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  • December 12, 2017, 08:23:46 AM

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Author Topic: who is the rehearsal dinner for?  (Read 1654 times)

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goldilocks

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who is the rehearsal dinner for?
« on: October 03, 2017, 04:22:47 PM »
I've always thought it was for the wedding party, as a sort of thank you to them.   However, the last few I've been to have been more about honoring the bride and groom, again.   Including slide shows, loooonnngg speeches, etc, all geared toward the happy couple. 

The last one I went to had 16 different people giving speeches.   all about how wonderful the bride is, etc etc.   

SamiHami

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Re: who is the rehearsal dinner for?
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2017, 04:46:40 PM »
It seems like your friends have confused the rehearsal dinner for the reception. What a bore.

The rehearsal dinner is supposed to be an opportunity for the groom's family to host one of the wedding-related events and to give the bride's family a break. It's not exactly "for" the attendants, but it is supposed to be a small pre-wedding celebration and a treat for all of the participants, plus the parents and HC. Sure, the focus will be the bride and groom, because, after all, they are the ones whose wedding is bringing everyone together. The only one who should be making a toast is the father of the groom, as the host. The other fifteen should save their toasts for the reception. It's a dinner, not a Hollywood production!


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TootsNYC

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Re: who is the rehearsal dinner for?
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2017, 05:15:35 PM »
actually, I think it is "for" the wedding party. And for the group as a whole to be together. Because if you call people together for a "chore" (the rehearsal), it's considered gracious to host them in some way.


And the groom's family hosts simply to give the bride's family a break, not because they're so eager to get to host something.

lakey

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Re: who is the rehearsal dinner for?
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2017, 05:36:15 PM »
Quote
The last one I went to had 16 different people giving speeches. 

People actually sat through that borefest without grumbling? Who on earth thinks people want to listen to a bunch of speeches?

gellchom

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Re: who is the rehearsal dinner for?
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2017, 12:33:26 PM »
I understand that in many, perhaps most, communities and families, the rehearsal dinner is a small event primarily for the wedding party.  That is fine.

But as we have discussed many times on ehell, in many other communities, families, and cultures, especially those in which there is little focus on attendants and much focus on family, the "rehearsal dinner" (so called only for want of another term -- it often has no connection to a rehearsal) is for all the out of town guests, local family, and very close family friends, especially those who hosted showers or otherwise helped, and also the attendants, but they are never the focus of the event.  Yep, it's sometimes well over half the wedding guest list.  It's usually very casual, often in someone's yard.

I'm going to such a "rehearsal dinner" tonight, as it happens.

And, yes, that's when people pass around the mic, introduce themselves, and tell funny stories and such (not formal toasts or serious speeches) that would take up way too much time and not always be the right tone at the wedding reception.

I get it that this way isn't for everyone, both in style and in custom.  But I have to tell you that it hurts my feelings to have my community's way declared an incorrect, excessive borefest.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the OP's question and no single "supposed to be" about this.  Other people's way doesn't have to be bad or wrong for yours to be right.

So my answer to the OP or anyone planning is to beware of relying on some rule to justify what she wants to do.  Find out what the norm is for your actual situation (you may even have conflicting norms).  You can still do it any way you want to, but your group's experiences, expectations,and possibly reciprocity norms are going to be a more important factor in your decision than ours or any fictitious "rule."



« Last Edit: October 05, 2017, 12:49:39 PM by gellchom »

lakey

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Re: who is the rehearsal dinner for?
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2017, 09:08:23 PM »
Quote
I get it that this way isn't for everyone, both in style and in custom.  But I have to tell you that it hurts my feelings to have my community's way declared an incorrect, excessive borefest.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the OP's question and no single "supposed to be" about this.  Other people's way doesn't have to be bad or wrong for yours to be right.

I agree with you that there is no one size fits all answer, and that when planning wedding events, the details often depend on local tradition. However, I do think that allowing excessive speeches can be bad. My "borefest" comment was based on someone describing a rehearsal dinner that included 16 speeches. I stand by it. If I were stuck at a table listening to that, I would be angry.

