Pre-wedding Parties

Cocktail vs. Seated Meal Rehearsal Dinner

Hey All! I am looking for some advice on hosting a rehearsal dinner. We (B&G) are going to be paying for our rehearsal dinner. I am contemplating doing a cocktail hour(s) to be able to invite our OOT guests. Has anyone ever done this? Was it well received?

I initially wanted the traditional seated dinner but our budget (and venue) only allows for a smaller number of invitees (wedding party and close family). What are your thoughts? Would you do a cocktail style to invite more people or a seated dinner and keep it smaller?

Re: Cocktail vs. Seated Meal Rehearsal Dinner

  • BishL said:
    Hey All! I am looking for some advice on hosting a rehearsal dinner. We (B&G) are going to be paying for our rehearsal dinner. I am contemplating doing a cocktail hour(s) to be able to invite our OOT guests. Has anyone ever done this? Was it well received?

    I initially wanted the traditional seated dinner but our budget (and venue) only allows for a smaller number of invitees (wedding party and close family). What are your thoughts? Would you do a cocktail style to invite more people or a seated dinner and keep it smaller?
    What time is the rehearsal (and subsequent dinner)? Would you still be serving a full meal at the cocktail?

    If the rehearsal is close to a meal time you really should host the dinner right after and host food appropriate for the time of day. This can be a buffet, pizza, sandwiches, or a plated meal, but you really need to serve enough food for a meal. 
    OurWildKingdomcowgirl8238ernursej
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    BishL said:
    Hey All! I am looking for some advice on hosting a rehearsal dinner. We (B&G) are going to be paying for our rehearsal dinner. I am contemplating doing a cocktail hour(s) to be able to invite our OOT guests. Has anyone ever done this? Was it well received?

    I initially wanted the traditional seated dinner but our budget (and venue) only allows for a smaller number of invitees (wedding party and close family). What are your thoughts? Would you do a cocktail style to invite more people or a seated dinner and keep it smaller?
    What time is the rehearsal (and subsequent dinner)? Would you still be serving a full meal at the cocktail?

    If the rehearsal is close to a meal time you really should host the dinner right after and host food appropriate for the time of day. This can be a buffet, pizza, sandwiches, or a plated meal, but you really need to serve enough food for a meal. 
    Yep. Cocktail only (no dinner) only works at a non-mealtime, so your rehearsal and party would have to be in like the mid-afternoon. Logistically that probably makes it worse for your wedding party, plus they get a worse thank you, plus your OOT guests may not even be all in town yet.

    If you can't host a lot of people, host only a few people and do it decently (i.e., feed them a meal for taking the time out of their day to rehearse with you). Even if that's just the basics that PP mentioned above, at least feed them a meal as a thank you.
    CMGragaincowgirl8238InLoveInQueens
  • Seated dinner and do it smaller. I really love that special time with the people closest to you. 
    CMGragaincowgirl8238ei34InLoveInQueens
  • I would focus on hosting those who attended/participated in your rehearsal first and foremost. Thus, full dinner, smaller group.

    The purpose of the RD is to thank those who participated in your rehearsal. Inviting OOT/extra guests is a bonus, so if you can't afford to host everyone to the same level as your RD guests, then don't do it- not necessary!
    CMGragaindowntondivacowgirl8238InLoveInQueens
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