Budget Weddings

Pay your own way rehersal dinner - Brooklyn NY

My Fiance and I are getting married next year in May in Brooklyn, NY.

We also live in Brooklyn but the majority of family and close friends will be flying in from Australia and Florida for my fiance.

As the two families have never met I want to have a dinner the night before the wedding so everyone can meet - looking at about 30 people.

The problem is we are paying for the whole wedding ourselves - So even though it is traditional for us to host the dinner we simply can't afford it.

I am making it clear that everyone will have to pay their own way - but the problem is I have no idea where I can book a place to eat in the Brooklyn or Manhattan area for 30 people where everyone can pay their own way at the end - any suggestions? Please help.


Re: Pay your own way rehersal dinner - Brooklyn NY

  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    This is completely inappropriate and rude.  Don't do it.



    JediElizabethSTARMOON44DrillSergeantCatSP29
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    The only polite way to not host your guests after any wedding rehearsal is to not have a rehearsal.

    If you have one, then you must pay for hospitality to your guests. Expecting them to pay for themselves would be extremely rude.

    As noted by PPs, the hospitality need not be expensive or elaborate if it is thoughtful of their needs. Pizza or sandwiches with drinks would be fine. But to do nothing would not be okay unless there is no rehearsal.

    You can limit it to the actual wedding party and immediate family members, with SOs, if you need to reduce numbers.
    JediElizabethInLoveInQueensahoywedding
  • No. If you can't afford to host a rehearsal dinner that's totally fine. Don't have one. 
    InLoveInQueens
  • edited July 30
    I don't think OP is hosting a rehearsal dinner, that's not how this read to me. It seems like she just wants a time for people to meet before the wedding.

    OP, having a casual pizza party is a great idea if you have space. Otherwise, you can mention you will be a X restaurant/ bar from 7-10 or whatever and then people are free to join you if they want. That way it is clear that this is not a hosted event. Maybe if you find a bar that doesn't serve food, and you ask them ahead of time, they will let you order in some pizzas.

    I don't have advice on specific venues as I do not live in NYC but try Yelp, trip advisor, ... other restaurant review sites I am drawing a blank on right now,  and see what around is "good for groups".  :)

    edited for clarity
    knottiee2fa1076b0e89b5bSP29knottiedaeaf57357af8e46
  • justsiejustsie
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    I don't think OP is hosting a rehearsal dinner, that's not how this read to me. It seems like she just wants a time for people to meet before the wedding.

    OP, having a casual pizza party is a great idea if you have space. Otherwise, you can mention you will be a X restaurant/ bar from 7-10 or whatever and then people are free to join you if they want. That way it is clear that this is not a hosted event. Maybe if you find a bar that doesn't serve food, and you ask them ahead of time, they will let you order in some pizzas.

    I don't have advice on specific venues as I do not live in NYC but try Yelp, trip advisor, ... other restaurant review sites I am drawing a blank on right now,  and see what around is "good for groups".  :)

    edited for clarity
    Since OP called it a rehearsal dinner I think we all assumed that is what she was planning, a rehearsal dinner where you also invite out of town/additional people. You are right that OP could do that (as long as it isn't the rehearsal dinner) and be within etiquette. 
    image
    InLoveInQueens
  • justsie said:
    I don't think OP is hosting a rehearsal dinner, that's not how this read to me. It seems like she just wants a time for people to meet before the wedding.

    OP, having a casual pizza party is a great idea if you have space. Otherwise, you can mention you will be a X restaurant/ bar from 7-10 or whatever and then people are free to join you if they want. That way it is clear that this is not a hosted event. Maybe if you find a bar that doesn't serve food, and you ask them ahead of time, they will let you order in some pizzas.

    I don't have advice on specific venues as I do not live in NYC but try Yelp, trip advisor, ... other restaurant review sites I am drawing a blank on right now,  and see what around is "good for groups".  :)

    edited for clarity
    Since OP called it a rehearsal dinner I think we all assumed that is what she was planning, a rehearsal dinner where you also invite out of town/additional people. You are right that OP could do that (as long as it isn't the rehearsal dinner) and be within etiquette. 
    Oh, I see, in the title. I thought I was crazy because I read and reread and reread the post and it never mentioned rehearsal. 

    Since she never mentioned an actual rehearsal maybe that is just what she thinks a dinner the day before is called?
    justsieknottiee2fa1076b0e89b5b
  • Ditto PP, if you're hosting a rehearsal dinner (or no rehearsal but a "getting to know you" dinner) you definitely have to pick up the tab.  H and I hosted our own RD- wine, pizzas, and I made some pasta dishes- it was affordable and everyone seemed to enjoy.   
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    You have to pick up the tab here. You can't invite people to a dinner and then tell them all they have to pay for themselves. 

