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Welcome Dinner Blues

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Okay, so my dad is paying for some wedding stuff as father of the bride, and my FI and I are paying for stuff too. Both of my parents insist that I am being ridiculous for attempting to organize and pay for all the guests at a welcome dinner (right now about 35). My father specifically said since we are paying for them to eat and drink freely at the wedding the next day, that we are not obligated to pay for them to eat and drink freely the night before. They think we should tell them where we will all be and they can come and pay for their own food & drink if they want.


I explained that you can't just walk in a restaurant with 40 people and expect to be seated together, so they suggested I find a place to make reservations but everyone pays for themselves. It's just bugging me that they think this is such a waste of money - our money by the way since they refuse to pay for this part of the wedding! This from people who pay $1000 for steak knives . . . they just aren't going for this on general principle!!! They say they have been to destination weddings before where they met up with people but paid for themselves, they called it no-host or something. How would I even word something like that?? Meet us here at 8:00 for dinner and we'll split the checks?? Of course I want to save money where I can, but is there even a way to skimp on this?


When I told them about this forum and how practically everyone is having a welcome reception of some sort, they asked me to ask you guys this:


Is it really customary to pay for a welcome dinner in advance of the wedding or are you all just really, really nice? And, what's wrong with a cocktail reception with appetizers & set drinks only?


So I turn it over to you experts . . . sorry so long but I'm trippin out right now!!!!!!!!! smile41.gif

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I'm not an expert at all, lol, but we are trying to save money wherever we can as well. So I think we will probably just put something in the OOT bags to let people know where we'll be and what time and if they'd like to meet up with us they can. We are staying at an AI so, if we just go to one of the restaurants there, they're not going to have to pay for their own food or anything. We will be having a small group around 20.


I think if you don't have it in your budget, its not necessary, but it is a nice thing to do if you can afford it. We were thinking of doing some type of group excursion or something and we will probably pay for that, but we can't do both.


hope this helps!

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if you were having a wedding at home, would they be ok with paying for the rehearsal dinner? i guess technically tradition says that it's the grooms side that pays for that i think, but still. the difference w/a DW is that you don't typicaly have a rehearsal, and since everyone came a long way you'd want to invite everyone to the dinner the night before. are you staying at an AI (sorry - i forget) - but if you are you might be able to pull off a "meet here for a group dinner" type thing.

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Hi! I'm getting married at an all inclusive which you would think that it would make it a little less expensive...but when you have over 20 people, it makes it a little harder to walk in and be able to sit as a group without reservations and additional fees! I think that we are trying to put together a dinner cruise for the night after everyone will arrive. It's going to be "optional" and will know that they pay for it outside of there resort price. We are going to attempt something like this for our guests, but don't know how many people will be able to afford it....

Wonder if you just did a lite passing coctail hour or something?

Good luck!

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I agree with what everyone else has said. I think a welcome dinner is nice, but not at all required. I am not doing one b/c its not in our bugdet. I think a cocktail and apetizers would be a great idea. It would be alot cheaper too. I think I am just going to try and have everyone meet up at a restaurant and I know we cant all site together but hopfully we can a sit close to each other. Maybe talk to your WC and see if she can block off an area for you, thats what I am going to do


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Jamy, I totally understand and sympathize with your dilemma. First let me say that yes, I am hosting a welcome dinner but it isn't necessary. We selected and AI but I wanted all of our guests to get together before the wedding. I could've easily accomplished this by just hosting a chips and margarita session, hors douevres only or even dessert only event.


I did however feel obligated before I had selected an AI venue to host an event each day. Mailny because resort food can be so expensive and I know that my guests saved to make the trip already.


I'd suggest pricing dessert or just chips or tacos and margaritas and beer. Maybe your parent's can justify that or even covering a portion of the bill. Ex. $10 on each person's entree.

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Jamy I am having a welcome dinner as well but I don't think it's necessary. It's something nice to do for your guests but it if is not in your budget you shouldn't feel bad about it. Your dad is right in a sense they are going to get a whole reception the next day for the wedding. I am however a little confused by your other question. You wanted to know what was wrong with a cocktail reception with just appetizers and set drinks. Do you mean as an alternative to the welcome dinner or did you mean for the actual wedding reception?



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I would love to have a welcome dinner, but unfortunately it just isn't in the budget for us. We even considered doing appetizers and drinks at one of the resort restaurants and that was also too expensive.


So instead, we're doing a "welcome reception" in our suite at the hotel. We are staying in the timeshare portion of the hotel in a 1 bedroom suite with a full kitchen, dining area, living area and patio.


I'm calling our welcome reception a "drop=by reception". It will run for 4 hours so that people can stop-in as they wish. We will serve cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. I plan to buy all of the food and beverage from Costco.


Aside from the cost, I didn't want to have the welcome dinner/reception off of the resort grounds just because of the logistics of getting everyone there.

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