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Rehearsal dinner money stress

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So_happy

Brilliant_Rock
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I am in grad school (and my income is solely from stipends) and my FI is in the first year of opening his own business. We are paying for this wedding ourselves and have put our budget at 10k. To give us credit, we have done a fantastic job thus far planning what I believe will be a beautiful wedding complete with a couple splurges. We are very excited about this and so proud to have put together something so wonderful on what we believe is a very small budget. My mom and his parents just can not afford to help and this is no surprise as we both know we come from humble beginings and are proud to do this on our own.

So, we''ve sunk the cash into the wedding which seems very appropriate. But now comes the RD and I''m getting to feel like "enough is enough" (Our fault for not budgeting for this RD but can''t change that now) financially. We have found a restaurant that he and I love to go to. It''s funky and casual and has a fantastic atmosphere and has a fablulous party room that we can use for no rental fee. They do, however, have a minimum $300 f/b charge (not including tax and gratuity of course so it will end up being aobut $400 minimum) and for our approx 30 guests, that sounds VERY reasonable. We''d like to do pizza, beer, and salads and the room is set up with couches and soft lighting and a dvd player etc. We could even set up a game of pictionary or somthing equally fun and corny :) It would be so much fun.

My point is, I am not disputing that $400 is a fantastic price for a RD or that our possible RD spot isn''t fabulous for the price......I am overwhelmed that that is another $400 that we need to spend. Period. We live in a teeny apartment and don''t know anyone here enough to expect them to offer thier home to us for a home-style party so we are literally stuck having to do this at a restarurant. BEsides, at $400, I don''t know that a party at home could very much beat that!!

Is it ever okay NOT to have an RD? I would think our family and friends would compeltely understand because they all know wer''e "just starting out" etc., but, honestly.........it is ok? Or, perhaps my question could also be......how can I have an rehearsal get-together for 30 people for $100??? And NOT have it at our teeny apartment?

Thank you for any inisight y''all may have! :)
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
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Aug 3, 2006
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9,613
I don''t see why it should be a problem - just tell them you''re being European. We don''t have rehearsal dinners at all in the UK - although we do have very informal rehearsals, whereas on the continent I don''t think they even do that.

Or can you just arrange that everyone goes out for dinner and you all pay for yourselves?
 

poptart

Brilliant_Rock
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May 23, 2006
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We didn''t have a rehearsal dinner and we certainly didn''t miss it. I personally don''t think it''s necessary and DH and I didn''t see the point in spending all that money for something that wasn''t absolutely imperative for the wedding. We did have a rehearsal at the venue the day before the ceremony, but we all went to breakfast and it was limited SOLELY to the wedding party, and wasn''t as expensive because it was breakfast, not dinner.

*M*
 

So_happy

Brilliant_Rock
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Date: 3/24/2007 2:41:00 PM
Author: poptart
We didn''t have a rehearsal dinner and we certainly didn''t miss it. I personally don''t think it''s necessary and DH and I didn''t see the point in spending all that money for something that wasn''t absolutely imperative for the wedding. We did have a rehearsal at the venue the day before the ceremony, but we all went to breakfast and it was limited SOLELY to the wedding party, and wasn''t as expensive because it was breakfast, not dinner.

*M*
Oh my goodness.....you don''t know how relieved just hearing that makes me feel!! So, when you went out to breakfast, was it hosted or did everyone pay for themselves?

You and Pandora have stirred an idea in my head.........what if while we were rehearsing, FI and I brought in a party platter from Subway or something and a cooler of cokes and iced tea? Then, folks could eat and rehearse at the same time and we still hosted something? Would that be tacky? Our ceremony is in a public flower park and picnics are allowed so I know food is allowed.

Would that work? It feels like there is pressure to provide something and I don''t know if we can completely evade that social responsibility..........or can we?
 

poptart

Brilliant_Rock
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The breakfast was hosted, but I think the total was only around 80 - 100 dollars or so. Nowhere NEAR 400 dollars. I think the idea of bringing in a party platter is a great one, and much more cost effective. If you got a variety of little sandwiches and some bakery goods, and maybe some punch, then everyone would be happy!

*M*
 

sumbride

Ideal_Rock
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Feb 17, 2006
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3,867
You definitely don''t have to do it! I was in a wedding a few years ago without one. No rehearsal either, which was a mistake, but you can definitely have the rehearsal without the dinner!

Went to another wedding recently where close friends of the couple (they didn''t have a wedding party) went out to dinner with them the night before and we all paid our own checks. That was fun and we all got to relax with the couple but didn''t mind paying for our own dinner.

