Dedicated October 2019

Wedding turned into a weekend long event

Olivia, on June 12, 2019 at 11:18 AM Posted in Planning 0 18
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Okay, so I should start by saying that its NOT a destination wedding for us. We live near Galveston TX, and that's where our venue is. Our wedding is on a Sunday and about 95% of our guests are flying in from around the country, and one from Japan. They're pretty much all getting here the Friday before, and I hate for them to feel they came out here for our wedding and not entertain them. We're doing a beach party the day before the wedding, and the rehearsal dinner that night (my parents say I have to invite everyone who came in from out of town), and maybe a welcome thing on Friday night? So two questions-

1- if you were a guest would you feel okay with all that or would you want time to yourself? And

2- what are some ways I could feed people that aren't too expensive? I'm of course supplying the rehearsal dinner, the beach party lunch, and the wedding dinner but I dont want my guests to feel I'm being stingy, as I know a lot of them have spent a lot to be here. Buuut we arent made of money and have worked really hard to save for this wedding so I want to make sure it stretches since I didn't plan for people to fly in so early!

Wedding is october 13th and there are 51 people invited total.

Thanks lovelies!


  • Jessica
    VIP June 2020
    Jessica ·

    I believe it is customary to invite all out of town guests to the rehearsal dinner, but do not need to attend. Other then that I think extending an invite but making sure they know it is optional would be nice. I would say pizza and wings, party platters, subs are the easiest and cheapest way to go for food. I would attend the events, unless I had Jet lag and just wanted to sleep.

  • Chloe
    Devoted October 2020
    Chloe ·
    I’m not sure what your food preferences are or your guests but if you’re in TX, would bbq be a good option? I figure, it would be a lot of food for possibly a smaller price tag? I could be wrong — i’m based in NY lol
  • Olivia
    Dedicated October 2019
    Olivia ·
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    Good ideas!! Thank you! ❤
  • Olivia
    Dedicated October 2019
    Olivia ·
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    Lol, it is pretty cheap here and theres a good one around the corner! I might do that for the rehearsal. I think I'm so overwhelmed that its hard to see options right now, haha. 😂
  • CDickman
    VIP September 2019
    CDickman ·
    I have heard of people inviting out of town guest to rehearsal dinner. I have never seen it done. When I go out of town for a wedding I only expect them to have me for the wedding. More is nice but not needed.
  • Olivia
    Dedicated October 2019
    Olivia ·
    View Quoted Comment
    See and thats what my experience has been too. Only close family and people in the wedding, but my parents are adamant I should invite ALL out of town guests. That's literally all but 6 lol. 😂
  • Alycia
    Super July 2020
    Alycia ·
    They don’t need to be invited to the rehearsal dinner if you are throwing a beach lunch party for them on the same day. That is their meal/ party. I imagine they will be tired from traveling anyway. I would have the beach party for everyone, then let them go rest until the wedding. Have your quiet rehearsal dinner just for the wedding party and close family.
  • Mcskipper
    Master July 2018
    Mcskipper ·
    Don’t feel like you need to organize something for Friday night too. I’ve only seen “welcome parties” *in place of* a big rehearsal dinner that everyone’s invited to. Beach party AND RD are more than enough to host and well cover the “you traveled all this way for us!!” feeling (I know it well!)

    Our wedding was by the beach and travel for a lot of guests. We even had a couple family members rent beach houses nearby for the whole week. I was open with people that basically, I’d be around the house most of the week and available for visitors, but also finishing up stuff. We had a lot of “drop ins” of family just swinging through to say hi and hang out for a drink. It was a nice way for a visit without needing to plan and host a big to do and get carried away. We also had plenty of family that came to the area early and DIDNT stop by and instead had mini gatherings of their own, still getting in mingling time with family that had all traveled. It all worked out and everyone was happy. My biggest advice is don’t plan too much and overextend yourself. I was THRILLED for our visitors all week but eventually it was like “hold on this is a big distraction, I have things to do!!!” and eventually had to step back from socializing to finish up all my last minute details— so make sure you leave yourself all the time *you* need !
  • Mcskipper
    Master July 2018
    Mcskipper ·
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    Ha! I’ve gone to rehearsal dinners as “the out of town guests” but it’s always been family weddings where most of the other guests truly are local. For our wedding almost everyone was out of town, so we specifically opted out of a rehearsal dinner because it didn’t want to host two weddings essentially. So instead we just hosted a welcome party at a bar, with drinks and snacks and no formality whatsoever. But, that was in place of an RD, not in addition to!
  • Pirate & 60s Bride
    Champion March 2017
    Pirate & 60s Bride ·
    Do you need a rehearsal/rehearsal dinner? Maybe if you & your partner want a walk-through but it seems a DOC can easily prep the wedding party just before the walk and the aisle and tell them stuff like (walk a little slower than usual, stand behind the bride but angle yourself a bit towards the audience for photos, MOH fix the bride’s train, etc). Right??

    If you can skip rehearsal dinner then I’d invite everyone to an optional catered BBQ for them to drop by anytime 5-8 pm. If you do want to keep the rehearsal dinner I think sub sandwiches & water/Coke are fine for the beach party.

