Pre-wedding Parties

Rehearsal Dinner different points of view??

My future MIL is in the process (kindly) of planning our rehearsal dinner. We told her a couple of restaurants where we would love to have the dinner. We are getting married in a church and having the reception at another location about 30 minutes away. My FH's family is from the midwest where you have an event at the church and the 'party' or celebration, whatever, in there basement area, consisting primarily of 'ham buns' and pot luck. So, she is trying to plan the rehearsal in the church after we have the rehearsal. Ive never known of anyone doing this anywhere but in the midwest. Theres no real kitchen facilities, nice tables, chairs, etc. So everything has to be brough in. I really feel money could be saved by just going to a restaurant. Having anything potluck isnt an option, and this isnt our church!! Am I being too picky?? It feels like dealing with totally different cultures in the same country. HELP!!!!Frown

Re: Rehearsal Dinner different points of view??

  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    If there are no chairs or tables, then she has tons of work to do. Is there someone in the church she can talk to? They can direct her to a person or restaurant that might have done this before. If it's never been done at that church, well, then she could take the hint that it's just not a facility that lends itself to entertaining. It's not a cultural thing, it's a physical space thing.
  • edited February 2013
    I live in a small town in Nebraska and I'm not going to say that its a 'midwest thing," but I have been to plenty of rehearsals where they just bring in something to the church fellowship area (basement or otherwise) and have their rehearsal dinner there, but I've also heard of going to a restaurant, that's why I can't say that it's a "midwest thing," it happens both ways! :)  I'll tell you what we are doing though, and why.  Our reception site is at our county fairgrounds in one of the buildings there (our theme is a rustic/country chic theme, so it fits in well) and we have the building rented for the day of our wedding and also the day before so we can set up all our tables and decorations then.  My future in-laws are hosting the RD and are holding it at our reception site and having somewhere in town cater it (we have 2 delis, a professional caterer, and a handful of fast food restaurants, ie subway, pizza, runza, mexican restaurant, that cater as well), we aren't sure what they are planning on having, but because it is their budget for this and they are hosting, we are trying to not be too picky ;)  We had looked into going to a restaurant, but this is why we chose not to...because we are getting married in a small town (which doesn't have ANY nice sit down restaurants) any restaurant we went to would mean a 30+ minute drive and would put dinner at 8:30 pm or later, and for the ring bearer/flower girl or any other small kids, that's just not an option as it is not in their routine and puts bed time, the day before a big/long day, late (our rehearsal starts at 6:30 because of work schedules and out of town bridal party arrivals, since we are trying to be as sensitive to their schedules as possible.)  Also, when we crunched the numbers, it was going to cost AT LEAST $700 to feed everyone at the RD if we went anywhere other than to a fast food restaurant, and that is not in the in-laws budget!  However, when we looked at having a local place cater (although it may not be super fancy) we were only looking at $400 max for everyone, depending on who they chose to cater.  So, honestly, it could actually save money to diy it, without a potluck, of course, but that depends on facilities and logistics.
    You said that they have no kitchen, if you have someone cater it in, they shouldn't need a kitchen.  You also said that they don't have "nice tables, chairs," do they need to be super nice?  We are trying to save money and so that $300+ difference was a big deal to us to keep in mind and we decided that we didn't care about the RD being fancy when that much money difference was involved, but if you want a fancy RD, then it COULD be cheaper to just go to a restaurant by the time you calculate the kind of table/chair rental that you want, linens and silverware that you want, and a high end professional caterer.  It's all about the style you want, the budget you have, and being creative in stretching your budget (if you need to.)  Good luck :)
  • I agree with the above post as well. We are doing a destination wedding in Saint Augustine because our families live in several different states. Since we had everyone coming in from out of town we are choosing to have a low key RD that everyone can come to and hang out. We are doing ours on the beach that has car access. We are doing some kind of simple catering pizza or sanwhichs, beer, cookies mainly finger foods and bringing our SUV on the beach for setup and letting everyone hang our, swim, volleyball etc. It is saving us a ton of money and since it is so easy on the budget it allows us to invite everyone and not just our wedding party. If you aren't doing it near a beach you could always do a backyard BBQ or something similar...you get the idea. Doing it this way you may be able to appease everyone. Good luck!
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