Gutsy wedding RSVP what should we do?

johndeereJune 24, 2010

My son is getting married and a neighbor friend of ours was invited.It was sent to the couple and adressed to them.No mention of there College daughter and Highschool aged son.

The RSVP came back with number attending 6!We think there bringing the daughter and son and all we can figure out is there boyfiend and girlfriend!What the heck!Anyway the bride to be is having a fit and so is my son.They want us to call them and say no the invetation was for just them 2.But we do not want to start trouble with these people.We think there awfully guttsy.

I said well there are atleast 4 that were invited that will not be going so grin and bare it?But my son and future daughter inlaw and her parent are not happy.What should we do?

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I would definitely call them and clarify the issue, these people are clueless.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 10:14AM
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I know but it is going to be ackward.The wedding will be over in one day.They will be are neighbors for a life time.My wife saids she has no problem telling them.I feel its not worth it live with it.Oh! the stress of a wedding and we are the grooms parents.Glad I have no daughters.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 10:49AM
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Do what ever causes the least stress to the most of you!

If this is going to fret the bride and groom to distraction then call them, if not let it pass.

By the way, if they are long standing neighbours they may have honestly thought it was a family invite, even though the invitation was clear, but dates for the Mitch says, clueless...

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 2:39PM
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Couldn't you just explain to your neighbors that there was a little misunderstanding. You were given a very limited number of people you could invite because you are not footing the bill, the parents of the bride are. When the invitation read "how many people are attending" it meant will both you and your husband be there. You would love to have their son and daughter and their guests and would be willing to pay for the extra people but you're afraid you might insult the parents of the bride if you do.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 10:36PM
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We talked to our son and the bride to be.Since we have had several will not be attending from our side.Its not the end of the world.They are very good neighbors and we would not want anything to come between that fact.They are also the type that will give them something very nice.Not that it was a decision maker.Just that they are very generous people and about the nicest people you would ever want for neighbors and friends.

Still makes me feel awful.But its not like there are not going to be people at the rehersal dinner that I feel should not be there.I have been told to be preparred for a bill of about $2000.00 or more for that event alone.Ouch!Seems there are going to be a lot of people at this rehersal.I was trying to see how they come up with that $ amount?Seems to me there should be 50 people tops at a rehersal dinner.$14.00 a plate $700.00 plus 20% tip $840.00 and then drinks for everyone I guess?I do not drink and neither does my wife so were dumb when it comes to what that will cost.Im not going to pay for there hangover at the wedding the next day however.

I do not mind that however because we were told we would not be exspected to pay for drinks at the reception.Because we do not drink and the brides parents are paying for that because it was included with there package deal exclusive.Sort of makes me feel like im not doing my part and like im a tigh wad however.But that was mentioned they were taking care of it way back so OK I admit it im releaved and I guess im am cheap.

I am very happy for my son and he is getting a terrific wife and we are so happy for them.But this wedding has been in the plans for so long and still has aways to go August 7th.It is a huge wedding in my eyes and I will be glad when its over.Not the day just all the days leading up to it.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 12:43AM
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I think what it comes down to is how the envelope was addressed. etiquette wise the family is always invited. If there's no kids obviously those under 18 are not invited. How ever their kids are adults, so they probably assumed they were welcome. Also how long have you known them and how often do you see the family? I think they just assumed. Glad it seems like it will work out fine with them coming.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 5:00PM
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Adult kids always get their own invitation. If you address an invitation to Mr and Mrs,.. that assumes the kids are not invited. If you address it to Mr and Mrs and Emily and John....that's obvious. It's not good form to address an invitation to "And family" but it sometimes is done....and that of course means kids and whoever they consider family.
A rehersal dinner for 50? You will be lucky to get away with only $2,000. I don't know if you are having an open bar or a keg or just wine, nor how the place will be charging, by the bottle used or by the drink....but $2000 for dinner and drinks for 50 is easy.....but it will be a party you and your kids will long remember!!
Linda C

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 8:46PM
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"etiquette wise the family is always invited." -- Aleighjc, that may be the custom in many communities and families, but it definitely is not required by etiquette. To the contrary, the etiquette rule is that only those named on the invitation are invited.

