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?