To bring you up to date - rehearsal dinner

bridesmom68March 16, 2008

I thought I'd let those of you who so helpfully responded to a previous post of mine (under a different name; DD was afraid that FMIL would stumble across this forum and recognize my previous screen name) know that there has been a painless (we hope) resolution!

If you recall, I had posted about DD's FMIL planning to invite 60 or so of her husband's employees/spouses to the rehearsal dinner - folks NOT invited to the wedding. Well, about 3 weeks ago she asked me for the name of the wedding etiquette book I used!!! Apparently, she bought the book because, when she emailed me the rehearsal dinner list to proof, lo and behold, the employees had disappeared! Though it is still bigger than the kids would like, it is just wedding party, close relatives and out of town guests (mainly hers; I just couldn't bring myself to add anybody...not worth it.)

So, thanks to all for your valuable input and letting me vent. It was either that or say something that would have had unpleasant repercussions for FSIL and DD.

DD and I had a good chuckle over this; the rehearsal dinner list left off a bridesmaid - funnily enough, it's a bridesmaid disliked for no apparent reason by FMIL!!! Some things don't change.

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We've struggled with a rehearsal dinner as well, so let me ask how your out of town guests will feel knowing others were included and they were not.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2008 at 4:56PM
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These are reasonable folks who are fine with it, knowing that it's a fairly odd situation. They'll enjoy the dinner we provide at the nice restaurant near their hotel and get a good night's sleep!!!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2008 at 6:44PM
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Please understand I'm not questioning your decision. We had a difficult decision regarding our upcoming rehearsal dinner and I'm trying to come to terms with the plans we've made.
Are you saying that you will be paying for your out of town guests? If so, I think that's a perfect solution and one option we wish we had.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2008 at 8:43PM
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I've never understood the convention some communities have of feting out of town guests. It's not the norm here, and I've never felt insulted at being left to my own devices if I travel to an out of town event. I'm a grown up and if I can't look after myself for one night in a strange city it's my own fault. Frankly I'd feel kind of wierd going to what amounts to two receptions.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 1:39AM
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As a bridesmaid, I've been grateful when the rehearsal dinner is just the wedding party and rehearsal attendees.

As an out-of-town guest, I've been grateful to have a dinner on the rehearsal night with just my side of the family, and not the groom's/bride's. At the wedding itself, I make a reasonable effort to get to know the other side of the family, so I like that casual, not-on-display-in-front-of-the-new-in-laws vibe.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 4:25PM
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Maybe it depends on how far you have traveled and where you are. We just went to australia for a family wedding and they didn't have a rehearsal dinner, but did have a dinner for family out of town guests a couple of nites before the wedding. That was a good opportunity to meet and talk with other family members who had also traveled. If its just a nite or two of course you can fend for yourself. As Colleenoz pointed out it can be the equivalent of two receptions in cost if its a big group. So I can understand not inviting everyone.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 5:11PM
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As my family lives about 1500 miles away, there are really only a handful of people coming (even that is more than we had thought!) So, it's not really a big expenditure (thank God - couldn't take any more of that!!!)

We are in the deep South now and it has become more or less the norm that out of town guests are included at the rehearsal dinner. Frankly, I would rather dispense with it, as I far prefer something intimate and relaxing. But this is not my call. Apparently, even in New England where most of the family lives they must somehow entertain out of town guests, as a cousin let us know that an elderly (much loved, very outspoken) aunt had stated she wanted to be included in the rehearsal dinner. She is, as the groom adores her, and it is her other children and spouses that we will be entertaining separately. I just didn't want to go to the groom's mother with another half dozen people...not worth it in this case. These folks just go with the flow, so we'll be fine!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 7:05PM
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When my family travels to an out of town wedding, we plan to get together before the wedding with our relatives that we haven't seen for awhile. We are happy to not be invited to the rehearsal dinner but to instead make our own plans with a group of our extended family. Generally, we have such a short time together that we look forward to all staying at the same hotel and hanging out together.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 8:15PM
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We've all been through this one so many times, haven't we!

It just totally depends upon your community. In ours, everyone always includes all the out of towners, as well as in-town family and usually those very close friends who gave showers, helped out, etc. -- it would seem really strange not to do so. At least, people would feel odd that they came all that way just for one part of one day; more likely, people would wonder if something were wrong! Like the families hating each other or something. We are just so used to it being a whole weekend of being together. I don't think people even usually call it a "rehearsal dinner." The invitation usually just says something like, "Please join us for supper/ ___ night at [place, time]/Clarice and Dudley Groomsparents." It is usually very casual (both the event and the invitation). I love that party, often most of all, especially if it is a family wedding and I'm seeing everyone for the first time in a while. And it is a relaxed, easy setting in which to meet the other family; that's hard to do at the wedding itself. It is a nice time for the funny stories from friends, more toasts than you'd have at the wedding, etc.

