Do we have to pay for the rehearsal dinner??
So im not sure what the deal is with this. I have hunted around Kansas City for a place I thought would be nice and still affordable if we were to pay but there really arent any options. The cheapest buffet I could find at a nice place was $35 a head. Then I considered possibly we go and just order a few different plates and people can have bits of everything but I dont know if anywhere will allow this. My family keep saying we are happy to pay for ourselves. We dont want to go somewhere and say oh yer we're paying because we can not afford a $20 meal for everyone. Is it okay to tell people that they pay for their own and how would we do this without seeming rude. I just dont know what to do right now.

Married: 02/07/2010
Posted On: Dec 23, 2009 at 10:47 PM • Vendors are allowed • Add to My WatchlistFlag As Inappropriate1 like

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Married: 2+ years ago
Dec 23, 2009 at 10:52 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
I was having the same problem. My fiance and I were paying for so much ourselves, I didn't know what to do for the rehearsal dinner. Now, this isn't technically an answer to your question, but we're just having a really informal dinner at either my parents' or his parents' house. Both our dads love to BBQ, so we're just going to let them get to know each other over the grill. It's informal, which is nice compared to our formal wedding, and it is waaaaaay cheaper.

Married: 02/07/2010
Dec 23, 2009 at 10:58 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
unfortunately we cant have a meal at someone's house. My family are all flying in half his family live in a small town 3 hours from the venue and the other half live in missouri a few hours from the venue. The venue is literally central to the two sides of his family. We are flying there from california so there is no where to have a dinner.

Mrs Knight
Married: 2+ years ago
Reviews: 2
Dec 23, 2009 at 11:04 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
The rehearsal dinner is supposed to be a thank you to your wedding party so in my opinion it defeats the purpose if you have them pay. Have you tried calling a restaurant and explain to them what your budget is and # of guests and see if they will work with you? I would try this at a local restaurant rather than a chain as they are more likely to work with you. Also you can do it so that you only pay for non-alcoholic drinks. I like the BBQ suggestion or just a spaghetti dinner at your home.

Married: 06/05/2010
Dec 23, 2009 at 11:14 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Aussie I don't think you HAVE to have a rehearsal dinner. We aren't. It's just one more added expense and we just decided we didn't want to bother. If you have gifts for your wedding party, I would say give it to them at the end of rehearsal and let everyone be on their own for dinner. If you all end up going someplace together informally so be it. Just don't call it a rehearsal dinner.

Married: 10/09/2010
Dec 23, 2009 at 11:17 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
You dont even have to have a rehearsal dinner if you dont want! But if you do Traditionally its the grooms family who pays for it so I dont see anything wrong with either asking his family to pay for it or asking everyone to pay for it individually or you could only invite and pay for your bridal party or you could invite everyone but just let them know that you can only pay for your bridal party.... another alternative would be to find a place that you can rent and bring in your own food (either cook it or have someone cheaper cater it!... try looking outside of Kansas City for a caterer... often times if you leave the city they will be cheaper and will still cater to the entire city.)

Married: 2+ years ago
Reviews: 6
Dec 24, 2009 at 12:00 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
i like ladylee's idea....did u try family style italian or pizza?.......i don't think they should pay if you do do dinner afterwards.

Married: 05/15/2010
Reviews: 7
Dec 24, 2009 at 12:55 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
Traditionally it is the groom's parents responsibility to pay for the rehearsal dinner....

Honestly if you can't afford a big fancy dinner I wouldn't worry about it. I have seen plenty of nice weddings where the people went to places like Chevy's the night before-- informal and a lot of fun!

Married: 2+ years ago
Reviews: 6
Dec 24, 2009 at 12:58 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
if people know that you have financial difficulties, chevy's or something similar would be fine. NAB is correct. It can be so much fun and easy, not stuffy and relaxing! People are there for you and not for a free meal. These are your closest and nearest dearest supporters, right? They don't care, they just want to spend some private quality time with you the night before your big celebration, when everyone else will be trying to get your attention and time.

Married: 02/07/2010
Dec 24, 2009 at 1:17 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
Everyone knows that we have paid a lot for the wedding and my visa and the thing is we moved the wedding closer to his family so that they didnt have to worry about flying to california. We were just thinking of going to an italian restaurant or somewhere like the olive garden if i can find one there. Just because its then smart/casual I guess and we can share food. Also do we have to invite the best mans wife I really cannot stand being around her she is always rude to me has insulted me and tried to cause fights between me and my husband.

Married: 05/01/2010
Reviews: 9
Dec 24, 2009 at 9:13 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
IMHO, it would be kind of tough not to invite the Best Man's wife as they are a social unit. Is there a trusted bridesmaid or friend that could run interference for you that night? Someone who coupld keep her occupied with small talk maybe? I also think you could avoid her pretty easily by vistiting with your family that flew in from so far away.

As far as the rehersal dinner goes. We are also on an extremely tight budget, and everyone that is involved with the wedding knows it. I floated by the idea of pizza, salad & pop (soda) at the church hall after the rehersal and it was very well recieved. There will be a lot of kids there so it works for us on many levels.

