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Pre-wedding Parties

Rehearsal Ideas

I posted on the local San Diego board but have not received any responses, so thought I might try here for additional ideas.  Since it’s not a local board, I thought I might reach out for general suggestions on other rehearsal ideas (instead of local restaurants), that would be helpful!  We are getting married on Mission Bay in San Diego close to the water.  We will have about 25 people total at the rehearsal dinner and want to spend $1,000 or less.  We would prefer to have Italian or American food, to keep it different from the food we will serve for the wedding.  I have found some restaurants with okay food prices, but they make you rent out rooms with a group that large, and once the costs are all factored in it becomes well over $1,000.  We considered getting a meal catered by a place, but we do not have a place to serve it (we are from out of town).  We checked with our hotel to see if we can use space there, but they charge for rental fees, have a $1,500 minimum, and do not allow outside food vendors.  Our wedding is late November so there is a good chance it could be too chilly to hold it outside at a public park.  Any suggestions on what we can do to keep it under 1k???  Also.. cutting people from the rehearsal dinner is not an option, and neither is a rehearsal lunch/brunch due to us being required to have the rehearsal later in the day ;)<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

Re: Rehearsal Ideas

  • We did ours at a restaurant that did not make us rent the space. They just put us in our own section. Prior to the dinner we looked over their menu and selected five times we wanted served. The restaurant then printed up special menus for our group with the five items listed (this was their policy for groups like this, they did not allow the whole menu to be ordered from). Then we just paid the tab at the end of the night. Twenty-three people came out to about $500 and some of them had ordered alcohol. I'd suggest that you just keep calling restaurants until you find one that works.
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  • That's what I would really like... I had no idea that so many restaurants charge an extra 500+ just to use the space.  It isn't like that where I leave so maybe its more of a San Diego thing? I don't understand it.  I have reached out to many restaurants but will keep trying.  Thank you!
  • What about a brunch or a byob place? Most pizzerias are byob and you can get cheap wine and beer to bring
  • Unfortunately we cannot do brunch because the rehearsal has to be later in the day, per the venue.  Which is fine since I prefer to do a dinner anyway.  I was hoping to find a sit down restaurant, nothing too fancy but still somewhat nice that would run about $1,000 for 25 people.
  • Most restaurants will charge you a minimum, as opposed to a room rental fee. They may require that you spend a certain amount of money for your group. I'm really surprised that any restaurant would require you to pay a fee just for using the space, then adding food/drinks on top of that. 

    Alternate ideas: 
    See if there are any breweries in the area that may allow you to have a catered dinner brought in. Granted, you might have to worry about seating, but if they have a bar and tables at the brewery, it might not be an issue. Or, a lot of breweries already have restaurants attached. And the food tends to be cheaper, though I've had great "gourmet" bar food at breweries. 

    I don't know how fancy you want to go, but going to a pizza place (like a Mellow Mushroom or some other cool local pizza place. IE: nicer than Pizza Hut) would be a good option. Preorder apps and a bunch of pizzas and pitchers of beer. Definitely under $1000 and you know there'd be plenty of food and beer. 

    You may find a city park that has an indoor or covered space. You could look into renting a couple of outdoor heaters if you're worried about it being cold, but could also advice people to bundle up. We are having our wedding at a city park and they already have chairs and tables and public bathrooms. Then you could have an inexpensive meal catered- maybe a pasta buffet or pizza or whatever else. The venue we chose has a conference room, veranda, and deck for rent. We chose all 3, but you could look into conference rooms with tables. And it's usually pretty cheap to rent through the city. 

    Look into other hotels close to where you will be staying. They may have cheaper minimums. Or they may let you have outside catering.

    Look into bars. Some bars will let you bring in food if it's all prearranged and they know you'll be drinking their alcohol. Especially if it is earlier in the evening, you might be able to have the place to yourself for a while. Doesn't hurt to shoot an email to ask. 

    Good luck! 

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