Rehearsal Dinner

ginnierMay 3, 2008

Need ideas for the rehearsal dinner. My son lives near Greensboro NC and wants our input about what to plan for the rehearsal dinner this summer.


1. There'll be 60 guests

2. Maybe a restaurant (but wow, expensive!)

3. Don't want to do it at church or in a home

4. Don't know good caterers...

Any suggestions on how to do this, and maybe a restaurant idea if you know the area?

I'm out of state and don't know the area or the restaurants. TIA

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Is there a place where you could have a barbeque? Perhaps a park that contains grills. That would be relaxed and informal, hopefully a contrast from the formality of the wedding day.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 4:46PM
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I think it would be hard to do a BBQ yourself for that many people, especially out of town. Even if you were on familiar turf and had your own refrigerator, etc., it is a big weekend for you; you want to be able to enjoy yourself, not worry about cooking for 60. I do like the idea of a BBQ, but I would still hire someone to do it, and be sure to choose a spot with an indoor pavilion in case of rain. Also consider that not all venues, especially public parks, permit alcohol, if that's an issue. I would either use an inexpensive restaurant or a caterer, or if that's out of range, something you can purchase, like sandwich platters, fried chicken, pasta & salad bar, or pizzas, at some pleasant location.

You don't know the area, so it's hard for you to know about caterers and venues. Your son lives there, but I gather he doesn't know these things, either. But I bet he DOES know some local maven who does. Ask him to ask that person if s/he would mind if his mom called for some advice -- I guarantee you, s/he will be flattered and happy to help (wouldn't you?). Tell that person your approximate head count and budget and ask for some ideas. That will get you started.

Have fun!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 5:39PM
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60 people at a rehersal dinner? That's one big wedding!

I agree about perhaps having an outdoor event (be sure to get a tent) and having someone cater it...but simply. A clambake, maybe? Burgers and hotdogs? Chicken? Keep it simple and enjoy yourself.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 4:14PM
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This thread might open up the much debated issue of WHO should be at a a rehearsal dinner. I'm assuming that 60 includes more than the wedding party, immediate family, wedding participants (speakers, family members who will sing, etc.) and their spouses? Would it be possible to pare it down some? If not, your only real choice is a restaurant or something else otherwise catered or something. If you are hosting it (paying for it) you can dictate the budget (and number of guests).

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 10:29PM
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I've been to a few rehearsal dinners with 60 plus guests. Every destination wedding that we've attended included the guests at the dinner the night before.

At one, the groom's parents hosted a "low country boil". It was held pool side at a small country club. Casual dress, one pot meal, warm bread, cold beer and wine. Very fun evening.

Here is a link that might be useful: Low Country Boil

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 5:31PM
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That last post reminded me that often the night-before dinner is some kind of local specialty, especially where all the out of town guests are invited. I know pulled-pork barbecue and fried chicken are both popular in NC, and either one would be fun and inexpensive, even at a restaurant.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 10:49PM
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I married in Iowa, my ILs are from NYC.

I don't remember negotiations, but I decided that DH & I would "host" the rehearsal dinner, and we'd include out-of-town guests (which were really only family, nobody farther from us than first cousins). Hey, they all had to eat anyway.

So I asked mom and my brothers to help, and we barbecued. "we"--I bought the stuff, did the planning, and gave my brothers $60 for ice and a trash can to put it in, and they went out to the shelter house at the county park and started grilling.

So, in a way, my BROTHERS hosted the rehearsal dinner.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 11:55AM
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I thought traditionally, the groom's parents host the rehearsal dinner and my DH's parents paid for ours. We invited the members of the bridal party & spouse/guest as well as immediate family members (parents & siblings) of the bride & groom. There was probably 40 people there. (I would also include out of town guests but none of our out of town guests arrived until the day of the wedding as it was an evening wedding)

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 3:00AM
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Look into a BBQ in the back yard. Call the local restaurants to see what you can order in their "catering" menu. El Pollo Loco, for example, a chicken fast food restaurant, makes great catering dishes. You pick it up in those great big, deep extra heavy, dissposable aluminum "baking pans" and they have a lid. We also have had great "cater carry out" from the local BBQ restaurant, Chinese restaurant, etc. If you want, you could fire up the grill and do some additional foods to fill in, such as burgers (get them frozen into patties from Costco or Sam's Club), kielbasa, hot dogs, or whatever. You could also mix up some Ranch Dressing and make up some fresh carrot sticks, celery sticks, cauliflower, broccoli, and green beans or peas in the pod for dipping. Don't overlook the grocery store deli section too, where you can get baked beans and salads such as macaroni and potato. Buy a sheet cake from Costco. Reasonable and tasty. Chill some beer, wine and soda and you are set.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 6:24PM
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