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lynn

Wwyd regarding rehearsal dinner?

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My son and his fiance already have a baby and my son bought a house.  He's a hard worker and he's going to school.  They decided they wanted to get married this summer and are planning the wedding.   They told us yesterday that they are expecting again.  We want to not have rehearsal dinner and give them the cash that they will need.  Her family is not traditional and has very different value system than ours so I don't think they'd care.    Should we give them a choice or just tell them what we plan.  I don't think there will be  a traditional rehearsal as the wedding will be in a park.  I'm just feeling obligated to follow tradition i guess.

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I would discuss it with them and see what they prefer. It is their wedding, after all. But I don't think there's any harm in suggesting that you're willing to make them a cash gift in lieu of the dinner, if that's okay with them. Rehearsal dinners are certainly not mandatory so I wouldn't feel bad about not having one if the couple prefers it that way.

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Have you already told them you will be hosting a rehearsal dinner?  I think in this day and age in many families there is no preset obligations for families to provide.  We paid for the majority of our own wedding 20 years ago and we certainly paid for our rehearsal dinner.   I think it's fine to say you are gifting them money as a wedding gift and they can use it for the wedding, a rehearsal dinner,  baby's college account, diapers, setting up their house, etc.  

ETA - to be clear, I'd gift them the money and let them know you're fine if they want a rehearsal dinner and will help with that if that is in your wheelhouse.  I just think a lot of young couples especially with young kids might choose to spend on something like that more conservatively than if you were hosting and they had the money in hand.   Maybe it's a potluck or order pizza at the park instead of a sit down with a rented space or whatever.  

Edited by FuzzyCatz

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Agreeing with the offer, to give the bride & groom choices.
I'm a VERY strong believer in spending the money in line with your values.
(We DIYed our ds' rehearsal dinner as a cold supper in the backyard of generous friends.)

If there is a rehearsal, most people are expecting to eat afterward . . . so you'd need to inform them.
We did have friends who just served store-bought pizza in a low-key way at the church afterward.

What has worked for us is giving the couple a specific amount of money for the wedding, and the offer of our cheerful labor.
They can decide how best to use it.

ETA = And don't get me started on friends & family who expect/come to the rehearsal dinner without playing a role in the actual ceremony.

Edited by Beth S
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I'd give a choice, too.  It would be more important to me that they understood our support and respect of their needs than it would be for me to give what I want.  I think a choice would be the best way to accomplish this.

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I'd talk to them and find out which they'd prefer.

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I think I"d give a choice too.  

I enjoy rehersal dinners and it's a nice time to spend with people you love, on the other hand money is nice for a house!

I have been to more formal dinners and more casual.  Both were enjoyable.

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Dss have been in 2 different family weddings. 1st one after rehearsal there was cheap pizza and cokes in the fellowship hall.  2nd it was told anyone that wanted to meet at a local restaurant after could but it was pay your own meal.   

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Its your choice.  The couple should remember to inform the officiant and spouse if there will be no rehearsal dinner.

If there are out of town guests, they should know they are on their own for that evening unless someone else plans to host them.

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I agree with giving them a choice.  Maybe state an amount and tell them they can decide how it breaks down between cash and festivities.

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2 hours ago, Baseball mom said:

Dss have been in 2 different family weddings. 1st one after rehearsal there was cheap pizza and cokes in the fellowship hall.  2nd it was told anyone that wanted to meet at a local restaurant after could but it was pay your own meal.   

And that's how it should be. The rehearsal "dinner" is supposed to be just light refreshments for the people who are actually *in the wedding,* not for everyone and his brother. They'll all get to see each other at the wedding, after all.

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In agreement with the others as to asking them their preferences. The rehearsal dinners in our family have been low-key and a lot of fun. One, we had catered at the church fellowship hall by a bbq place. That was the largest wedding and wedding party, but still only cost us about $350 for everybody. We played CDs of love songs from the past in the background. Second one, the groom's parents brought hoagie supplies and reserved a pavilion at a local park. Fun and relaxed. Third, the groom's parents had everybody over to their house for...I think Italian food prepared by a restaurant. For that one, there wasn't an actual rehearsal because it was a very simple family wedding in a state park, but the parents wanted to have a get-together of the two families beforehand.

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I think it's nice to have a group dinner the night before, just as another fun way to celebrate and something for out-of-town guests to attend besides the wedding itself. BUT, that doesn't have to be expensive or fancy. 

How about you offer to host a really casual rehearsal dinner at your home or a friend/family member with a big house/yard or even church or other free/super cheap venue? Just *something* for folks to go to. Super casual is often very fun, IME, and that'd be in keeping with their wedding plans. 

One of the best weddings I ever went to was held at a friend of the couple's ranch. They had it "catered" by a local very inexpensive Mexican restaurant. I think they spent about $5/person in today's money. (This was about 20 years ago, and it was about $3 per person then.) I held a big "after party" dinner at my house after a political event last year, and because I was hosting the political event as well, I couldn't prep a meal the same day. So, we had it catered by a local really nice BBQ stand. Full price for that was around 12-15/person for 60 people -- for the entire meal except beverages and dessert.

You could just grill burgers and dogs or do something similarly casual. If you or someone you know has a smoker, you can do meat-for-a-crowd pretty easily in a smoker. You can even make things a day ahead and warm them up the day of . . . (I know the hive would be able to offer tons of good ideas!)

Then, give them as much $$ as you can/want to as a gift.  

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We gave our daughters a set amount of money in honor of their marriages and they could do with it as they pleased for wedding, festivities, housing, moving expenses, savings, whatever. We were happy to attend whatever activities they chose to invite us to and to help with whatever they wanted us to help with. 

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