I'm Not Made Of Money

But it would sure be a heck of a lot easier if I was.

I'm struggling a bit with this rehearsal dinner concept. What if we just went out to a restaurant and had everyone pay for their own dinner because we were simply tapped out financially? Not an option. We definitely want to treat our wedding party as a show of appreciation to them. To complicate matters there are out of town folks not part of the rehearsal that might want to come socialize with us before the big day. Can we pay for some and not all without being rude? What with expectations and all. I'm sorry to say it but I think that's the way it's going to have to be even though I feel a bit bad about it. It is a REHEARSAL DINNER after all so I am hoping that anyone not part of the rehearsal will not be offended if they have to pay their own way.  If anyone thinks that's rude...well, I don't know what to tell 'em 'cause that is the best we can do. We have to plan on keeping it small and maybe try to meet up with some folks afterwards if we can. Or they can just come and pay. We have to do what is within our budget. If it's all or nothing then I'd rather not have one at all, but I don't think totally missing out is the way to go.

Do I sound mean? Dare I say cheap? Oh well. I suppose it's just the stress associated with spending so much money on a single event and the frustration of getting ridiculous quotes just to sit our group down to dinner. I'm not trying to have a reception before the reception. Just a casual dinner with good food will do. I knew that even at best with all of my super powers of frugality kicked into high gear this would be an expensive undertaking and I don't regret it. We have saved, budgeted, planned, and I am thrilled with my efforts to keep this within a reasonable comfort zone.  I am very much looking forward to the festivities. It's just that now that we are so close to the end and my STICKER SHOCK has just passed the 10K mark and growing the enormity of our spending is hitting me. Just when you are already stretched to the limit financially having already put down deposits with your vendors, several remaining balances are due very soon, and in the home stretch of paying off your venue you now have all of these extras to come up with on top of everything else.

Buying a house within two months of our wedding has surely exacerbated this situation. Whose bright idea was that anyways? We've been spending money right and left on that and everything in it. That was a HUGE purchase and we are going to have a new mortgage every month as a reminder, but I don't regret that either. Some things, even very expensive things, are just worth it. Like this wedding. I am absolutely not made out of money but in the course of planning a wedding (and even in buying a house) you sort of get the feeling that you are supposed to be. There are so many extras financially that you must take on or feel you must do just because you wanted to have a certain something. Extraneous costs that just add up. You really get hit from all sides and it almost makes you feel like only rich people should do this, because it starts to feel like only they can reasonably afford it.

I know that some of our guests have costs associated with coming to our wedding and being in our wedding. They also have expenses to contend with precipitated by us. They are kind enough to travel and participate in our special day and I truly do appreciate it. As a host I WANT to treat them all to dinner as a show of appreciation, which technically we ARE doing at our reception, just not necessarily the night before. I wish I could pay for hotel reservations, airline tickets and bridesmaid dresses too.

When it comes down to it you either have the money or you don't. You either stretch your budget to make sure you fulfill all of your obligations or you don't. Let's just say I foresee a lot of stretching coming up in the near future. At least I'm already warmed up. I might be willing to stretch it but I WON'T break it.


Holls said...

You could do a cocktail hour instead... appetizers are much cheaper than a dinner! Also, about the out of town guests, at our wedding we just had the wedding party and our immediate family (including grandparents) if we had invited out of town guests 1/2 of the wedding guests would be there!

JEM - Aqua Bride said...

Whatever happened to a rehearsal being just that, a rehearsal It takes about an hour anyway. Why does it have to involve everyone and not the people who actually have to rehearse because they're actually doing something in the wedding.

I remember a time when a wedding was one day. Now it's a weekend of activities. There's the day before rehearsal dinner, the wedding day and the day after brunch. The WIC is starting up all this crap and a lot of us feel like we are obligated to do it. We're really not. Don't sweat it.

You can always cater it yourself and after the actual rehearsal, everyone just comes to your house, has a meal and the goes home. Ta-da!! That's what i'm doing. No parents, OOT guests or anyone other than the bridal party and us.

Anonymous said...

I'm with JEM...we just did the wedding party and sent everyone on their way. If different family members want to hang out, let them do it after your dinner.

We catered in from a local italian place, brought chocolates for dessert, and had water and pop for drinks. For less than $200 bucks!

Sara said...

I really love your blog, it's super cute!! I love the STICKER SHOT over here too!

Frugalista said...

Ladies thanks for the feedback on this! I was feeling so pressured by what I feel like I SHOULD do and and feeling bad about not doing it. It needs to be about what we WANT and CAN do and I need to just enjoy it. Who cares what anyone thinks about it either!

Sara: thanks for being a new follower!!!

asgreen said...

You do not have to pay for your out of town guests. We have a ton, and with those in the wedding party, immediate family, and guests our rehearsal dinner is already 50 people. So we have a very hard rule that you must be in the wedding or a guest of someone in the wedding to come to the rehearsal dinner. I would love to have done something with all the out of town guest, but financially it is just not possible.

It is true, if you have the money you could do wonderful things for your guest (people you love), but that is just not an option for many of us.

Bratzy said...

you know, in the UK we don't have this whole rehearsal dinner thing - and I'm so glad! We're already spending so much on our wedding and will really have to push ourselves to stay in budget that I'm happy to save money any time I can.

I've been watching Bridezillas recently (as a how not to guide!) and it's interesting to see the differences between UK wedding traditions and USA wedding traditions.