  • MrsD
    Legend July 2019
    MrsD ·

    1 - I'd combine the beach & welcome party and make it optional. I think it's nice to have in addition to the rehearsal dinner. It depends on the location for us if we want to see family/friends that weekend too or sight see or just doing wedding stuff the whole time.

    2 - If you combine the beach/welcome thing, I'd do it during a non-meal time and just have snacks for people.

  • Peggy
    Master November 2019
    Peggy ·
    I wouldn’t want to do a welcome dinner, beach party and rehearsal dinner. I would want just the beach party and one dinner.
  • Summerbride77
    VIP July 2019
    Summerbride77 ·
    I think it’s up to you and how well you know your guests. We have the vast majority of our guests flying is as well (and out our bridal party is out of town) our week ended up like this:

    Wednesday: Game night for those who are already in town

    Thursday: Birthday lunch (my little sister) and Bachelorette Party (bridal party)

    Friday: Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner (wedding party plus parents and SOs)

    Saturday: Bridal Luncheon (thrown by my aunts) and Welcome Party for all guests (doing this so I don’t have to invite all guests to the Rehearsal dinner)

    Sunday: Wedding Day
  • Summerbride77
    VIP July 2019
    Summerbride77 ·
    *we’ve kept all our pre-wedding events pretty low-key and structure the welcome party so people could come and go depending on their travel
  • Gen
    Master June 2019
    Gen ·

    We also had a lot of out of town guests and we structured our weekend to be more flexible so people wouldn't feel obligated to come to everything, and also so we wouldn't be obligated to pay for too much. We got married on Sunday afternoon and here was the structure of our weekend:

    Thursday evening: casual hangout at my grandparents' house just with a couple of my uncles from out of town

    Friday evening: we told all out of town relatives that they were welcome to "join us" for dinner, and told them where and when we would be eating. This made it clear that it wasn't a formal wedding event and that they were under no obligation to come (and that we wouldn't be paying) but that if they wanted to spend extra time with us and they need to eat anyway, they were welcome to join.

    Friday night: met up with MOH and Best Man and a couple other out of town friends to hang out. This was literally spur of the moment... we texted people saying "hey are you in town yet?" and the people who said "yes," we were like "great! come to x location if you want!"

    Saturday: rehearsal was at 3:15pm, we hosted rehearsal dinner from 5-7.

    Then we went back to my house with husband's relatives for about an hour. Then spent about an hour at grandparents' house with my relatives. Then spent about an hour in our hotel suite with some friends. Again, everything but the rehearsal dinner itself was pretty spur of the moment and informal.

    Sunday: our wedding (obviously) from 12-5. When everyone was leaving, a bunch of friends asked what our plans were for the evening and we told them to meet us in the lobby at 6:30. We spent an hour or so resting, and then met up with a big group of friends and all went to dinner, and then 4 of them came up to our suite with us after dinner and hung out until around midnight.

    Monday: we didn't have a breakfast or lunch planned (I had no idea how late we were going to sleep or how long it would take us to pack and check out of the hotel) but my uncle from out of town texted me and asked if we wanted to get lunch before their flight (they had to leave for the airport at 2) so we met up with him and my cousin for lunch.

    Honestly I loved the flow of our weekend. I think having too many planned events would have been stressful, and also make people feel like everything is too scheduled and regimented. Trust me, you will not want to over-book YOURSELF either. I woke up Friday morning before our wedding feeling EXHAUSTED. I had originally planned to go to my grandparents' house again to see some of my relatives, but I ended up coming over at like 3 instead of 12. I am so glad I had that flexibility and that there wasn't a formal event planned during that time. Having lunch at home and just having a few hours to lay on the couch and charge up, ended up being soo necessary for me to enjoy the rest of the weekend. If people are around from out of town, they are going to want to spend time with you. I wouldn't over-schedule... things will work out and you'll do what works with the people who are around at that time!

  • A
    Master October 2019
    Angelena ·
    Idk if I was traveling I’d probably just want so peace and quiet the night before doing my own thing since the next day is so much commotion. Having welcome bags I think would suffice instead of having a whole other reception the night before your wedding. The welcome bag could just double as the favor too.
  • Kelly
    VIP October 2020
    Kelly ·
    If I was traveling I would want the first night to myself to relax.
    Like many others said you don't need to do anything, and they don't need to come to the dinner. But if you like the idea go ahead.
    I think a gathering before it all can be super informal with pizza and bbq. I wouldn't want to be all fancy all weekend and it's a good way to ramp up to the wedding.
  • Meaghan
    Savvy June 2020
    Meaghan ·
    Yay for Texas! I have been to destination and destination-for-me weddings. Taking care of lunch in addition to the rehearsal dinner the day before is awesome. Since most of the guest are from out of town, a lot of them will probably come in on Friday night so that they can be there for your beach party on Saturday. You could organize meeting at a bar the night before so that people who know each other have a chance to catch up and people who do not can meet other guests. It is not formal and not necessarily an "official" event that guests feel like they HAVE to go to. The best part of this event is that organizing this bar meet up does not mean that you have to pay for it! You are just offering a plan that people can choose to show up to or not. Personally, I hate when things are over planned and I do not get a chance to do something that I want to do when I spend so much to travel. There is ALOT in Galveston or Kemah or NASA or Houston that your guests may want to explore on their own time.

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