Harriet Jones

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Re: who is the rehearsal dinner for?
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2017, 06:11:17 AM »
Quote
I get it that this way isn't for everyone, both in style and in custom.  But I have to tell you that it hurts my feelings to have my community's way declared an incorrect, excessive borefest.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the OP's question and no single "supposed to be" about this.  Other people's way doesn't have to be bad or wrong for yours to be right.

I agree with you that there is no one size fits all answer, and that when planning wedding events, the details often depend on local tradition. However, I do think that allowing excessive speeches can be bad. My "borefest" comment was based on someone describing a rehearsal dinner that included 16 speeches. I stand by it. If I were stuck at a table listening to that, I would be angry.

Me too. Especially if they were going to do 16 more boring speeches at the reception.

People can do whatever they want with their rehearsal dinner, but turning it into a 2nd reception is too much, IMO.

Hmmmmm

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Re: who is the rehearsal dinner for?
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2017, 08:31:22 AM »
I understand that in many, perhaps most, communities and families, the rehearsal dinner is a small event primarily for the wedding party.  That is fine.

But as we have discussed many times on ehell, in many other communities, families, and cultures, especially those in which there is little focus on attendants and much focus on family, the "rehearsal dinner" (so called only for want of another term -- it often has no connection to a rehearsal) is for all the out of town guests, local family, and very close family friends, especially those who hosted showers or otherwise helped, and also the attendants, but they are never the focus of the event.  Yep, it's sometimes well over half the wedding guest list.  It's usually very casual, often in someone's yard.

I'm going to such a "rehearsal dinner" tonight, as it happens.

And, yes, that's when people pass around the mic, introduce themselves, and tell funny stories and such (not formal toasts or serious speeches) that would take up way too much time and not always be the right tone at the wedding reception.

I get it that this way isn't for everyone, both in style and in custom.  But I have to tell you that it hurts my feelings to have my community's way declared an incorrect, excessive borefest.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the OP's question and no single "supposed to be" about this.  Other people's way doesn't have to be bad or wrong for yours to be right.

So my answer to the OP or anyone planning is to beware of relying on some rule to justify what she wants to do.  Find out what the norm is for your actual situation (you may even have conflicting norms).  You can still do it any way you want to, but your group's experiences, expectations,and possibly reciprocity norms are going to be a more important factor in your decision than ours or any fictitious "rule."

I don't think what you are describing is what the OP described at all. I've been to many rehearsal dinners and they are usually my favorite event surrounding a wedding. I've attended the very relaxed backyard versions that with half the wedding party. And I've never had to sit through 16 formal loooong speeches. Sure, people will get up and tell funny stories or maybe a short congratulations, but never looong speeches at that just takes the wind out of the festivities. And if anyone does get too long winded there is usually someone there to hurry them along.

If you are saying that a series of formal, long speeches is the norm in our area, I hope you one day get to experience a more informal type event.

gellchom

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Re: who is the rehearsal dinner for?
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2017, 12:42:52 PM »
Right, I was not talking about long, formal speeches.  I thought that I'd made that clear; I guess I didn't.   It's funny anecdotes, sometimes a song parody or poem or even a little skit.  I think my daughter called hers "toast and roast."  That party is often my favorite part of the weekend, too.

I agree that the original post didn't sound like that. But "boring" is in the ... ear of the behearer. :). So we don't really know what happened -- frankly, I'd be surprised if it were literally sixteen long, serious speeches, or even if it was that time, it's probably very rare, and the norm is what hmmmmm and I experience.  Or maybe for those unfamiliar with that toast-and-roast style, they just don't expect it and wonder why it's going on so long when their expectation was more of a regular mingly party.  Anyway, I imagine that even the cleverest stuff would be boring to someone who didn't know the inner circle well or someone who just wanted to talk with their friends or flirt or something (I'm not saying that's you, OP!  I mean in general). It's like a video -- the more inner circle you are, the more you enjoy it and the longer you have patience for it.