    Get a few pizzas and drinks and have a picnic in Prospect Park. 

    SP29
  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    member
    Once you invite people to dinner, you have to pay. 
    SP29
  • redoryxredoryx
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    member
    CMGragain said:
    Out of towners should LOVE New York pizza!  My own rehearsal dinner was at my future in-laws home.  No issue.
    OMG I ate so much pizza when I was in NYC a couple months ago. There was one of those cheapo $1 slice places down the block from my hotel. I'd be totally down for more New York pizza if I was an out of town guest!
    image
    knottiee2fa1076b0e89b5bKnottie98935522knottie1027SP29
  • Yeah, whether or not it's an actual rehearsal dinner, I would feel like I should host my OOT guests. My ILs hosted our rehearsal dinner and they invited all OOT family. I hadn't seen that done before, but that's how rehearsal dinners always work in their family. It was SO nice to have the extra time together!

    Echoing PPs, it doesn't have to be anything fancy! Pizza or takeout at your place, or maybe there's a local family restaurant that would let you rent out some space and you could offer a limited menu for relatively inexpensive. Depending when your family comes in, they may prefer something more low-key, and would appreciate just seeing you guys.
  • I'm sorry but seriously? You all are calling her and her idea rude. She didn't ask you guys if it was a good idea she asked where she could go. 

    Thirty people is a lot. And how do y'all know if they didn't help pay for flights. There's just a lot of judgement and caddiness about etiquette. It's not the 1950s. 

    Its certaintly not horrible for a couple to be honest and put up limitations. There's nothing wrong with just saying NO in your wedding. Feeding 30+ twice is crazy to me. 

    OP it's not about who pays for what. If that's the route you choose to go then I'd do ask others suggested. Find a hotel/restaurant/bar/lounge where everyone can meet and chat. Put it in an email that it's pay as you go. Great suggestions of pizza in the park. Or even if you did like Shake Shack or some other cheap but iconic NY thing. You may have to call around and see about that large of a reservation. It's a nightmare to spilt the bill up. So I'd even rent a room/reserve a section of restaurant and do hourdovers 
  • lnixon8lnixon8
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    member
    How do we know they aren't helping pay for flights? Because they can't spend $10 pp on mission bbq.

    And if you know it's  nightmare to split up the bill why would you encourage that?


    DrillSergeantCatInLoveInQueensSTARMOON44SP29
  • lnixon8 said:
    How do we know they aren't helping pay for flights? Because they can't spend $10 pp on mission bbq.

    And if you know it's  nightmare to split up the bill why would you encourage that?
    Maybe knottie#s is thinking the couple will pick up the tab and Venmo everyone a request for their share later  :D
    DrillSergeantCatInLoveInQueenslnixon8holyguacamole79
  • I'm sorry but seriously? You all are calling her and her idea rude. She didn't ask you guys if it was a good idea she asked where she could go. 

    Thirty people is a lot. And how do y'all know if they didn't help pay for flights. There's just a lot of judgement and caddiness about etiquette. It's not the 1950s. 

    Its certaintly not horrible for a couple to be honest and put up limitations. There's nothing wrong with just saying NO in your wedding. Feeding 30+ twice is crazy to me. 

    OP it's not about who pays for what. If that's the route you choose to go then I'd do ask others suggested. Find a hotel/restaurant/bar/lounge where everyone can meet and chat. Put it in an email that it's pay as you go. Great suggestions of pizza in the park. Or even if you did like Shake Shack or some other cheap but iconic NY thing. You may have to call around and see about that large of a reservation. It's a nightmare to spilt the bill up. So I'd even rent a room/reserve a section of restaurant and do hourdovers 
    Shake shack is a NY thing??!!! First time I had heard of it was in the suburbs in Nebraska.
    sparklepants41
  • knottiee2fa1076b0e89b5b - No no no. 

    This isn't about the 1950s. It's about being a normal, polite human being. If you send invitations for a welcome dinner, you host it. Period.

    If you can't afford to host a welcome dinner but you still want to see people, you do something more casual, like verbal invitations saying "we'll be at such and such bar on Friday night if you want to join".  

    And we know they aren't helping pay for flights because they're saying they can't even afford to buy people a slice of pizza and a soda. If they ARE paying for flights, then their priorities and planning are shit. Either way, not a case for a "pass". 
    *********************************************************************************

    image
    DrillSergeantCaternursejScottishSarahSP29
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    I'm sorry but seriously? You all are calling her and her idea rude. She didn't ask you guys if it was a good idea she asked where she could go. 

    Thirty people is a lot. And how do y'all know if they didn't help pay for flights. There's just a lot of judgement and caddiness about etiquette. It's not the 1950s. 

    Its certaintly not horrible for a couple to be honest and put up limitations. There's nothing wrong with just saying NO in your wedding. Feeding 30+ twice is crazy to me. 

