Post # 1
Okay, I know this is a RELATIVE question nationally, but I’m looking at restaraunt pricing (specifically in Los Gatos, Ca) and it’s like over half my catering bill!!!
We have a lot of people for the dinner because its a destination event for everyone except us. The cheapest we’ve found is a great restaraunt where we do a buyout for the evening, 70people for $4k. (includes appetizers, multiple salad, entree and dessert choices)
Is this a "normal price" for a bay area rehearsal dinner?
Post # 3
Well, personally, that’s a lot of people for a rehersal dinner IMO, but I understand your circumstances.
I don’t know, but $4k sounds like A LOT of money just for a dinner, but you’re buying out the locale? Then, yeah, you’re taking their other business away, so I would expect that much.
You might want to entertain other ideas and get second opinions with other places.
Post # 4
- Wedding: September 2018 - The Desmond Hotel in Malvern, PA
Does this include liquor, tax, and gratuity? If not, it does seem a bit high, but honestly I think $40-$50 a person may be the norm in certain areas for a 3 or 4 course dinner at a nice restaurant. If you’re looking for less expensive for so many people, maybe consider a more casual rehearsal gathering with just hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. If that doesn’t sound appealing, I’m afraid you might not find anything much cheaper.
Post # 5
Well..I think it depends on the average price of a meal at that restaurant. If the entrees are typically $30, apps around $10, dessert around $10, then I’d say the price is normal. If the entrees are typically $10-20, apps $4-5, dessert $4-5, then I think it’s high since you are basically guaranteeing 70 seats to be filled at the restaurant. The other thing to consider is that…are they closing out the restaurant for the ENTIRE evening? If so, I’d expect them to charge you about 1.5 times the cost of a meal. If the restaurant is allowing you….say 2-3 hours, where they stand a chance of accomodating other people before or after your party time, then the markup shouldn’t be so high.
Post # 6
Unfortunately that doesn’t seem that far off. I looked into renting out an entire patio at a restaurant in SoCal and they asked for a $5K minimum. And some other places with private rooms (and not even a whole private restaurant, like you have) didn’t have a minimum per se, but were charging a little over $100 per person.
I feel your pain!!
Post # 7
One thing to consider is that everyone from out of town doesn’t really expect to be invited to the RD. I had an email from an OOT guest just today on that subject – asking very nicely (as there are a number of folks coming from her area who all know each other) whether we are free the night before the wedding for drinks or dinner or both, or whether we are having our RD that night – just so they can make plans.
We are waiting for a price quote in order to decide what to do… as we would also love to have everyone from OOT, but do have a budget. We do have a few singles travelling alone, and will definately invite them to the RD, but for couples and especially where several couples who all know each other are coming into town, I’m going to assume they can fend for themselves unless our budget can accomodate them. After all, we are feeding them a pretty good dinner the next night!
Post # 8
My FI and I discussed the whole rehearsal dinner the other day and realized that it’s so easy for the rehearsal dinner to turn into a mini-wedding. We’ve decided to have a cocktail party instead and keep the costs down and make the wedding seem like a bigger event 🙂
Post # 9
I remember my sister’s RD as being totally a mini-reception – just much more relaxed and informal. She had about 30, which is probably what we will have. The actual folks in the wedding, plus the OOT people that we really want to spend some extra time with.
Post # 10
We’re having the same issue. We are having to invite over 100 people since we’re having our wedding in my hometown, which is in the middle of nowhere and has no restaurants.
I tried to convince my FI to go with a casual BBQ in the back yard ($10/person including non-alcoholic drinks and dessert), but he refused and said he wanted to do something more elegant. FYI–our rehearsal cocktail party (2 passed hors d’ouerves, and a cocktail buffet) is $23/pp without drinks!!! It is not necessarily cheaper to do it this way.
I recommend finding a venue that is more casual if possible–a brick oven pizza joint with a back room you can rent; a casual Italian joint where you can do spaghetti and meatballs. This will surely cut costs down. Or if you do a cocktail buffet, can you buy stuff at a local store (veggie trays; charcouterie plates; pre-made cakes or cookies) and have a family member help you DIY and then just hire bartenders and some kitchen help?
Post # 11
I had really hoped to do a "cocktail poolside" party so that it was not like a mini reception and also so that Mr. Glitterman’s folks could put more money towards the wedding to offset the costs. But there’s nowhere like that in the area.
I had looked into something fun like Bocce ball and just like SDBride said, it’s a $4k minimum just to rent out the patio for Bocce ball!!!
That’s good to know that not everyone has to be invited from out of town to the rehearsal dinner. Our wedding is 135 people but looking at the list about 70 of them are from out of town including bridal party.
ugh…. back to the research board.
Post # 12
We are having only the wedding party and immediate family at the rehersal dinner. To include our OOT guests we are asking them to meet us for drinks at a local pub. We will have some apps to spread around but we are not paying for drinks as everyone will have to drive. We are including suggestions for local eateries for after the drinks. We figure this will encourage everyone to go in groups on to the restaurants. The restaurants will be included in the invitations with suggestions that they make reservations. We are also reserving a few tables at each place that they can get at the last minute with the cooperation of the restaurant management.
Post # 13
That’s a great suggestion Tberry.
One of the things that I really like about rehearsal dinners is that you get to meet the ‘inner circle’ before the wedding. this allows for everyone to feel comfortable on the wedding day and there’s a better comraderie among guests.
We are planning wine tastings and a golf day, so maybe it would be acceptable to just do the immediate family.
Post # 14
We went to In ‘N Out!! It was a blast, and super cheap! Plus, it’s something different and not as fancy, which made it even more fun. We just couldn’t afford a dinner, and in hindsight, everyone LOVED it and I wouldn’t have done it any other way! We got to have all the OOT guest there plus everyone involved with the wedding.
If you are set on a sit-down dinner, I would also suggest limiting it. OOT guests don’t expect to be fed twice on your bill, especially in CA (even more so in this area, I think) where dinners are just plain expensive!!
Post # 15
Are you really set on a sit down dinner? My cousin was married in the Bay area, and due costs and the large number of out of town guests, the rehearsal dinner was a buffet at the brides parents house, very low key, casual, and fun. It was nice for all of us to visit and not be stressed. We then had a great time the next day at their wedding, which was a formal affair.
We are getting married in So Cal and our rehearsal dinner is costing us $25.00 a person for the Wedding Party, our Officiant, and out of town realatives. The only otg that will be there that is not a realative is a very good friend of mind coming from France. WE are expecting 25 to 30 at the rh.
Also, who is paying? Traditionally the groom’s family pays for this, so look into what their budget is.
Post # 16
hmmmm….you’ve had some good suggestions above.
i’m thinking limiting the RD guest list would help your bugdet the most. and then pick up one of these suggestions of a meet and greet style get together. not sure where it could be…..but just hooking up with people for drinks and hugs probably would suffice. especially since you have other activities planned already.