I think that whoever is in your wedding is obviously close enough to you to understand the situation and make the best of it with you. A picnic in the park sounds fabulous and fun, and really, that''s what it''s supposed to be... FUN! Not a headache or another reason to go broke!
 

basil

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 27, 2006
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I think that the picnic in the park sounds great!

One other idea is if you have a friend or someone with a condo or apartment that has a large common room, those can usually be reserved for free for tenants. And then you could do pot luck or pizza or subs or whatever!
 

poptart

Brilliant_Rock
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Or a barbecue... I like barbecues... lol. We have a very small apartment, too. But we are able to BBQ outside on our grill and have people mill around. Plus it''s really cheap (or we wouldn''t do it very often, haha). If either of you like to cook this could be a great option.

*M*
 

neatfreak

Super_Ideal_Rock
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14,167
Could you have a cookout at a local park? I don''t know where you live, or the time of year, but local parks usually let you grill out there for free, and it would be a lot of fun and cheap because all you would have to buy is some food and beers.
 

kcoursolle

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
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10,589
Would your parents or a close friend consider hosting a RD dinner? You could have a bbq and make the food and buy some beer/wine and ask your parents to bring a dessert. This would probably cost about $200 instead of $400 and you wouldn''t have to be crammed in your little apartment.
 

So_happy

Brilliant_Rock
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1,084
GREAT ideas all around :) I love the idea of a BBQ and we have a 2-person balcony upon which our teeny grill hangs out. However, I remember for my 30th bday there were the 6 of us and we did BBQ and partied at our apartment before and after going out clubbing and it was so very crammed
We had a fantastic time but if there had been one more soul in our home, we wouldn''tve been able to move lol. To make it even more "hopeless", we rent the upstairs apartment and we and our landlords below do not have a yard at all


To make up for a yardless, second-floor, small, place, we have lots of big sunny windows, washer/dryer/dishwasher, private parking, AND are 1 block from the best beach I could hope for up here on the Northeast coast :) We love it here. Just makes it challenging to entertain.

I want to keep it to finger foods so we don''t even need to worry about plates etc. I guess it would be alot like a working lunch but we could certainly hang out a bit longer afterwards and enjoy the park. Perhaps a little badmitton would be in order
(If they''d let us put up our set)
 

E B

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 31, 2005
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9,488
We''re not having an RD as much as a ''party'' the night before the wedding. His parents are hosting it, and we''re having mexican food catered. Everyone in town for the wedding is invited to the Pre-Wedding "Fiesta".
 

So_happy

Brilliant_Rock
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Date: 3/24/2007 11:29:04 PM
Author: EBree
We''re not having an RD as much as a ''party'' the night before the wedding. His parents are hosting it, and we''re having mexican food catered. Everyone in town for the wedding is invited to the Pre-Wedding ''Fiesta''.
Ebree~ Your fiesta sounds delightful
I can not wait until we move into a proper home and can entertain! I''d very much enjoy cooking for such a party and my FI fancys (fancies?) himself a bartender so margaritas would naturally follow
 

Kit

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 7, 2005
Messages
501
Hmmmm....perhaps I am in the minority here but I feel that you should do *something* and it should not be subway sandwiches and cokes. For virtually every other event in your life I would say, hey why not, but this is your wedding after all. I feel that you are asking people to participate in your ceremony and they are going out of their way to be there for you, take time out to rehearse and so forth, and a reception of some kind is in order.

If you can bring food to the park, why not do some light finger foods there? You can go to Costco or similar and buy bulk cheese and crackers, grapes, mini quiches, etc. It doesn't have to be tons of food and $100 at Costco goes a long way, yet is elegant enough. A few bottles of cava or the like, and you are done! I think asking everyone to bring their favorite bottle of wine or a 6 pack of beer is not inappropriate.

I'm sure that a few of your friends and family have a couple of tables and chairs they can spare, as well as tablecloths-- or picnic blankets. You can really have a casually elegant gathering there at the park that will be memorable.

What time of day is your rehearsal? Maybe this can be an appetizer-type thing and then going out to dinner with the group is optional for those who can make it, and this can be pay-your-own-way so that the celebration can continue through the evening but not on your tab.


HTH


ETA: I think usually these are rehearsal *dinners* because people rehearse the night before the wedding. In the event that you can rehearse during the day before the wedding, or the morning before, great! Then a rehearsal breakfast is called for, as someone else mentioned. Maybe you can save money this way?
 
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