    OP it's not about who pays for what. If that's the route you choose to go then I'd do ask others suggested. Find a hotel/restaurant/bar/lounge where everyone can meet and chat. Put it in an email that it's pay as you go. Great suggestions of pizza in the park. Or even if you did like Shake Shack or some other cheap but iconic NY thing. You may have to call around and see about that large of a reservation. It's a nightmare to spilt the bill up. So I'd even rent a room/reserve a section of restaurant and do hourdovers 
    Shake shack is a NY thing??!!! First time I had heard of it was in the suburbs in Nebraska.
    Shake Shack is definitely a New York thing. It started as a food cart in one the parks. Then they moved to a stand in the park. 

    Knottie98935522sparklepants41
  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    member
    I'm sorry but seriously? You all are calling her and her idea rude. She didn't ask you guys if it was a good idea she asked where she could go. 

    Thirty people is a lot. And how do y'all know if they didn't help pay for flights. There's just a lot of judgement and caddiness about etiquette. It's not the 1950s. 

    Its certaintly not horrible for a couple to be honest and put up limitations. There's nothing wrong with just saying NO in your wedding. Feeding 30+ twice is crazy to me. 

    OP it's not about who pays for what. If that's the route you choose to go then I'd do ask others suggested. Find a hotel/restaurant/bar/lounge where everyone can meet and chat. Put it in an email that it's pay as you go. Great suggestions of pizza in the park. Or even if you did like Shake Shack or some other cheap but iconic NY thing. You may have to call around and see about that large of a reservation. It's a nightmare to spilt the bill up. So I'd even rent a room/reserve a section of restaurant and do hourdovers 
    What OP is suggesting would be like inviting people to dinner in her home and then saying, "Oh, we spent $10 on the food so we're going to need you to pay that." You wouldn't do that because you invited them for dinner. So yes, it is rude to invite someone to dinner and then expect them to pay. 

    As many others have suggested, you either don't host a dinner at all or you say, "Hey, we're going to be at XYZ at 7 if you want to join us." It's an invitation to join you, not to dinner. Do you see the distinction?

    And how is your suggestion of hors d'oeuvres any different that other's suggestion of a prix fixe menu? Or ordering a few pizzas?  
    ahoyweddingSP29
  • I'm sorry but seriously? You all are calling her and her idea rude. She didn't ask you guys if it was a good idea she asked where she could go. 

    Thirty people is a lot. And how do y'all know if they didn't help pay for flights. There's just a lot of judgement and caddiness about etiquette. It's not the 1950s. 

    Its certaintly not horrible for a couple to be honest and put up limitations. There's nothing wrong with just saying NO in your wedding. Feeding 30+ twice is crazy to me. 

    OP it's not about who pays for what. If that's the route you choose to go then I'd do ask others suggested. Find a hotel/restaurant/bar/lounge where everyone can meet and chat. Put it in an email that it's pay as you go. Great suggestions of pizza in the park. Or even if you did like Shake Shack or some other cheap but iconic NY thing. You may have to call around and see about that large of a reservation. It's a nightmare to spilt the bill up. So I'd even rent a room/reserve a section of restaurant and do hourdovers 
    Shake shack is a NY thing??!!! First time I had heard of it was in the suburbs in Nebraska.
    Shake Shack is definitely a New York thing. It started as a food cart in one the parks. Then they moved to a stand in the park. 
    Weird.

     
  • I'm sorry but seriously? You all are calling her and her idea rude. She didn't ask you guys if it was a good idea she asked where she could go. 

    Thirty people is a lot. And how do y'all know if they didn't help pay for flights. There's just a lot of judgement and caddiness about etiquette. It's not the 1950s. 

    Its certaintly not horrible for a couple to be honest and put up limitations. There's nothing wrong with just saying NO in your wedding. Feeding 30+ twice is crazy to me. 

    OP it's not about who pays for what. If that's the route you choose to go then I'd do ask others suggested. Find a hotel/restaurant/bar/lounge where everyone can meet and chat. Put it in an email that it's pay as you go. Great suggestions of pizza in the park. Or even if you did like Shake Shack or some other cheap but iconic NY thing. You may have to call around and see about that large of a reservation. It's a nightmare to spilt the bill up. So I'd even rent a room/reserve a section of restaurant and do hourdovers 
    Shake shack is a NY thing??!!! First time I had heard of it was in the suburbs in Nebraska.
    Shake Shack is definitely a New York thing. It started as a food cart in one the parks. Then they moved to a stand in the park. 
    Weird.

     
    There def isn't a Shake Shack in Nebraska that has anything to do with the global chain started in NYC. 
  • I'm sorry but seriously? You all are calling her and her idea rude. She didn't ask you guys if it was a good idea she asked where she could go. 

