Anyone ever have a good rehearsal dinner at restaurants?

posted 2 years ago in Parties
  • poll: Have you had a good restaurant rehearsal dinner experience
    Yes : (38 votes)
    88 %
    No : (2 votes)
    5 %
    A mix : (3 votes)
    7 %
  • Post # 31
    523 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: March 2013 - Callanwolde Fine Arts Center

    Our rehearsal dinner was at a restaurant and it worked really well. It was served buffet style in a private room with its own bar. There was plenty of time for guests to mingle and catch up before dinner and since the food was served buffet style, it was all warm and everyone could eat at relatively the same time.

    My husband’s uncle’s rehearsal dinner was in the main dining area of a restaurant and it worked well too. Everyone ordered off of a pre-set menu and food came out quickly.

    I think the biggest issue is making sure that the restaurant is used to hosting big events like rehearsal dinners or corporate events. I’m also in agreement with the other bees, if your Future Mother-In-Law is hosting, let her host. Now that you’ve agreed to let her host it, don’t try and take it away from her. It will cause unnecessary stress and possibly taint your future relationship.

    Post # 34
    737 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    rao4400 :  “So what I’m hearing is that the ones I’ve been to have been total outliers?”

    I think so. Any well run restaurant should be able to handle a large group, and depending on the size of the party it would be held in a private room where people can get up and talk to different people. 

    Post # 35
    1277 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2018

    rao4400 :  I think I understand what you mean and can sympatize. I’ve never been to a rehearsal dinner, but I’ve been to many family birthday dinners that have had a similar format (reserved room in a nice restaurant, large group of people, 4 courses+slow service=dinner taking 3+ hours on a work night). I definitely understand why you think a casual backyard BBQ would be preferrable (I would too) but unfortunately, you need to let your inlaws host what they want. I’m in a similar boat, a pizza party sounds like a casual, fun rehearsal dinner but my inlaws are choosing a fancy Italian place that will likely be as I described.

    Post # 36
    4481 posts
    Honey bee

    Most rehearsal dinners I’ve been to were at restaurants.  However, you can’t just show up with a group of 20-25 (or even make a reservation for that number) and order off the menu.  That’s what you do for a work happy hour or birthday where no cares about the time and are happy to hang out for hours paying seperate checks and drinking the night away.  For a rehearsal dinner you need to reserve a private room and coordinate with a catering menu and event coordinator.  Either do a specified buffet (pasta, burgers, tacos, bbq, whatever) or arrange a prix fixe menu ahead of time so everyone only has an option of 2 or 3 things and the kitchen knows to expect mass orders of those things ahead of time (so everyone gets  the same salad, breadn and dessert and can pick between the lasagna, the fish, or the chicken).

    I’ve never had an issue with a rehearsal dinner or any party coordinated this way at a restaurant.  In fact I’m currently organizing a party for 50 at a restaurant and picking out the menu.  My vegetarian guest and dairy allergy guest will get to order off the menu (or I might email them ahead of time to pick what they want off the menu and give it to the event coordinator ahead of time so it is ready when the rest of the food is ready).

    If the restaurant doesn’ have a separate catering menu and a designated event coordinator it’s not the restaurant you should be picking for this type of event. Not all foods are appropriate for large groups and a restaurant that is used to large events knows how to handle this sort of thing.

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