My 21 year old son is newly engaged. I am so new to wedding information. Please help me! I know we have to pay for the rehearsal dinner, but don't agree with what her family includes in that. Help!
By Karen from Port Clinton, OH
When our son got married, we paid for the rehersal dinner. They had a large wedding party and asked if they could all bring a guest, then all the out of town family members, more on her side,got invited kids and all. We ended up doing a buffet at our home. It was much nicer than at a restaurant. We were also in charge of the drinks at the reception. This could be tricky. Some places charge you for an entire bottle even if only a few drinks were used from it. We paid by the eighth of the bottle, and the soda was done by the glass and not can. To many people get a can and leave it half to almost full, walk away to talk to someone then just get another. If you're getting beer, make sure they clear it with you before they open another keg. We only had 1 hour left to the reception and they wanted to tap another full keg. I said no, because I would be charged for the whole keg even it was still full. Everyone survived and the wedding reception was a great time. You can also have them quit serving alcohol during the dinner meal. That will save you some money too. Just don't announce that the bar is closing during that time, the guests will stock up and not drink all they get. That happened to a friend of ours and at the end we found alot of drinks full.
The rehearsal dinners that I have heard of where I live is limited to members of the bridal party, parents. The members of the bridal party didn't bring their significant others.
I don't remember the exact "rules" of who pays for what, but regardless, don't agree to pay for anything (like feeding everyone in the county), if you can't afford it. Get an bridal book at library or look online (ehow.com or about.com for example)...and see what you are officially supposed to pay for. Don't be intimidated by her family, that is. The other posters here had some good thoughts. Good luck.
The groom's family traditionally hosts the rehearsal dinner but what that consists of should not be dictated by the bride's family. We attended a wedding recently where many of the guests were from out of town. Our cousin who had the rehearsal dinner invited the parents, the wedding party and out of town guests to her home where she served pizza and salad. Relatives/friends who lived nearby brought desserts. Everybody had a great time.
As tradition goes, it is the grooms family that pays for the rehearsal dinner, bridal party and parents, some will include the spouses of bridal party. The liquor and dj (music) at the reception. But now days with the economy the way it is, bridal couples and their families are sharing a lot of the expense of a wedding. Sometimes we can't always live by tradition and certain standards One family may be able to afford more than the other, and that is ok. Something that each bride and groom should discuss with their families and with each other. You do what you can afford, and the couple should understand that.
Many years ago when I got married the grooms family paid for the rehearsal dinner. I did not want a rehearsal dinner so my husband's family paid for all the tux's in the wedding party. I guess I am odd but I have always felt when you ask someone to be in your wedding then you should pay for their things. I paid for my Bridesmaids dresses and the grooms family paid for all the tux's.
My wedding party did not have to go in debt to be in my wedding. Giving up the rehearsal dinner was to help me because I had so much more things to do before the big day. I also checked with my wedding party about it and they were happy with it also because they had things to do also. We did do the rehearsal just not the dinner. I one month I will be married 36 years.
Traditions aren't as rock-solid these days and in this economy. The groom's family paid for most or all wedding expenses when my daughter married two summers ago. We could never have afforded it! And since they were paying, they chose: invitations, rings, food, although I believe since the bridesmaids paid for their own dresses, they had some input there. The community got involved, since my son-in-law's family is well-known in that small community. In short, the wedding was a homey but classy affair!
So much good advice. Thank you all. I still am at such a loss. His dad is paying for the dinner. I don't really have the money. I think her family will pay for the venue as they are members of the yacht club they want to hold it at. They want to invite every out of town guest also. I really have no say. Just trying to help do what is right. Thanks again!
Thanks for all the advice. Haven't been here lately but you all have good comments. I have reached the point the bride's father has. Go to Vegas and we will give you money. So much money spent for 1 day and then you move on~!
This brings back a lot of memories - My wedding never happened as my fiance was killed in the line of duty, but we had planned much of the wedding. The two of us decided who we would invite and we made his parents stick to that list. They wanted to do the invitations as his father owned a print shop, and could do them at wholesale.
The rehearsal meal was set to be potluck. Everyone would bring a dish according to their last names. Alcohol was not going to be allowed. Soft drinks were fine - we were going to have tea, coffee, and sodas - cola, root beer & 7Up only.
Reception would be split 50/50. James & I were going to pick up the tab for the cake. We wanted a specific design and again had someone that would do it wholesale for us.
Traditions are just someone's thoughts for their event that other people like and start using as well. We were going to break that mold and include both families.
We also limited our guest list to 20 people on both sides so this also would help with the costs.
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