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Customs and Traditions

Is the Rehearsal Dinner Really Necessary?

My fiance and I are pretty low key and have requested that our parents not throw us an engagement party, rehearsal dinner, etc. Basically we want to save the big extravagant party for the wedding day. Anything before that seems like overkill to us. My mother has accepted the idea of no engagement party (just a small dinner with the two of us and each of our parents), but his mother is really resistant to the idea of foregoing the rehearsal dinner. It's driving us crazy.

We are not getting married in a church, so technically there's not even going to be a rehearsal. So then why is the dinner so important?! She seems to be stuck on the idea that we have to give our bridal party their gifts then and there, and that there is no other acceptable time. We don't know what to do or how to politely get our point across to her because it seems like she's not listening when we try. And if she does organize and finance a rehearsal dinner, to us it feels like a waste of resources that could've been better spent another way.

Have any of you opted not to have a rehearsal dinner? When/how did you do bridal party gifts? Was there pushback from either of your parents as well?

Re: Is the Rehearsal Dinner Really Necessary?

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    If you're having any rehearsal, then hospitality immediately afterward for the couple, the wedding party, immediate family members, the officiant, and the SOs of everyone is mandatory. That said, it doesn't have to be a formal, expensive event, but can be sandwiches, pizza, barbecue, etc. if that's what floats your boat. Nor do you have to invite all out-of-town guests to it. But it cannot be omitted unless you are not having a rehearsal.
    Fosmoh
  • We're not having a rehearsal. That's what's so frustrating... would it be terrible to not have a rehearsal dinner then?
  • My fiance and I are pretty low key and have requested that our parents not throw us an engagement party, rehearsal dinner, etc. Basically we want to save the big extravagant party for the wedding day. Anything before that seems like overkill to us. My mother has accepted the idea of no engagement party (just a small dinner with the two of us and each of our parents), but his mother is really resistant to the idea of foregoing the rehearsal dinner. It's driving us crazy.

    We are not getting married in a church, so technically there's not even going to be a rehearsal. So then why is the dinner so important?! She seems to be stuck on the idea that we have to give our bridal party their gifts then and there, and that there is no other acceptable time. We don't know what to do or how to politely get our point across to her because it seems like she's not listening when we try. And if she does organize and finance a rehearsal dinner, to us it feels like a waste of resources that could've been better spent another way.

    Have any of you opted not to have a rehearsal dinner? When/how did you do bridal party gifts? Was there pushback from either of your parents as well?
    If FMIL wants to have people over the night before your wedding, let her.  But it isn't a rehearsal dinner and you'll just be stopping by for a quick drink before heading off to do whatever it is you do the night before your wedding.
  • AddieCake said:

    If you don't have a rehearsal, a rehearsal dinner is not necessary.

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  • I am curious what the venue has to do with whether you're having a rehearsal. Plenty of non-church weddings do have rehearsals, and plenty of church weddings do not.

    But as PP said, if there's no rehearsal, you don't need a rehearsal dinner.

    FWIW, we're having a rehearsal, but current plans for the rehearsal dinner involve pizza and soft drinks in the church basement. Hospitality doesn't have to be fancy.
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  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    If there's no rehearsal, it isn't necessary.

    Still, if it's so important to your mother to host something, I might try to compromise with something small. Even a pizza party in the church basement or going to a local BBQ joint could give you a little extra time to spend with people. 
  • That's actually not a bad idea, maybe just something small to compromise. Thanks guys!
    Fosmoh
  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    My fiance and I are pretty low key and have requested that our parents not throw us an engagement party, rehearsal dinner, etc. Basically we want to save the big extravagant party for the wedding day. Anything before that seems like overkill to us. My mother has accepted the idea of no engagement party (just a small dinner with the two of us and each of our parents), but his mother is really resistant to the idea of foregoing the rehearsal dinner. It's driving us crazy.

    We are not getting married in a church, so technically there's not even going to be a rehearsal. So then why is the dinner so important?! She seems to be stuck on the idea that we have to give our bridal party their gifts then and there, and that there is no other acceptable time. We don't know what to do or how to politely get our point across to her because it seems like she's not listening when we try. And if she does organize and finance a rehearsal dinner, to us it feels like a waste of resources that could've been better spent another way.

    Have any of you opted not to have a rehearsal dinner? When/how did you do bridal party gifts? Was there pushback from either of your parents as well?
    Just because your FMIL wants to host a rehearsal dinner, doesn't mean you'd get that money for other things if you don't have one. 
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    redoryxlc07
  • My fiance and I are pretty low key and have requested that our parents not throw us an engagement party, rehearsal dinner, etc. Basically we want to save the big extravagant party for the wedding day. Anything before that seems like overkill to us. My mother has accepted the idea of no engagement party (just a small dinner with the two of us and each of our parents), but his mother is really resistant to the idea of foregoing the rehearsal dinner. It's driving us crazy.

