"Love is a fire that feeds our life." - Pablo Neruda
A rehearsal dinner usually takes place after a wedding rehearsal, which typically takes place the night before the actual wedding. It not only gives the wedding couple an opportunity to thank the wedding party for attending - as well as for helping with - the wedding, but gives the wedding party a chance to get to know each other better before the actual wedding. Follow the guide below to find the perfect place for your rehearsal dinner.
Is there a specific geographic area you would like to restrict your search to?
Knowing what region you do or don't want your rehearsal dinner to be located in can easily help rule out several hundred catering halls. Of course the more specific your desired geographic area, the fewer options you have to work with. This fact may be very welcome to some overwhelmed party planners, but may seem frustrating to others who look forward to being given a variety of catering hall options. A good compromise is to first limit your geographic area to a very specific area. If you are not pleased with the choices of catering halls in that region, then slowly expand your search to the surrounding areas until you are happy with the number of choices being offered, as well as with the distance. It might be a nice idea to have your rehearsal dinner located near the place where the actual rehearsal is located. This way you won't have to worry much about lost wedding party members!
Is there a specific type of catering hall (i.e. hotel, vineyard, restaurant, etc.) you would like to restrict your search to?
Limiting your catering hall search to the type of catering hall is another way to quickly narrow down your top choices. Knowing exactly the type of catering hall you would like to use can help organize your event quickly and efficiently. However, being flexible with the type of catering hall you choose can often result in a unique event that impresses all of your guests, including yourself! Of course the type of hall you end up choosing will rely largely in part to how large your dinner party will be.
What is the date of your rehearsal dinner?
This may be an obvious "to do", but it is nevertheless an important factor in selecting the perfect catering hall for your rehearsal dinner. The date of your rehearsal dinner will be determined by the date of your wedding rehearsal and wedding ceremony. It usually takes place after the rehearsal, and the day before the actual wedding. Since this date is usually set in stone, the number of rehearsal dinner options will be automatically limited to what is available at that exact date and time.
How formal an affair do you want your rehearsal dinner to be?
The level of formality of your rehearsal dinner doesn't necessarily equate to the level of pricing of the catering hall. Instead, it can help you to select an appropriate type of hall if given the choice. If you were hoping for a more laid back affair, then perhaps a formal hotel ballroom isn't the perfect catering hall for you, despite the large number of people it can hold. An outdoor location may be ideal for your rehearsal dinner, depending on the weather. Restaurants are also an obvious choice.
Is there a specific theme you would like to portray?
Selecting a theme for your rehearsal dinner could really enhance the overall experience for the guests of honor as well as for everyone else. For example, perhaps you would like to feature food that represents one or both of the wedding couple's ethnicity. It might be a nice idea to host the party at a restaurant featuring that food.
How many people will you be hosting at the rehearsal dinner?
The number of anticipated guests will undoubtedly help limit your catering hall choices, especially if it's a large number. This is true in terms amount of space and the pricing per plate of food. Depending on your budget, this could be the determining factor of where your event should be located at.
Will you be requiring onsite food catering?
Most of the catering halls we showcase on our website include food catering. However, some do not and will require additional cost and planning in order to provide quality food for your guests. Additionally, if the catering hall of your wishes allows onsite food catering, but not the type of food that you wish to feature, then you may be able to work out a deal with the catering hall's management in order to bring in the type of food you would like to feature.
How much do you expect to spend per plate?
As mentioned earlier, where your rehearsal dinner is located will largely - if not completely - depend upon how much you are able and/or willing to spend per plate. If you are especially interested in a specific catering hall, but the cost per plate is higher than you were expecting, you may need to either rethink that catering hall, especially since you have little wiggle room as to whom you can cut from your rehearsal dinner guest list.
Will you be requiring a Kosher, Vegetarian or Vegan menus?
Many catering halls do offer Kosher, Vegetarian or Vegan menus. If this is a must for your event, make sure your catering hall choice has this option.
Will you be requiring a full service bar or food stations/carving stations for a cocktail hour?
This will depend on just how formal an affair you want your rehearsal dinner to be. Most catering halls (especially hotels and large halls) will offer this service in a customized party package. If the catering hall of your choice does not offer this service in a package be sure to inquire about the additional costs and how it may or may not affect the overall scheduling of your event. You may also want to consider beer and wine service only to help keep costs down.
Would you prefer a location with attached or nearby accommodations for out of town guests?
If your answer to this question is yes, then you should highly consider hotels as your choice of catering hall. However, pay special attention to non hotel catering halls that are in close proximity to other hotel accommodations. Most halls should have this information ready at hand.
Will you be requiring a party planner?
If you book your rehearsal dinner at a formal catering hall, chances are you will be provided with an in-house party planner that can help ensure that your event goes smoothly. If you are not provided with one, but you are still interested in having a party planner, keep in mind that Long Island party planners have a wide range of rates, involvement and expertise. The catering hall of your choice could also assist you in finding a party planner who has been involved with past events at that location.
Would simultaneous events at your location be acceptable?
This is an important, yet often overlooked, factor to keep in mind when booking your rehearsal dinner. Neighboring events could distract from a calm celebration or compete with a high energy celebration. On the other hand, catering halls that offer simultaneous events could help keep your costs low and could even fuel the party spirit. In any case, as the party planner, you should be aware as to what types of events may be going on simultaneously to ensure that your dinner guests are comfortable.
Browse for a Rehearsal Dinner location
Planning a rehearsal dinner? Chances are that we have the information you are looking for! We can help you find locations to host a rehearsal dinner event along with vendors and service providers who can help you plan and execute the perfect rehearsal dinner.