If you do not have a church hall availble, maybe check with the hotel you are using? They often have meeting rooms that you can rent for a few hours and bring in your own food. If you have a lot of guests staying there, they may cut you a deal.

Good Luck!

Married: 01/17/2010
Reviews: 7
Dec 24, 2009 at 9:22 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
Like several of the other brides have said, typically the grooms family pays for the rehearsal dinner but another option that might be cheaper for you is to have a rehearsal lunch instead of dinner. Most restaurants have lunch menus that are less expensive than their dinner menu. Also like one of the other brides said, don't include alcoholic beverages (if they want one they pay for it themselves), because alcohol can really increase the price. Look for local restaurants in the area that may have catering specials they offer to large groups.

Married: 06/12/2010
Dec 24, 2009 at 9:58 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
Some casual restaurants/bars have seperate rooms that you can reserve. Many times they have an option of ordering appetizer/finger food (i.e. pizza, meatballs, egg rolls, chicken fingers, etc.) It may be less expensive then ordering everyone dinners. That way you can walk around and mingle with everyone. Good luck!

Married: 05/15/2010
Dec 24, 2009 at 10:00 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
As others have said the grooms rents are supposed to pay for rehersal dinner. If you can't afford a nice dinner then at least go to a cheap eat place and pay for everyone. Like others have said it's a thank you to your out of town guests, close relatives, and your wedding party. Nothing worse than saying "Thank you" then sticking them with the bill.

Married: 05/15/2010
Reviews: 7
Dec 24, 2009 at 12:16 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Have you looked into California Pizza Kitchen (I don't know if they have those around you)? Another fun Italian place you mentioned would be the Olive Garden, Mama Lucia's, and even Bucca Di Beppo (they may/may not be cheap b/c I haven't been there in forever, but food is served family style there so the portions are HUGE and you can save some money that way). I highly recommend Bucca Di Beppo because the atmosphere is nice but not too formal and the food is great!

Here's their website if you want to check it out!

Married: 08/06/2010
Reviews: 6
Dec 24, 2009 at 2:14 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
We were just going to forgo the rehearsal dinner until his parents said no no, this is our responsibility and we want to host it.. but until that, my thought was that the bridal party are all close friends so we were just going to do the rehearsal and then go out together, but everyone would pay for themselves. It'd be informal and fun.
I think these days, forget tradition or what ms. manners says is relayed through the dinner. Your friends and family will understand the financial burden and the economy; your thanks and hugs and happiness should be enough to show your gratitude!

Married: 02/07/2010
Dec 24, 2009 at 2:23 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
the thing is my side all understand the costs we are going through and all say that they are paying for themselves because they dont think we should have to pay for the dinners. Its only his side that are more the problem. His best man and one of the groomsmen have done nothing to help with the wedding they didnt even congratulate us after the civil ceremony and pretty much the only reason he is still having his best man is because he doesnt want to cause conflict telling him he doesnt want him to be it anymore. Also when it comes to his family his grandparents want to be there then his parents both brothers his brothers wife and usually at least one or two aunts/uncles. Then it would be rude to say we'll pay for these people but not these and we cant afford to pay for everyone. His parents wont pay for it because they are already on a tight budget and if we paid for it we would have to give up something most probably a nice hotel for the "wedding" night since we never had one before

Married: 2+ years ago
Reviews: 6
Dec 24, 2009 at 2:33 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
oh that is so sad. i hope you will be able to get a nice wedding night room. try or priceline. if not, then you can maybe have a romantic weekend later sometime soon to relax. sorry to say that.
yes you do have to pay for everyone or not at all. i vote for pizza somewhere. that just seems like the most economical way. good luck, aussie.

Mrs. Boat
Married: 2+ years ago
Reviews: 5
Dec 24, 2009 at 4:33 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
As many have already pointed out, finding a plain ol' retaurant would do the trick for you. One thing I would do to cut costs: restrict the rehearsal to those who trully do play an important part in the wedding (i.e. parents, bms, groomsmen, people who will actuallywalk down the aisle lol ). Let your extended family know that if they wish to attend, they will have to cover their own costs. If they shouldn't be there, then you shouldn't have to pay for their food. It may sound a little harsh, but that's just MHO.

Married: 06/25/2011
Dec 24, 2009 at 6:40 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Hey Aussie I deff think you should go with Ladylee's suggestion. Have the rehearsal dinner and then let guests know that you are all going somewhere after if they want to attend! However if you really want to have a rehearsal dinner go with a local pizza shop! Ask FH family for a recommendation or go to for suggestions!
I would deff NOT recommend giving up your honeymoon suite...the two of you deserve it ;)
Dec 26, 2009 at 1:06 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
I recently went to a rehearsal dinner at a bowling alley. The groom's family paid for bowling and ordered pizza and pitchers of beer and soda. It was the most fun rehearsal dinner I've ever been invited to! Both sides of the family got to get to know each other in a fun and relaxed atmosphere, and the wedding party got to work off a little stress. Unusual, nontraditional, and exactly right for this particular couple's rehearsal dinner.
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