Post # 1
We’re having a lot of out of town guests and my parents are insiting on feeding everyone the Friday evening before our Saturday wedding. The hotel where eveyone will be staying will allow us to host a dinner at a somewhat reduced cost, but it will be in the same ballroom as our wedding reception and likely be a similar meal, and it will still end up being pretty costly. I’m not in love with that idea because I feel like it will take away from our wedding reception somewhat. I’ve heard of people having an welcome BBQ, but my parents don’t live in the same city as the wedding venue so logistically that will be pretty tough. I’ve also looked into renting a home to use as a venue but am not finding anything big enough (Cleveland, Ohio problems). Anyone heard of any other creative activities/options for guests on the Friday before a Saturday wedding?? We’ll be having around 150 guests attend the Friday event if that helps.
Post # 2
Just as an addtional detail werre not planning on having a tradtional reharsal dinner. The bridal party and the other out of town guests will be invited to whatever we end up doing.
Post # 3
Does the hotel have a confrence room that you could rent instead and order pizzas?
Otherwise, I would just try to find a local resturant in your budget to go to.
Post # 4
Does it have to be a full meal? We are doing our Rehearsal Dinner and then Future Mother-In-Law is hosting a “welcome party” on the friday night, like 8-12 sort of thing. Just appies and drinks since its after dinner. That might be a way to cut costs, and still entertain people. [eta – the welcome party is going to be in their hotel conference room. I think it was a nominal rental fee, $200 or something]
I’d also look at renting out a restaurant if your parents are set on a full meal. Maybe a BBQ place or something. They’d likely have a minimum, but I can’t imagine it being more expensive than a hotel ballroom. I totally get you on wanting your wedding to be the ‘big’ thing and not have another event in the same place the day before.
Post # 5
Open Table has a list of restaurants with private rooms for most major cities.
For a group that large you could also look into booking out a whole pub or brewery and having something much more casual and different from the wedding.
Post # 6
What about some kind of event/activity, something fun to take the pressure off? Like bowling, or axe throwing, or one of those escape room deals, or something fun and different, like a Dave and Busters? It’ll keep people busy and wherever you go, you can select whatever food fits in the budget and makes sense and its a fun night out for everyone to be social.
I’ve also heard of people renting out a restaurant and having an illusionist or something come in as the entertainment for the night. You could rent out a restaurant that’s not too costly and have them handle food and then bring in some neat entertainment of your own choosing!
Post # 7
We did pizza and beverages in a couple of our hotel rooms. It helped that we had a couple of adjoining suites, but otherwise we could have had it in one of their conference rooms.
Post # 8
We are in a similar situation, so we are planning on hosting a “Family style BBQ” at a local park near our wedding. We will have some drinks (adult & soft) and classic BBQ foods. We are planning on setting up some “lawn games”. It will be a super casual come as you are event.