Post # 31
- 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 # 32
Thanks Bees, I’m going to take some of your examples and suggestions and talk to her. Obviously I’ve had an outlier experience, and I know I’m in the wrong with beibng controlling. I’m going to call Future Mother-In-Law and appologize and talk things out. I don’t want to start our relationship off on a bad foot.
Dang control issues…
Post # 33
I talked with my Future Mother-In-Law and appologized for how crazy I’ve been about the Rehearsal Dinner. She’s really nice and easy going and said that she doesn’t mind doing it however I want. She just wants to do the Rehearsal Dinner at a restaurant so we don’t have to worry about set up and tear down. I told her I’m fine with the restaurant, but I just want to be sure it’s well planned and told her about my horror stories. So she told me to just set it up however I want and she’ll pay for it, and she doesn’t care how much it costs. We ended the talk really well and talked about the family.
So, I’ve got another task to do, but honestly I don’t mind. I’m going to try to do it at the restaurant because I know that is what she would prefer. But you ladies offered so many great ideas, I know I can’t go wrong.
Thanks ladies for all the advice!
Post # 34
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
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
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.