    We are not getting married in a church, so technically there's not even going to be a rehearsal. So then why is the dinner so important?! She seems to be stuck on the idea that we have to give our bridal party their gifts then and there, and that there is no other acceptable time. We don't know what to do or how to politely get our point across to her because it seems like she's not listening when we try. And if she does organize and finance a rehearsal dinner, to us it feels like a waste of resources that could've been better spent another way.

    Have any of you opted not to have a rehearsal dinner? When/how did you do bridal party gifts? Was there pushback from either of your parents as well?
    Just because your FMIL wants to host a rehearsal dinner, doesn't mean you'd get that money for other things if you don't have one. 
    Oh of course not. I didn't mean that necessarily. I just meant that if she and her husband could put that money to better use, whether it's for our wedding or for their own lives, then I'd rather see her do that!
    lc07
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    My fiance and I are pretty low key and have requested that our parents not throw us an engagement party, rehearsal dinner, etc. Basically we want to save the big extravagant party for the wedding day. Anything before that seems like overkill to us. My mother has accepted the idea of no engagement party (just a small dinner with the two of us and each of our parents), but his mother is really resistant to the idea of foregoing the rehearsal dinner. It's driving us crazy.

    We are not getting married in a church, so technically there's not even going to be a rehearsal. So then why is the dinner so important?! She seems to be stuck on the idea that we have to give our bridal party their gifts then and there, and that there is no other acceptable time. We don't know what to do or how to politely get our point across to her because it seems like she's not listening when we try. And if she does organize and finance a rehearsal dinner, to us it feels like a waste of resources that could've been better spent another way.

    Have any of you opted not to have a rehearsal dinner? When/how did you do bridal party gifts? Was there pushback from either of your parents as well?
    Just because your FMIL wants to host a rehearsal dinner, doesn't mean you'd get that money for other things if you don't have one. 
    Oh of course not. I didn't mean that necessarily. I just meant that if she and her husband could put that money to better use, whether it's for our wedding or for their own lives, then I'd rather see her do that!
    But maybe this is how they want to spend their money.  And believe that putting their money towards a nice dinner the day before your wedding is putting it to good use.

    lc07
  • beachyone15beachyone15 TEXAS (the home of my exes) member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    It sounds like in your case a rehearsal dinner isn't necessary. But as PPs have said, it may be worth it to let your FMIL host one if that's what she really wants to do. It would also give you more time to talk with guests/out-of-towners as well. It's ultimately you and your FI's decision.

    As for your question regarding bridal party gifts, you can do them the night before if you wish. I gave my MOH and bridesmaids their gifts on the wedding day, right before I walked down the aisle. DH did the same thing for his groomsmen. It's a personal preference, but I didn't want to do it at our rehearsal in front of everyone. I just wanted it to be between me and the girls!



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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited July 2015
    My fiance and I are pretty low key and have requested that our parents not throw us an engagement party, rehearsal dinner, etc. Basically we want to save the big extravagant party for the wedding day. Anything before that seems like overkill to us. My mother has accepted the idea of no engagement party (just a small dinner with the two of us and each of our parents), but his mother is really resistant to the idea of foregoing the rehearsal dinner. It's driving us crazy.

    We are not getting married in a church, so technically there's not even going to be a rehearsal. So then why is the dinner so important?! She seems to be stuck on the idea that we have to give our bridal party their gifts then and there, and that there is no other acceptable time. We don't know what to do or how to politely get our point across to her because it seems like she's not listening when we try. And if she does organize and finance a rehearsal dinner, to us it feels like a waste of resources that could've been better spent another way.

    Have any of you opted not to have a rehearsal dinner? When/how did you do bridal party gifts? Was there pushback from either of your parents as well?
    Just because your FMIL wants to host a rehearsal dinner, doesn't mean you'd get that money for other things if you don't have one. 
    Oh of course not. I didn't mean that necessarily. I just meant that if she and her husband could put that money to better use, whether it's for our wedding or for their own lives, then I'd rather see her do that!

    All you have to say, if you don't want a rehearsal dinner, is "No, thank you." 

    But it's not up to you how they spend their money or what "better use of their money" consists of or what is or isn't "wasting their money."  They earned or otherwise acquired it, and you did not.  So it's not appropriate for you to decide what they should be spending it on instead of you and your FI.

  • We aren't having a rehearsal or a rehearsal dinner.  Our families are very different in how we we "do" weddings.  We have decided to each spend the night before the wedding with our own families, more comfortable with our own traditions (low key vs not so much).  

    I'm very comfortable in not having a rehearsal, we are mostly theatre people so know how to put on a simple event.  Those who aren't have been in more than one wedding.  

    Do what you want.  It's your event, beginning to end.  
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