Background: FI has a huge immediate family and I do not. We live in the same state as FI family and my family lives in the North East. MOB is paying for the majority of the wedding FI family paying for some and the rehearsal dinner and FI and I are covering the venue and immediate bridal and groomsmen costs. FI father has been making small slightly snippy comments to me regarding the size of the rehearsal dinner and the cost and that this was basically going to be a second wedding. I was confused by this because in my mind it's immediate family and bridal party only. After a few of these comments I wrote out a list of my immediate family and bridal party and their guests which equaled 19 people. I wrote out their list of their immediate family and groomsmen (who are all brothers and immediate cousins of the groom) and that equaled 39 people. I gave FI mother the list and said that I am so grateful for this but I think we really need to keep it at immediate family and brial party only. FI mother thanks me agrees and states that she and FI father are going to have heavy appetizers and open bar at the restaurant of the hotel where all of our out of town guests and the bridal party are staying. This hotel is 200 feet from the venue which is a state owned historic site. My solution as to the out of town guests who will not be at the rehearsal party is to in the invites and the website ask who ever is in town and feels like it to join us at 8pm at the hotel's garden bar for drinks to kick off the wedding. My plan was to give the bartender 300 dollars and just let the drinks be a little gift from me to welcome our guests.
At this point father of the groom walks in and sees the list and says "Well what about X,Y,Z families." I said who are those? And he said those are our family friends from NJ and we've been invited to all of their kids wedding rehearsal dinners. I said okay but when you keep inviting outside family friends that makes the list grow and makes it more expensive. (And in my head Im also thinking that's really nice that you guys are having 15 more people coming but what is my family and their friends chopped liver?) FI father said end of discussion were having this people and walked out of the room.
Yesterday while at a meeting at work I receive a text message from FI mother stating "Just letting you know we will be having the rehearsal dinner at the country club. The hotel is too expensive. You may want to change the time of the rehearsal and the time that you see your friends at the hotel bar as you will need to account for travel time."
So here are my issues:
1) the country club is their family country club that they and most of their family live directly across the street from (gated Country Club community). While that is incredibly convenient for them, my entire family and bridal party is flying in from out of town the morning of the rehearsal dinner. The country club is 30 minutes away from the venue where we will be rehearsing and the hotel where all of them are staying.
2) We would have to facilitate either a shuttle or a limo to get my 19 guests (which at this point are one to ever 3 of FI parents guests) to the club which is a 60 minute round trip drive now for these guests who've been traveling all day. I checked the costs (Im assuming as I was directed to look at travel time this would be my responsibility) and it would be 300-500 dollars. I cannot ask these guests to rent cars that's just too much to ask from them further the drinking and driving issue is too great of a risk.
3) I completely am comfortable saying no rehearsal dinner, or I will (and here when I am saying "I" I mean my FI and I) save up and provide heavy appetizers and drinks at the hotel bar for the guests because I am not forcing my guests to travel more that day.
This is probably a non issue because in the end I know how to solve it, either FI and I pay for the rehearsal dinner or we tactfully find out the budget and then find a comparable deal near the venue and hotel.
And that's completely fine! But I think what's most bothering me is what you say above, when I attempted to keep this very small and intimate FI father demanded it be larger to accommodate his and only his outside friends but then is complaining that the cost is too high because of the amount of people? Does anyone else but me feel like their Alice in Wonderland with that statement? I also was really offended by receiving a text in the middle of the work day instructing me on where the rehearsal dinner will be held and that I needed to change the time of the actual rehearsal, the very reason necessitating a dinner lol. His family has never acted like this towards me before and I'm really confused and more then a little hurt. Am I wrong but is this really inconsiderate to convenience themselves at the expense of my side of the guest list? I am grateful for the gift of the rehearsal dinner but what the heck happened here?
Note: FI is very involved however since being engaged and despite multiple requests his large family only texts emails or calls me with wedding requests or problems related to their side of the family. Even when both my fiancé and I have requested that he be the point person for particular issues and I repeatedly say "you'll have to talk to FI because I don't know the answer" the continue to only contact me. That is a little of my concern here to, I feel like this may be one of those situations where I have to erect some boundaries? Ugh I just feel like crying laughing and ripping my hair out.