So even it it is customary in your community to invite whole families, if the invitation only has the parents' names, you'd better assume that only they are invited. If it's so common in your community to invite whole families that you think that the hosts intended that, call them and check first, very tactfully.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 12:40AM
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No it was addressed Mr first name and mrs first name lastname.

The rehersal dinner the $2000.00 is for food does not include drinks thats probably another $2000.00

My son is marring a Drs daughter.Im a stuggeling farmer with a modest off the farm partime job and my wife works fulltime to help make ends meet.This is way above are level of the way we live.

We invited I would guess 1 person to every 4 they invited and many of our relatives are sending back regrets.So one side of the church is going to be empty and one side full.The reception will be even more rediculous looking im thinking.

I think that might be why the neighbors are bringing 4 extras.There way of thinking there helping us someway.But there managing to just make us look even more stupid.Oh well.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 9:50AM
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What a shame. Your neighbors have no clue. Regarding etiquette saying that the family is always invited, I've never heard of that in my life. Only those on the invitation are invited.

Now, count me as someone who absolutely doesn't "get" why rehersal dinners have turned into mini receptions. IMO, a rehersal dinner of 50 people is outrageous. If that's the norm for you or what the bride and groom want for their special event, that's fine. But, again IMO, the people who are in the wedding (and their spouses or SOs) are the ones who participate in the rehersal dinner. You go to the church/wedding location, reherse, and then everyone at the rehersal goes to the rehersal dinner .... in other words, those that are in the wedding.

But - that's just me.

As for your neighbors, I think you're being extremely generous and I understand wanting to forgive their misstep to keep the peace and friendship.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 7:43PM
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I agree the rehersal dinner is outrageous.I think there are 6 groomsmen and 6 bridesmaids.Thats 12 x 2 if there all married.So 24 plus 4 parents and 2 grandparents and a few fron the church.I can see 30 or 35.But 50 I think that is another case of some that do not belong there.

But that seems to be OK.But yet the 4 extra that invited there selves.Has created friction between us and the brides side.Seems as if it depends who is picking up the tab.

I just hate that it is coming down to this.I think weddings are part of the reason so many inlaws do not get along.

These big fancy weddings do not make you anymore married and to me are just a big show off event.To me aneversaries like 25 50 60 are what deserves a party.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 1:38AM
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>> To me aneversaries like 25 50 60 are what deserves a party.

I agree - those milestones should certainly be celebrated!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 3:13PM
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I feel your pain, johndeere.

When our son married we also deliberated over the rehearsal dinner attendees. We finally decided that we would include the wedding party, grandparents, plus all wedding guests that had flown in from out of town to attend the ceremony since they had nothing to do the night before. Unfortunately, those that flew in amounted to almost our entire family.

As it turned out though it was a great opportunity for all of us to have a great visit without the huge commotion of the wedding day itself.

We held the rehearsal dinner at an 18th century waterfront tavern in Portsmouth, NH (the wedding was in Exeter, NH). my husband & I also do not drink but we decided to have red/white wine available during the appetizer portion of the rehearsal dinner while people were mingling around visiting. We also had wines available on each table during the dinner itself at our expense. Soft drinks, coffee, & tea were also available. That's it. If anybody wanted something from the bar it was at their own expense.

I was surprised at the $14/plate so I checked your "My Page" for your location & saw Illinois. We're in the northeast & the rehearsal dinner was over $30/plate (excluding the wines) twelve years ago. We're just in a higher cost of living area.

