Ask AANW: American vs Nigerian Rehearsal Dinner

My wedding is Sept 2014. I am an American woman marrying a first generation America born Nigerian man. His parents live in Nigeria and I have never met them before. We are having our wedding in the U.S. My fiancé, myself, and my parents are paying for the cost of the wedding ceremony and the reception. My fiancé even bought his father a tux for the wedding. With so much money coming out of our pockets, I think it’s only fair for my fiancé’s Nigerian parents to pay for the wedding rehearsal dinner. Do you agree? I know that it is customary in the U.S for a groom’s parents to pay for the rehearsal dinner. I don’t know what I should expect from his parents, if anything. How do I ask if they’ll be paying for the upcoming rehearsal dinner without sounding rude?

-Ms K

Hi Ms K,
Congrats on your upcoming ceremony!! I am glad you are well on your way with planning! As regards your question, the first thing to be put into consideration is the financial wellbeing of your future in-laws. Are they financially able to bear the cost? Your fiancé buying his father’s tux is not something new. Most people back home would prefer to wear imported English attire than one made in Nigeria.

However, they should be able to somehow contribute something to the wedding. It’s only fair and customary. That being said, let your fiancé do the talking. He should ask his parents about what his side of the family would be doing or contributing to the ceremony. All you need to do is talk to your fiancé. Avoid approaching his parents inquiring about money for an event except you have the rapport with them and on that level to be soliciting money for the dinner. If they aren’t financially able to cater or pay for the rehearsal dinner, perhaps they can buy your traditional attire and accessories if you choose to wear one. **Those things can be expensive depending on the quality they buy***

I hope it all works out for you! Let me know if you have any other questions 🙂

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