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Rehearsal Dinners


LaurieB
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We did a wonderful grazing party after the rehearsal, with lots of different finger foods, which required, only a small plate and fork. It took place at our newly renovated house, so, a sit down dinner was out. We had lots of friends and family from all corners, including kids, octagenarians, and vegetarians, and they were all invited the night before to meet and greet etc.. This format was perfect, folks got to move around (inside and out) and meet all the "distened" family (as my wife likes to call it). We also included heiloom family desserts from both sides. It was casual but substantial and it was a big hit.

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Thanks for all the replies!

I've spent many years in an upscale catering industry, where I've seen lots of rehearsal dinners that were attempts to out-do the wedding.

My own rehearsal dinner (22 years ago) was for the parents, bridal party and their guest/spouse, and the cleryman. 

What prompted my original question was this:  my older son (not the groom) can't understand why we wouldn't have the rehearsal dinner at the hotel where most of the wedding party and out-of-town guests are staying.  His reasoning:

    a) that, of course, any out-of-town guest is going to be invited to the rehearsal dinner; and so the rehearsal dinner will be one big pre-reception party, and so

      b)  that way we (the parents) can keep the bar open all night and everyone will already be at the hotel.

Other comments of his lead his father and me to believe that the past couple of weddings he has participated in have basically amounted to an all expenses paid weekend away (food and bar tabs picked up; all transportation furnished; discounted rooms & tux rentals, etc.)

Again, please let me know your thoughts/experiences, etc. on this.  I also realize that customs are different in different parts of the country.

Thanks!

Most rehersal dinners that I have attended were only for the parents, bridal party and their guest/spouse, and the cleryman. They have either been at a local restaurant or at someones home. My MIL threw mine (very nice buffet at her house). My mom threw my sisters since the grooms family was from out of town. My mom catered Chinese food. The rehersal dinners I have attended at restaurants have been at all types of places, high end, burger joint, steakhouse.....

usually last a few hours and the bride and groom thank the attendants and give out attendant gifts.

I guess if you want and can afford to throw basically another wedding (but exclude people who live within commuting distance) thats up to you.

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  • 1 month later...

I spent this past summer (read: wedding season) at 13 weddings and was part of four of the wedding parties.. i'm 29 and live in nyc, to put some context on this..

the rehearsal dinners have really ranged, but all have really been on the casual side.. none of them were in the hotel, which (a) is where the wedding was held sometimes; and (b) would have been a lot more expensive and probably had worse food than we wound up having..

italian restaurants, brazilian restaurants, bbe spots, and lobster bakes were all pretty popular..

no open bar all night, it leaves everyone, wedding party and guests, in poor shape for the wedding itself, which is really what it's about.. in my experience, people don't expect to get raging drunk at the rehearsal dinner and if they do they'll pickup their own and take care of it..

if a good number of people are traveling to be at the wedding, it's only right to invite them to the rehearsal dinner.. if it's a local thing, wedding party, dates, and family.. cocktail hour with a full bar plus wine and beer with dinner has been fine at most of these, liquor if people are driving isn't a great plan, nor should you feel responsible for transporting people to the rehearsal.. keep it casual.. the hotel might have a shuttle that you can prearrange, at no or little cost.. the hotel should offer a discounted rate for your blocking out a large portion of rooms, you shouldn't subsidize rooms, tux rental, etc..

basically, in my experience, out of towners get to go to the rehearsal dinner so they have something to do, they get themselves there (or the hotel does it for you) and there is an open bar or beer/wine at the dinner (which is paid for).. the wedding party (and often guests) are transported from the hotel to the ceremony, ceremony to reception, and reception back to the main hotel.. the bride and groom have once, in 13 weddings, arranged a post-reception party, but this was the odd way out..

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I spent this past summer (read: wedding season) at 13 weddings and was part of four of the wedding parties..  i'm 29 and live in nyc, to put some context on this.. 

the rehearsal dinners have really ranged, but all have really been on the casual side..  none of them were in the hotel, which (a) is where the wedding was held sometimes; and (b) would have been a lot more expensive and probably had worse food than we wound up having.. 

italian restaurants, brazilian restaurants, bbe spots, and lobster bakes were all pretty popular..

no open bar all night, it leaves everyone, wedding party and guests, in poor shape for the wedding itself, which is really what it's about..  in my experience, people don't expect to get raging drunk at the rehearsal dinner and if they do they'll pickup their own and take care of it.. 

if a good number of people are traveling to be at the wedding, it's only right to invite them to the rehearsal dinner..  if it's a local thing, wedding party, dates, and family..  cocktail hour with a full bar plus wine and beer with dinner has been fine at most of these, liquor if people are driving isn't a great plan, nor should you feel responsible for transporting people to the rehearsal..  keep it casual..  the hotel might have a shuttle that you can prearrange, at no or little cost..  the hotel should offer a discounted rate for your blocking out a large portion of rooms, you shouldn't subsidize rooms, tux rental, etc.. 

basically, in my experience, out of towners get to go to the rehearsal dinner so they have something to do, they get themselves there (or the hotel does it for you) and there is an open bar or beer/wine at the dinner (which is paid for)..  the wedding party (and often guests) are transported from the hotel to the ceremony, ceremony to reception, and reception back to the main hotel..  the bride and groom have once, in 13 weddings, arranged a post-reception party, but this was the odd way out..

It's perfect.

BUT..if it's only a few people I'd be ok to keep it to the hotel..

Your son wants conviencience (sp) Give him class and grace instead.

For Real.

have it in the hotel. If they all get drunk, then they can't really be a big problem in the morning, can they?

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