things if they don't volunteer to do so.  If that happens, then the couple needs to pay for these things themselves if there is a rehearsal dinner or alcohol is served at the wedding.
    southernbelle0915
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