    Thirty people is a lot. And how do y'all know if they didn't help pay for flights. There's just a lot of judgement and caddiness about etiquette. It's not the 1950s. 

    Its certaintly not horrible for a couple to be honest and put up limitations. There's nothing wrong with just saying NO in your wedding. Feeding 30+ twice is crazy to me. 

    OP it's not about who pays for what. If that's the route you choose to go then I'd do ask others suggested. Find a hotel/restaurant/bar/lounge where everyone can meet and chat. Put it in an email that it's pay as you go. Great suggestions of pizza in the park. Or even if you did like Shake Shack or some other cheap but iconic NY thing. You may have to call around and see about that large of a reservation. It's a nightmare to spilt the bill up. So I'd even rent a room/reserve a section of restaurant and do hourdovers 
     No one actually said OP nor her idea were rude. I did say that if it is actually a rehearsal dinner (as in....the wedding party is expected to show up at the venue and actually rehearse) then that dinner does need to be paid for. In that case, you're asking people to do something for you; the dinner is a thank you.

    If there's no rehearsal, I did say it would BE NICE to host everyone, and I would feel like I should at least try to host it; given how far everyone had traveled. If she's paying for everyone's flights then that's a whole different situation, but no where was that mentioned. 

    We also all gave her suggestions for inexpensive hosting ideas, as well as suggestions for places to meet their guests while making it clear the event is not hosted ("hey family, we'll be at X bar from 7-10 if you'd like to stop by!"). Feeding 30 people in no way has to be costly; a bunch of pizzas, bowling, sandwiches in the park if it's nice out. I would imagine family coming in from far away would likely just care about spending time with the couple.
    JFYI for anyone from out of town, the last time I went bowling in Manhattan it was definitely around $100 per hour for 5, not including drinks. Not sure what it's like in the boroughs, but it's definitely nothing like the run down places in the country where I grew up.

    Sorry for the off-topic aside, but everything else relevant I had to say would just add to the echo chamber. ;)
  • I'm sorry but seriously? You all are calling her and her idea rude. She didn't ask you guys if it was a good idea she asked where she could go. 

    Thirty people is a lot. And how do y'all know if they didn't help pay for flights. There's just a lot of judgement and caddiness about etiquette. It's not the 1950s. 

    Its certaintly not horrible for a couple to be honest and put up limitations. There's nothing wrong with just saying NO in your wedding. Feeding 30+ twice is crazy to me. 

    OP it's not about who pays for what. If that's the route you choose to go then I'd do ask others suggested. Find a hotel/restaurant/bar/lounge where everyone can meet and chat. Put it in an email that it's pay as you go. Great suggestions of pizza in the park. Or even if you did like Shake Shack or some other cheap but iconic NY thing. You may have to call around and see about that large of a reservation. It's a nightmare to spilt the bill up. So I'd even rent a room/reserve a section of restaurant and do hourdovers 
     No one actually said OP nor her idea were rude. I did say that if it is actually a rehearsal dinner (as in....the wedding party is expected to show up at the venue and actually rehearse) then that dinner does need to be paid for. In that case, you're asking people to do something for you; the dinner is a thank you.

    If there's no rehearsal, I did say it would BE NICE to host everyone, and I would feel like I should at least try to host it; given how far everyone had traveled. If she's paying for everyone's flights then that's a whole different situation, but no where was that mentioned. 

    We also all gave her suggestions for inexpensive hosting ideas, as well as suggestions for places to meet their guests while making it clear the event is not hosted ("hey family, we'll be at X bar from 7-10 if you'd like to stop by!"). Feeding 30 people in no way has to be costly; a bunch of pizzas, bowling, sandwiches in the park if it's nice out. I would imagine family coming in from far away would likely just care about spending time with the couple.
    JFYI for anyone from out of town, the last time I went bowling in Manhattan it was definitely around $100 per hour for 5, not including drinks. Not sure what it's like in the boroughs, but it's definitely nothing like the run down places in the country where I grew up.

    Sorry for the off-topic aside, but everything else relevant I had to say would just add to the echo chamber. ;)
    Holy crap! Another aside: there's some kind of "upscale" bowling alley in town here and they ran a Valentine's "special" one year that $200 got you bowling, drinks and a pizza or something. I grew up in the Midwest so I was like yeah, okay $200 should get you bowling for an entire week.

    Okay so for OP, bowling may not be a cheaper option! 
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    member
    We didn't have a rehearsal but I did host a "welcome party" (Hudson Valley not NYC but close enough in price).  It was a Halloween party actually.  I ordered a TON of pizza's that came out to $300ish I think?  And I ordered 5 boxes to many!   People love pizza. I also had snacks like chex mix and chips and soda so maybe $30 or $40 there.

    SP29short+sassy
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