Anyway, that's a side issue.  I was objecting to calling anything other than a small event for the bridal party with exactly one toast a "bore" and a "production" that the hosts have confused with the reception, and across the board pronouncements of whom the party is "for."  There are simply different customs in different cultures and communities. On ehell, we try to be sensitive and respectful about that.

Harriet Jones

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Re: who is the rehearsal dinner for?
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2017, 03:23:45 PM »
Even if the 'toast and roast's are just a couple of minutes each, 16 of them would be 30-45 minutes.  That can get boring really fast.  Not everyone is going to be interested in poems or skits.

goldilocks

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Re: who is the rehearsal dinner for?
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2017, 03:55:56 PM »
Yes, and all 16 speeches were the same.

"I remember the day I met bride - I knew then she was special.   blah, blah, best friend ever, blah blah, wish them must happiness, yada yada".

HannahGrace

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Re: who is the rehearsal dinner for?
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2017, 04:31:47 PM »
Yes, and all 16 speeches were the same.

"I remember the day I met bride - I knew then she was special.   blah, blah, best friend ever, blah blah, wish them must happiness, yada yada".

I mean, the wedding is why everyone is there so this doesn't seem altogether strange to me. Based on this and your other posts, it seems like you don't really like weddings. Which is ok, not everyone does, but I'm not seeing an etiquette issue here.

SamiHami

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Re: who is the rehearsal dinner for?
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2017, 07:50:57 PM »
I understand that in many, perhaps most, communities and families, the rehearsal dinner is a small event primarily for the wedding party.  That is fine.

But as we have discussed many times on ehell, in many other communities, families, and cultures, especially those in which there is little focus on attendants and much focus on family, the "rehearsal dinner" (so called only for want of another term -- it often has no connection to a rehearsal) is for all the out of town guests, local family, and very close family friends, especially those who hosted showers or otherwise helped, and also the attendants, but they are never the focus of the event.  Yep, it's sometimes well over half the wedding guest list.  It's usually very casual, often in someone's yard.

I'm going to such a "rehearsal dinner" tonight, as it happens.

And, yes, that's when people pass around the mic, introduce themselves, and tell funny stories and such (not formal toasts or serious speeches) that would take up way too much time and not always be the right tone at the wedding reception.

I get it that this way isn't for everyone, both in style and in custom.  But I have to tell you that it hurts my feelings to have my community's way declared an incorrect, excessive borefest.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the OP's question and no single "supposed to be" about this.  Other people's way doesn't have to be bad or wrong for yours to be right.

So my answer to the OP or anyone planning is to beware of relying on some rule to justify what she wants to do.  Find out what the norm is for your actual situation (you may even have conflicting norms).  You can still do it any way you want to, but your group's experiences, expectations,and possibly reciprocity norms are going to be a more important factor in your decision than ours or any fictitious "rule."

I don't think the event you describe is the same thing as a rehearsal dinner. It sounds great, but it seems to be a different category of gathering. I mean, you said yourself that it's often not connected to the rehearsal. The rehearsal dinner is connected with the rehearsal. Otherwise, it's not a rehearsal dinner. I am not saying that one or the other is better or more "correct;" just that they are different events.

What have you got? Is it food? Is it for me? I want it whatever it is!

katycoo

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Re: who is the rehearsal dinner for?
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2017, 08:01:41 PM »
I remain thrilled that rehearsal dinners aren't a thing in Australia.

I did have a rehearsal the day before and my IL's hosted a little get together afterwards at their home for the immediate family and bridal party (less than 20 ppl all up).  Literally, drinks and nibbles.  No formality, no speeches, not a  long event. Very low key.

Harriet Jones

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Re: who is the rehearsal dinner for?
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2017, 08:14:42 PM »
I remain thrilled that rehearsal dinners aren't a thing in Australia.

I did have a rehearsal the day before and my IL's hosted a little get together afterwards at their home for the immediate family and bridal party (less than 20 ppl all up).  Literally, drinks and nibbles.  No formality, no speeches, not a  long event. Very low key.

That's what we did. I didn't want a more formal rehearsal dinner.