IMO, nobody should spend more than they are comfortable with & certainly never go into debt to cover an elaborate wedding. I think the right decision was made regarding your neighbors. They were not correct in making the assumption it was OK to bring their adult children plus a guest each but, hey, good neighbors are worth their weight in gold (well, maybe not at today's gold prices! lol). You know what I mean... :)

We also paid for the flowers at our son's wedding. My son brought me an issue of a Martha Stewart magazine & pointed out a bridal bouquet. He told me his financee LOVED it & specifically asked that we duplicate it as close as was possible. They were married in the middle of December & we didn't have to purchase a lot of flowers 'cause everything was already decorated for the holidays so we agreed to the bouquet without much thought. On the morning of the wedding I went to the florist to make a final check on the flowers before they left the store to be delivered to the church & to write a check...I almost fainted in the flower cooler! That bouquet was $500! All I can say is that it was beautiful & exactly as the picture! The bride was delighted & my son was beaming when he saw it. So, I'm glad I ordered those tri-color Argentine roses (champagne, beige, & off-white) for a December wedding but, still, I was shocked at the price. But, since my own wedding anniversay is also in December I told my husband never to give me special order roses flown in from Argentina as a gift! I would be more than happy with carnations & weeds for filler! :)

They've been married a dozen years now & have given us 3 wonderful grandkids. The wedding costs are over & their wedding was one of the most fun I've ever attended. We'll have those memories a lifetime.

I'm glad at least one of our daughters wanted a smaller weddings though!!! rofl

Enjoy the moment. Make good memories. Go with the flow within your ability. And don't forget to SMILE as you're writing the checks! Being parents of the groom your options are often limited by the desires of the bride & her family. Remember, to many women (although not all) their wedding is an event they dream about starting at about age 3. You're helping to make those dreams a reality for your new daughter-in-law. You won't regret it.

Enjoy the festivities! BTW, you've got about a month to go before the big day. The stress only gets worse as the day comes closer! :)


    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 8:04AM
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Triciae, thanks for sharing that story. I agree with you 100% -- many thing are indeed extravagances, even if you can afford them, but as long as you keep it within your means, the benefits really do last a lifetime. I will remember your wise mantra, "SMILE while you're writing the checks!" as my son's wedding next summer approaches!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 10:02PM
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If you are concerned about the "bride's" side of the church looking much more crowded than the "groom's", have the ushers explain that other than immediate family, the seating will be by aisle until the church is full.

Boy, I feel for you. I married my DH in our yard with immediate family and a few friends. And, no my father was not in attendance with his shotgun. lol. We did not want to waste a ridiculous amount of money on the type of wedding you are describing which is over in 4-5 hours. Sad waste of money and time.

What scares me most is that some brides these days are so caught up in planning their wedding, that they lose sight of the fact that the marriage is the important part of the whole equation.

I am gonna tell you, sounds like your DIL to be is used to getting what she wants, when she wants it. Unless she gets more realistic after the wedding extravaganza, I hope your son has a great job that pays lots o dough. I have a feeling he's gonna need it.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2010 at 10:04AM
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work_in_progress, it is certainly true that not everyone wants or needs to have a large wedding. Small, simple weddings are every bit as lovely and fun as large, formal dinner dance receptions.

However, that is what suits some couples and their families, and there is no need to insult them by categorically calling every big wedding a "[s]ad waste of money and time" or by implying that anyone who has a large wedding that requires planning necessarily has "los[t] sight of the fact that the marriage is the important part of the whole equation."

How would you feel if someone said something like "small weddings are stingy?" Well, it is just as snobbish and judgmental in the other direction.

Your wedding sounds like it was very nice and just right for you and your family. But other people's ways do not have to be WRONG for your way to be right.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2010 at 11:18PM
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Now things are even worse.About every other day we get a call saying this person has not RSVP'ed Grrrrrrrrrr.So what are we suppose to do about it.Right them off I say.But they will probably show up.

