Planning a rehearsal dinner at a restaurant can feel like a daunting task. However, with good advice and planning, it can come together into a wonderful event. The first step in the planning process is to discuss the details of your rehearsal dinner with the restaurant in order to make your dream event a reality. Here are the 5 great questions to ask your restaurant venue.
- How will the food be served?
When planning a rehearsal dinner, it is important to consider how your food will be served to your guests, as well as the food you and your guests would like to eat. As you plan the dinner, make sure that the restaurant has food and serving options that will satisfy all of your attendees.
For a more formal setting, a prix fixe menu makes ordering very straightforward. This might be the best option for a more traditional event. You could also plan a seating chart to encourage guests to mingle during the meal. Alternatively, having a meal served family style adds familiarity and hominess to the event. It also allows guests to pick and choose what foods they prefer from a variety of options. Foregoing dinner for an event with passed canapes can also increase the sociability of the event for a larger group that wants to move around.
To plan the meal, begin by looking at the restaurant’s menu, and consider inquiring about a tasting to help you select the final event menu. Don’t forget to consider drinks as well. Many restaurants offer unique cocktails, and some offer handcrafted drinks with no alcohol. If you are more interested in wine and beer, make sure to ask about what they offer and suggest for your party. It is also a good idea to discuss the restaurant’s policy towards allergies and dietary restrictions in order to ensure a fun and comfortable experience for all of your guests.
- What is the capacity of the room you’ve reserved?
Your rehearsal dinner may include every wedding guest, or it may be a small subset of your guests. Either way, the space you have booked for your event will have a maximum capacity, and it is important to stay within that number of guests. As you finalize your invitations list, check the capacity of the room you’ve reserved to ensure that it can accommodate all of your guests. Be sure to ask the venue if they have options for organizing name tags or seating charts to ensure a smoother introduction to the evening.
As the event approaches, the restaurant will also need to know a final count of your guests, so it could be worthwhile to ask what the deadline for submitting a final event headcount is. If your family and friends are prone to last-minute changes, even for private events, it is good to know how long you have to make adjustments.
- What is the dress code?
Rehearsal dinners can be casual or fancy affairs – whatever the couple and family wants. Although your vision for the dinner should drive your planning process, it is also important to make sure that your plans match the restaurant’s dress code so that your guests do not feel out of place in your chosen venue. Don’t forget to confirm the dress code of your venue before sending out invitations to the event.
- What are the audio or visual capabilities of the restaurant?
If you are hoping to play music, invite live performers, or screen a slideshow, it is worth asking whether the restaurant has any audiovisual equipment that you could use for the festivities. At restaurants with speaker systems, inquire whether you can choose a playlist to play during the event if you would like to play your own music. You could also ask whether the venue can accommodate a DJ, a band or performer, an open mic, or a dance floor. It may be a good idea to ask about noise restrictions so that you do not disturb the staff or other restaurant patrons on the night of your celebration.
- What does the space rental price include?
Once you have your restaurant selected, you can begin planning the details of your decorations, room design, and table settings to make the space perfect for your rehearsal dinner. It is a good idea to ask whether the services the restaurant provides include table and chair options, linens, utensils, and waitstaff for your event. If any services are not provided, you can ask if they have any suggested vendors to provide those services.
Now that you have selected your restaurant, the coordinating staff at your venue will be happy to help you make your rehearsal dinner the best night it can be. The restaurant you have chosen is part of the team making your rehearsal dinner happen. If you’re curious about something, you can ask your venue for advice and suggestions. Don’t be afraid to ask all of the questions that are on your mind, so that all of the parts of your rehearsal dinner can come together as you have imagined.
Looking to book your rehearsal dinner? Visit the Albert for more information and assistance designing your perfect event.