(Closed) tell me all about your rehearsal dinner!

posted 7 years ago in Reception
Post # 17
7309 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

We held our Rehearsal Dinner on the deck of a casual waterfront restaurant. We offered 3 courses, and all guests pre-selected each course so that we could provide the order ahead of time to make the service as smooth as possible. Our food options were things like cream of crab soup for an appetizer, brick oven bbq chicken pizza for a main course, and chocolate fudge cake for dessert. Nothing fancy. Guests could order whatever drinks they wanted and we paid on consumption. We chose a relaxed environment because our wedding was formal and we didn’t want to “compete” with it. It ended up being a beautiful day, our nephew was entranced with watching all of the boats going in and out, and everyone seemed to have a really good time.



Post # 18
1149 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013 - Ontario, Canada

We got married on a Friday and had a BBQ at my hubby’s parents house on the Wednesday night. We invited closer family, bridal party and out of towners. My brother in law is a chef so he prepared and cooked all the food and it was all delish!

The actual rehearsal was held on the Thursday night and afterwards we just grabbed a quick dinner at a sports bar with some of the Bridal party. I was beat and wanted and early night in preperation for the wedding day so it was perfect for us.

Post # 19
11736 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@brideanjeza: It can really be whatever you want.  Personally, I’d have the formality mirror the formality of your wedding to some extent.  We had a very formal, black tie wedding, so our rehearsal dinner was also pretty fancy.  It was held at a private dining club and we had about 50 people.  It started at 6pm with a cocktail hour, followed by a 4 course meal (guests had a choice of 5 entrees if I recall correctly).  The only person that gave a toast was my father in law.  I’ve been to others where more people speak, including the bride and groom.   We also had a slide show that DH and I had put together.  I don’t know the exact cost but the estimates I saw were around $10k.

Post # 20
9541 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

We invited all the guests (because 80% were OOT) and called it a Welcome Dinner. My dad made barbeque and we had beer and wine. It was very casual. We are friends with a bluegrass band, so we hired them to play a few short sets. Both sets of parents gave a toast (we did our toast and BM/MOH toasts at the wedding). It was fun and laid back and fairly easy. We had no decor. Just a lot of good friends and family. Because we had a largish wedding, we wanted to have more time to spend with everyone and this worked out really well. It was in the meeting room at the hotel where we booked our rooms and I think only cost us $150 for the room and we brought all our own food and drinks and disposable dinnerware.

Post # 21
256 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

We are doing bridal party and their significant others and all of our family – so the only guests that won’t be coming are non-relatives.  But we’re having a small wedding – so that amounts to 35-40 guests at the rehearsal dinner.  I’m starting to think that our rehearsal dinner will be as nice (if not nicer) than our black tie wedding.  It’s in the private space of a very nice restaurant, and my fiance’s mother is having a florist do flowers and a string quartet for the cocktail hour.  Jeez!  Plus, I think the food will be better than the food that is provided at our venue.  I think it’s about $100/head plus consumption bar.  I consider myself lucky, though.  She is being so incredibly generous.


Post # 22
474 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

We called ours an Open House. 

Since we were having a destination wedding, we opened this up to ALL of our 50 guests.  Two hours, and I think it was $20 per person for a casual affair. Our caterer grilled brats and burgers, and served veggie kabobs, potato chips, corn & potato salads, and cookies, brownies, and blondies.  No alcohol (we’d serve that on the next day).  It was still pretty with table linens and lanterns.  We played music over a wireless speaker and also had a lawn game that was super popular (and again the next day).

The Open House ended up being one of our best decisions for that weekend.  Seeing all of our friends hanging out and relaxing over a casual dinner the evening before the Wedding Day calmed my and DH’s jittery nerves.  Everyone got the awkward introductions out of the way with each other and our families, so they all recognized one another at the Wedding and could at least mingle.

The next day, our Wedding Reception itself was a couple notches more formal than our Open House.

Post # 23
2177 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

We did appetizers, salad, pizza, dessert and drinks at a well-known Chicago restaurant.  I think our pp before alcohol was $15, and we had around 20 people.  When all was said and done, with gratuity and alcohol, we spent $450.

Post # 24
7643 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

@brideanjeza:  It can be as formal or informal as you’d like. My in laws paid for our rehearsal and had it in their garage. There was around 60 people or so there. We had an assortment of salads, baked potatoes, and make your own sandwiches with a wide range of desserts. No one got up and made a speech. I even left early at 8 so I could go back to the hotel and relax. Very informal but lovely.

Post # 25
681 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

We actually had a Dinner Cruise on a boat for ours.  We had around 50 guests (immediate family, wedding party +1 thier spouses, and Out of Towners). It was pretty fancy with an open bar, etc.

Our wedding and Reception were at a fancy church and country club where his parent’s are members so they wanted to do something nice and not too casual compared to the Big Day.

I am guessing it was at least $4-$5k (maybe more??) between food and alchohol. His parent’s were insistent on calling it the “Groom’s Dinner” and very generously organized and paid for it. It was so much fun and magical!

DH and I were pretty relaxed about the whole thing, and if we had been left to our own devices, we likely would have had it at a local bar where our dear friends run and manage the place. None the less, we were very grateful for his parent’s efforts and contribution to raise the bar a bit Wink




Post # 25
1998 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

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excitedtobeMRSF:  I am thinking about Cracker Barrel for my rehearsal dinner. How did it go for yours? Would you suggest it? Any problems? Did they give you a prefixe menu or did you give everyone a budget to stay within?

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