But the icing on the cake came last night.One of the brides maids.Yea one of them.I think there are about 6 grrrrrrr!My niece did not get a matching dress like the others.So guess who got a phone call!My wife.Well my niece is a all about me type. We tried to warn them that she is a self centered ego tistical type and would do something to screw it up.She is a cold person and every thing is about her.Her husband is also in the wedding and is 10 times worse then she is.He trained her to be just like him.Now the bride to be and her mother are having a fit.Because her dress is not going to match the others.My thinking is.If she wants to look like a idiot so be it.But I know it was done as a hateful thing.She likes to be the center of attention type.What a mess this has turned out to be.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 2:51PM
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I forgot to mention the rehersal dinner is now up to 65 people.Because relatives from out of state should be invited im told.

But the good news.No booze.We decided its a dinner.Not a Bottle jocky convention.Remember we do not drink.But I will give money toward the Champaighn fountain at the reception.Just the amount needed for toasts and thats it.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 3:03PM
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Johndeere, who is hosting the rehearsal dinner? The host is the person who pays for it and who also plans it. Because it sounds to me as if the bride's family is planning it and expecting you to pay for whatever they decide to do.

You do not have to accept this. You can plan the rehearsal dinner you can afford, with the number of guests you can afford.

Or you can turn the whole mess over to the bride's family. Tell them that it seems like they want to plan the rehearsal dinner. You had hoped to provide this for your son's wedding, but since they have definite ideas about it, you are willing, for the sake of inter-family harmony, to give it up to them. Then offer them the amount of money you were planning to spend, "Here's the $750 we were going to use to have a BBQ out on the farm. Please use this for the rehearsal dinner." The message being that anything they want that costs more than you are willing to spend, they will have to provide.

Just because the bride and her family want a certain type of rehearsal dinner does not mean that you have to supply it. The last thing I would be doing is letting someone else, with champagne tastes, plan an event that I would have to pay for. Family harmony or not, you do not have to put up with this. No book of etiquette says that one family has to provide the amount of money the other family thinks they should. Please stand up for yourself and don't go into debt for a rehearsal dinner.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 1:08PM
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Well its turning out better now.The bride to be and everyone saids.Its a rehersal dinner and that means dinner.Not drinking.So im fine with that.

Even with 65 possibly showing up.The extras are out of state guests coming in the day before the wedding.I can live with that and does seem like the thing to do.As long as im not getting a bar tab im ahead of the game.

I do not want to sound like a Cheap Skate that I am LOL.Or that I have something against my daughter inlaw to be or her family.Because I do not they are the nicest people you could ever hope to meet.My son did a good job picking her.They went all thru school together since the second grade.They have been together 6 years now.She went with him to Arkansas and Texas when he was in the USAF.She worked hard at both locations.She also went thru the same thing we did while he was in Iraq.Her family let us know personaly that they were praying for him.That meant alot to us.

They have now moved back home and are doing well.They bought there first home 1 1/2 years ago and Yes I would say the Honeymoon is pretty much over LOL.They are now ready to start a family.

We are happy for them and are looking forward to Grandkids.

These wedding are stressful but I think everything is now falling into place.

Now if we just did not have a few no RSVP responses.
Then theres my handful of relatives brother included who is to backwards to go.Does not like crowds even if it was a small wedding.My sister inlaw who can not go anyplace without insulting someone.My other brother who is going but refuses to dress up.If it were not for that everything would be looking good.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 1:10PM
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I'm right with you on the challenges of planning a wedding, but it will be great. We're Midwestern farmers. This summer our daughter is getting married in Manhattan/NYC. We've had several invitees add #'s to their RSVP and in NYC the cost per person of a wedding is in the hundreds; many, MANY times higher than practically anywhere. Some invitees couldn't commit by the RSVP date so we've had to just assume they are coming since we needed to turn in a number. I told our daughter we're taking the high road & not saying anything because they'll take on the expense of traveling to NY and paying for a hotel. My hubby doesn't like to wear a tux so only the groom will wear one. Much different than planning a wedding in small town USA. It will all work out and we're looking forward to a wonderful time with family and friends. And we'll be prepared for glitches!

