Wedding Etiquette Forum

Rehearsal Dinner- We are paying

Practical advice needed, our wedding is in 2 weeks. My future in-laws at the beginning of wedding planning gave us a small amount of money towards our wedding. They do not have a lot and the gesture was beyond nice of them to do. We asked them multiple time instead of just giving us a check would they like to specifically pay for something (ie photographer, DJ, Flowers, Rehearsal Dinner) they said no just put it towards the wedding. So we did- we put it towards our DJ & Photographer. 

Now with that said, my fiance and I are covering the cost of the rehearsal dinner. We have a larger wedding party (6 on each side) and decided to keep our rehearsal dinner to just our wedding party, immediate family and their significant others. My future mother in law wants us to invite her sister and niece from out of town & her sister that lives in town. While we would love to see them we feel it is completely unfair to then NOT be inviting my future father in laws family from out of town as well as my family from out of town. My mother in law does not feel we need to be fair here and we should just invite her family members she would like. I do not feel right doing this. We also have a budget for this dinner and cannot afford to accommodate extra people, I feel we have to invite all out of town guests or none. 

We suggested a cocktail reception at the hotel afterwards; which we cannot afford to pay for but said to my in laws if they would like to cover the cost of something small for that we would be happy to mingle with the out of town guests. My FMIL doesn't feel that she should pay for that seeing as they already gave us money. 

I'm having a really hard time here since we allocated the money they gifted us to our photographer & DJ and we were very clear about wanting them to put their name on something. They never mentioned that this money was to be used for a rehearsal dinner or anything in particular. This is all coming up with our wedding literally in 15 days. There have been months for her to communicate her wishes for the rehearsal and never once did she. She has also never once called to ask if she could help with anything or even just to see how planning is going.

She now feels we are being ungrateful to her family. I expected wedding stress but not from her. It's hurtful she feels this way because our actions towards other would never show we are ungrateful people. That is not who we are.  

My mother in law is now not speaking to my fiance or myself. How do we try to make a mends with her before our wedding?

Re: Rehearsal Dinner- We are paying

  • MegEn1MegEn1 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    Just went through the same thing. You budgeted with that money in mind having no specific earmarked purpose AS PER THEIR INSTRUCTIONS. They can't expect you to take on an additional cost this late in the game. Financially it's not feasible. 

    Achievement Unlocked: Survived Your Wedding! 
  • You have received good advice.  I would be so tempted in your shoes to tell her that you are inviting your parents siblings and since there is no need to be fair this shouldn't be a big deal. 

    You really have gotten good advice.  Stick to your guns.

    Knottie28613459banana468
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Practical advice needed, our wedding is in 2 weeks. My future in-laws at the beginning of wedding planning gave us a small amount of money towards our wedding. They do not have a lot and the gesture was beyond nice of them to do. We asked them multiple time instead of just giving us a check would they like to specifically pay for something (ie photographer, DJ, Flowers, Rehearsal Dinner) they said no just put it towards the wedding. So we did- we put it towards our DJ & Photographer. 

    Now with that said, my fiance and I are covering the cost of the rehearsal dinner. We have a larger wedding party (6 on each side) and decided to keep our rehearsal dinner to just our wedding party, immediate family and their significant others. My future mother in law wants us to invite her sister and niece from out of town & her sister that lives in town. While we would love to see them we feel it is completely unfair to then NOT be inviting my future father in laws family from out of town as well as my family from out of town. My mother in law does not feel we need to be fair here and we should just invite her family members she would like. I do not feel right doing this. We also have a budget for this dinner and cannot afford to accommodate extra people, I feel we have to invite all out of town guests or none. 

    We suggested a cocktail reception at the hotel afterwards; which we cannot afford to pay for but said to my in laws if they would like to cover the cost of something small for that we would be happy to mingle with the out of town guests. My FMIL doesn't feel that she should pay for that seeing as they already gave us money. 

    I'm having a really hard time here since we allocated the money they gifted us to our photographer & DJ and we were very clear about wanting them to put their name on something. They never mentioned that this money was to be used for a rehearsal dinner or anything in particular. This is all coming up with our wedding literally in 15 days. There have been months for her to communicate her wishes for the rehearsal and never once did she. She has also never once called to ask if she could help with anything or even just to see how planning is going.

    She now feels we are being ungrateful to her family. I expected wedding stress but not from her. It's hurtful she feels this way because our actions towards other would never show we are ungrateful people. That is not who we are.  

    My mother in law is now not speaking to my fiance or myself. How do we try to make a mends with her before our wedding?

    Your FI needs to tell FMIL, not you, that you two are paying for the RD and you two control the guest list for it.  FI should also say that if her money was to be used with a specific purpose, she should have specified that when she was asked about how to allocate the funds.

    If she refuses to take his call, FI should leave it on a voicemail or tell her through email.  If she still refuses to speak with FI, then just ignore her tantrum.  I'm sure she will still show up and sit in the front row for the wedding, smiling as if nothing is wrong.

    lc07STARMOON44
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers

    As PPs say, your FI needs to communicate to his mother that at the time she and his father gave you the money, they did not earmark it for the rehearsal dinner, and that because they didn't, you allocated the funds elsewhere and are paying for the rehearsal dinner.  Also, she has no business expecting you to be "fair" only to her side of the family when her money is not paying for it, and deciding not to speak to you or to call you "ungrateful" will not resolve the problem in her favor.

    I would not do any communication with her yourself, and would ignore any tantrums directed at you.  And if she shows up at the wedding and tries to create drama, have security be available to escort her out if necessary.

    Knottie28613459
  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Agreed, FI needs to deal with his mother.

    You are right with where you stand. It is not fair, and you are not being ungrateful. I would tell her, "I am sorry but the guest list is set and we are unable to accommodate additional family members". If she brings up the money, FI can tell her what has been said above, if she wanted that money to go toward the RD, she should have said so when it was given. Boat has sailed!

    Good luck!
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