(Closed) Rehearsal Dinner Stress – Help!

posted 8 years ago in Parties
Post # 3
Member
1184 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Wow 150 guests? I thought our rehearsal dinner was big with 40 people. At our rehearsal dinner only immediate family, and wedding attendants and maybe their immediate family plus the officiant and the musicians. We’re having ours at a Chinese restaurant.

It sounds like you may have to rent out a hall and have it catered. Does your ceremony venue have a reception hall?

Post # 4
Member
83 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2008

I suggest you have a rehearsal dinner for the bridal party and close family members. Most of the out of town guests would not expect to be at the rehearsal dinner as traditionally to is only the bridal party and close family that are present. Instead find a local restaurant and negotiate a deal for the out of town guests to have a little soiree of their own (they will be paying for it themselves but because of your savvy negotiating it will be a great deal less than if they had gone out to dinner on their own). Make sure to have them RSVP as they would to any organized dinner so you can make arrangements ahead of time (when you invite them let them know you have arranged for them to have a nice dinner when they arrive and if they would like to attend there will be a reasonable cost, this will be much less expensive than if they were to go out to dinner individually). Make sure to decorate their table with a welcoming theme and perhaps have someone read a ‘thank you for coming all this way letter’ that you’ve written ahead of time. Best of luck!

Post # 5
Member
1079 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

All our guests are Out of Town too. We are only having the bridal party and family at the rehearsal dinner. I would put together a list of suggested restaurants on your website for Out of Town guests to find their own dinner. I like LovesaFire’s idea, but I can’t handle the extra work 🙂

Post # 6
Member
1194 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I think someone had a similiar issue a few weeks ago.  I would suggest having an intimate dinner for just the bridal party and immediate family.  Then afterwards invite everyone – bridal party & Out of Town guests – to a local bar and let everyone hang out.  If you have any money from your budget leftover, maybe see if you can cover drinks for everyone up to a certain price point.

Also, my brother had a semi-destination wedding.  Instead of having a rehearsal dinner, they held they event at a local bar, decorated it a little bit, served appetizers (like chicken tenders, wings, bar food . . . ) and had an open bar.  We gave gifts, had speeches, played pool, danced to music . . . It was fun and casual and was definitely a memorable time.

Post # 7
Member
1956 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010 - Tannery Pond at the Darrow School

I’m in a similar situation, we’ll be having around 100 people for the Rehearsal Dinner…I think that making it more of a cocktail/welcome reception is a great idea…Have wine and beer and apps as a way to mingle and greet your guests…While it’s definitely NOT rude at all not to invite all Out of Town guests to the Rehearsal Dinner, it’s a nice gesture to host something since it is a semi-destination wedding…Can you offer to contribute even like, $500 or something to help out your FIL’s? 

Post # 9
Member
1194 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I think what you wrote above sounds great!  Do what you’re comfortable with and happy with.  Some of the rehearsal dinner is just to follow tradition and such, but I think it’s really, bottomline, to thank your families and bridal parties for their help.

We’re doing a formal rehearsal dinner a week before our wedding to satisfy my FMIL’s wants.  But, the night before our wedding, we’re treating our bridal party to a crab feast/cook-out and are inviting our extended family and Out of Town guests over after we all eat. 

Post # 10
Member
333 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I like your idea of taking the attendants out for a nicer dinner and footing the bill yourselves since it sounds like they have been more helpful/involved.  if you stick with the entire Out of Town list, what about having a BBQ/picnic style rehearsal dinner for that many people?  We are doing a BBQ/picnic type dinner for our semi-destination wedding for about $500 at the lake house my parents are staying at for the wedding.  You could do it at a park pavilion which are usually fairly inexpensive. 

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