Wedding Wednesday: Rehearsal Dinner

I felt like we were pretty solid on the wedding planning front: venue, DJ, photographer, officiant all nailed down. Meeting with printer for stationery is set up. Meeting with venue about food is happening in January. Everything’s pretty much done, right?
Not if you ask my mother or Johnny’s mother. 
Currently, the crisis is our plan for the rehearsal dinner. The venue gives us something like two hours for rehearsal after 5 PM, so we weren’t planning to have the dinner at the venue. We decided we’d like to have it at one of our favorite Tulsa restaurants, Siegi’s Sausage Factory. Siegi’s is a German restaurant with delicious food and a great beer selection. They have a private room that seats about 40 people. We’re figuring on about 35 people attending the rehearsal dinner. Perfect!
After taking our mothers to eat at Siegi’s while they were visiting, both had problems with our plan. Johnny’s mother likes the food, but feels like the room will be too small for “visiting”. My mother was ambivalent about the food; she thought it was okay, but wouldn’t appeal to many guests. She also thought the private room was too small.
So here’s my question for y’all: married people, at your rehearsal dinner, was there a ton of mingling? Did people want to get up and chit chat? Did everyone mostly stay put? Did anyone really care about the menu? 
(Note: Siegi’s caters, but we’d rather have it in the restaurant because of the beer selection.)

Author: Stephanie

Equestrian, amateur cook, people person.

9 thoughts on “Wedding Wednesday: Rehearsal Dinner”

  1. It really depends on the type of rehearsal dinner. I've been to small ones (~12 people) that were truly just the wedding party and immediate family, and the mingling was minimal because we were all around the same long table. My brother got married 3 weeks ago and it was a much larger rehearsal dinner (~65 people) with quite a lot of mingling. We're planning for my wedding on a larger style dinner with a lot of mingling, mostly because of the sheer numbers.

    Honestly, isn't the rule that you get what you want, though? You like the place. They can stuff it.

    (That could just be the part of me that's really, really sick of wedding planning right now.)

    1. Girl, I am so with you on being really, really sick of wedding planning right now. (Ask me how many times a day I mutter "WHY didn't we just go to the courthouse?!")

      Our rehearsal dinner will include some extended family, so I imagine they'll want to get up and talk with one another, but I am about to pull out the Bridezilla card and pitch a fit.

  2. I had a small rehearsal dinner (15-20) people at a local restaurant. There was a variety of American-style food options and I think that worked out really well for us. We had some appetizers set out buffet-style before everyone arrived, and we mingled a bit around those tables.

    Once dinner was served, I moved around a bit, but mostly everyone else stayed put. Afterwards, during dessert, we mingled a bit. I think as long as there is a small space where people can congregate and space for you and Johnny to visit with people at the various tables, you should be good to go!

  3. I had a large rehearsal dinner because it included the wedding party plus everyone who came from out of town. Everyone wanted to chit-chat because most hadn't seen each other in a while.

    We had the rehearsal dinner in a breakfast room/conference room at one of the hotels we had rooms blocked at. They let us use the space for free since we were bringing them plenty of hotel business, and we had a local restaurant cater it buffet-style. Worked out great and was some of the best memories from the whole wedding weekend.

  4. I also think it depends on the type. Since we technically had a destination wedding and a small guest list (75 people total), we invited EVERYONE to the rehearsal dinner…which was more of a rehearsal cocktail party. We did an open bar and apps for a two hours, and then people basically split off and went to dinner in smaller groups if they felt like it. I loved that format, because it helped keep the relaxed theme of our weekend. Everyone got to mingle, and it felt like a relaxing party instead of a formal dinner…which I don't think me or my husband would have liked as much.

  5. We had 25 people at casual local pizza place, the "visiting" was minimal (just between whoever was your chair neighbour).

    Really it depends how much you care about where you have it. For most of my wedding stuff I didn't really care so if someone clearly gave a crap I happily went along with whatever they wanted. I think it sounds like an awesome spot, if it's important to you – stick to your guns! 🙂

  6. We went super cheap, and my family catered a cookout-style dinner at my house after the rehearsal. It was a huge party, we invited everyone, not just the small group of people at the rehearsal (ended up having about 60 people at the house that night), and stayed up until entirely too late. We had a bonfire in the backyard fire pit, music, TONS of mingling, a poker game in the basement, a lot of beer drinking, and gift exchanges. It was pretty awesome, and let everyone from each side of our family and our groups of friends get to know each other in a totally low key way. Also, I didn't have to be the center of attention, which suited me just fine. Everyone raved about the party, and had a blast just hanging out the night before. I wouldn't have done it any other way.

  7. I admit that during our rehearsal dinner everyone was so wiped out from the actual rehearsal that there wasn't a ton of mingling. The tables were grouped to provide chatting ability, but that was really it.

Leave a Reply