Last summer our son got married to a terrific gal out in Silicon Valley- a dual Christian & Indian wedding. The cost of the rehearsal dinner was near $5000. Fantastic memories though! Priceless! The morning of the rehearsal we ended up in the emergicare when my husband developed a severe case of vertigo. Makes for interesting memories!

My husband, who is extremely frugal, is so looking forward to the upcoming wedding--and I mean that sincerely. He even agreed to Broadway theatre tickets the night before the rehearsal. Sometimes weddings (and hubbys) will surprise you.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 3:21PM
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Including "wedding guests that had flown in from out of town to attend the ceremony since they had nothing to do the night before"- I have to admit, I really don't get that. Presumably they're adults. Surely adults can find something to do in a strange city. My attitude if I was invited to an out of town wedding would be to see if I could do other things than just wedding-related stuff, to round out the trip. I'd love the chance to go to a new (to me) restaurant with just my husband. We just got back from a six-week tour of Europe and managed to find things to do in the evenings, even though we were new to the cities and towns.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 1:45AM
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I have read through these posts with some interest. To begin, we paid for both son's weddings because the ladies they married both came from families of very modest means. Our daughter was a different story.

However, in all three instances the rehersal dinners were intimate affairs in upscale resturants for only the wedding party. Maybe 15 people. Money was not an issue. Just didn't feel inclined to have two wedding receptions at my expense. There was never an issue of inviting friends to the rehersal dinner as none of them were in the wedding party.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 3:13PM
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colleenoz, in many communities (including mine) it is customary to include all the out of town guests in whatever is planned for the whole weekend.

We like it -- the whole family and far-flung dear friends are coming from far and wide not just to witness the ceremony, but to see each other, and, in the case of a wedding, to get to know the new family that is joining ours. We need more than just the wedding reception to be together. It's not a question of adults not being able to entertain themselves -- we want to spend the time all together. And you can't just walk into a restaurant with 150 people.

Our son's wedding next year will be on a 3-day weekend, too! So we will be entertaining Friday night through Monday morning. We're looking forward to it, actually. But I don't say that those who only include the wedding party or otherwise do it differently are wrong. It's just different in different communities and families.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 1:35AM
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Have to agree with collenoz and texasredhead. Rehearsal dinners are just for the wedding party, their spouses and the officiant of the wedding. An Intimate gathering. It should not be another wedding reception. My husband and I like to get together with the other guests that are staying in the hotel by ourselves, either by the pool or in the lounge very casually. We don't want to be an added expense to the wedding couple or their parents. We'll see them the next day at the wedding and at the after party at their home if we stay that long. But as was said, different strokes for different folks. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 4:54PM
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Weddings, and by the same token, rehearsal dinners, are funny things. No matter who you invite and don't invite, there will be some who scratch their heads wondering why they were invited, and others who are insulted by the fact that they weren't invited. No winning here! LOL

Like gell, in my community, out of town guests are invited to the rehearsal dinner. It would be weird NOT to invite them. It's just not done that way here. Now, that does not OBLIGATE the invited to come. If they'd rather hang out by the pool and be casual, or arrive in town the day of the wedding, they can decline the invitation. But from the point of view of those hosting the dinner, the right thing to do is invite them.

Again, that's how it's done in my community. I wouldn't expect that it's done that way everywhere and wouldn't feel insulted not to be invited to the rehearsal dinner in another community if that's not how they do it.

Not so much different strokes for different folks, more like different traditions and expectations for different communities.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 9:46AM
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So, how did it all work out???

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 1:06PM
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Welcome to the wonderful world of weddings! Fraught with more peril than crossing on the Titanic.

If you ever happen to have to endure this again, I would suggest on the RSVP form: Number attending, fill in "TWO". that should make it very clear that only Mr. and Mrs. Clueless are invited, not their kids and dates.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2010 at 7:46PM
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