There just is no right or wrong to it, so although we can all share our experiences and opinions, it's not really much help to anyone who is dealing with different circumstances. I would recommend talking to what Talley Sue calls "the Aunt Mafia" (I love that!) to find out what is expected. That doesn't mean you have to do it that way, but it will tell you how people are going to feel.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 8:27PM
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gellchom, allow me to take the opportunity to say I find your comments/responses refreshing and full of common sense advise.

In the past, your advice has guided me in the right direction when I was floundering and totally overwhelmed with some of the activities regarding my daughter's wedding.

Thank You,

PS. I still love the idea of your shmooze room.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 9:34PM
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Oh, Mona -- you made my day!

Thank you so much for your kind words. They mean a lot. Today was a kind of stressful day around here, too (don't worry, nothing big), so your timing is perfect, too.

Are the pictures of your gorgeous home still available for viewing somewhere on THS? I'd love to see them again. You were a HUGE help with the schmooze room, you know. I thought of that when I was in there schmoozing with my friend there tonight.

I am sure the wedding and all the auxiliary events will be wonderful. Don't forget to post some pictures for us!

Your pal,

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 12:43AM
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excuse me ladies, I usually hang out in the Texas gardening forum.. but we're planning my DD's Aug wedding and I came in here to see what the place is like.
I've read lots of good ideas and lots of great advice here.

Now I have a problem:
I just can't help but wonder what this 'schmooze room'is!
I've spent the last 30 minutes doing searches all over the forums for both your names and 'schmooze room' but haven't found it yet.

I did see the wonderful pictures of Mona's home! I just love it.
Please please please let me in on what this is.
I just can't get it out of my head, and I'm going to wonder until the day I die.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 6:54PM
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Well, Melvalena, I hope you won't be disappointed. This was from the decorating forum, not the wedding forum, so with apologies to the others for the off-topic post, here is your answer.


Origin of the term: When we bought our house, it had a big, beautiful living room right in the center of the house, a lovely little study in the front, an enormous family room in the back, and no dining room (the previous 2 owners didn't cook). We use a dining room a lot, often for big groups, and although we used our living room in our old house, we realized that we mostly used the small space in the middle. So we turned the living room into a dining room, and the little front study into a ... what to call it? It serves the function of a living room, but it's too small (about 11 x 12) to call it that, and I just couldn't get myself to say "parlor." My daughter (then 11) named it the "schmooze room," because, she said, "That's where the adults will go to schmooze after dinner." ("Schmooze" is Yiddish for "chat.")

When, years ago, I asked the decorating forum for advice on decorating it, the term kind of caught on, and a few other posters now have schmooze rooms, too, and developed a sort of philosophy about it. It seems a lot of people (who are lucky enough to have the space for it) like having a lovely and/or goofy little retreat of a room that doesn't have to be so practical. The (tongue in cheek) guidelines are these:
- No computer, TV, or most other electronic items (opinion is divided on radio/stereo, with some people saying it depends on the type of music). This is a room for conversation, reading, and long, schmoozy phone calls (IF you bring a cordless in from another room -- no phone plugged in there).
- No leaving anything here. This room always looks nice, even if everyplace gets cluttered.
- Try to make any snacks or beverages you bring in special, or at least in a decent dish. No bags of chips.
- As this room isn't a heavy use room like a kitchen or bath, it's a good place to be a little impractical, idiosyncratic, and whimsical (like fringe near the ceiling) in your decorating. E.g., this is the place to choose fabrics because the color or texture thrills you, not because they will be durable or not show grease stains (see previous guideline), and bold colors that you adore but that you might be afraid you'd get sick of if they were in the kitchen.
- Preferably located out of earshot of TV and children. Children welcome, but for non-messy, grown-up behavior only (no running, fighting, or art projects). Pet rules depend upon how well your pet obeys rules!

Lots of people (especially Monablair) on the decorating forum helped, and I feel their presence whenever I am in there. Here are a few pictures of our schmooze room (the artwork is different now, and the colors aren't QUITE as vivid as they appear in the photos).

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 11:13PM
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Thank you!! I was going crazy looking for other threads about this Schmooze Room!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 9:54AM
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