Place Setting with Printed Dinner Menu

Planning Tips: Choosing a Caterer for your Rehearsal Dinner

Ah, the rehearsal dinner. This cozy, pre-wedding event is one of our Dream Team’s favorite moments to help couples create. There’s just a little something special in the air when two families get together to celebrate becoming one– not to mention that zing of chemistry between two lovebirds preparing to become newlyweds! The rehearsal dinner should leave every guest, especially the couple about to tie the knot, feeling relaxed, warm and well-loved. Choosing the right caterer for your rehearsal dinner will help you to create that intimate atmosphere and cut out any potential stress.

Here are some of our top tips for choosing the right team catering team to execute your dream rehearsal dinner:


Can Your Caterer Work with Your Venue?

With a smaller guest list, the options for your rehearsal dinner are a little different, and a little more fun! You can host friends and family at your home, at your favorite local restaurant, a local arts gallery, a winery or even a park. Your choice of venue impacts your choice in catering team, so be sure to confirm what caterers can work with the location. Also, check to see whether your caterer has worked at the venue previously– if they have connections and already know their way around, that’s a major plus!

If you choose to work with a favorite restaurant, make sure you call well in advance to inquire about event space, menu options, pricing and service. Not all businesses can accommodate large parties, and you don’t want to be competing with a full restaurant for your server’s (and family’s!) attention.

Can Your Caterer Accommodate Your Vision?

A great way to personalize your rehearsal dinner celebration is with a cultural-inspired menu. Get creative, showcasing favorite family dishes or cuisines that reflect your interests, travels or heritage as a couple. BUT be sure your caterer has the knowledge and experience to serve Korean bibimbap or Indian curry to a crowd as well as provide alternatives for any food allergies or dietary restrictions those guests may have. And if you have children attending, be sure to ask about kid’s meals that will be more appealing for picky pint-sized eaters. Bonus Tip! Traditionally, the groom’s family foots the bill for the rehearsal dinner, including a three-course meal and drinks. If you and your beloved are budgeting on your own, you may opt for a more casual option. Talk to your caterer about what they suggest based on what hoping to achieve at what budget.

Can Your Caterer do Double-Duty?

If you’ve already chosen the perfect caterer for your wedding, consider reaching out to ask about services they can provide in planning your rehearsal dinner as well. Choosing to work with the same caterer for both events can save time, money and headaches in sorting out the details. Your event team will already be familiar with the details and design of your big day, making it simpler to create a complimentary event the evening before and manage a cohesive events schedule.

Last but not least- make sure your caterer is licensed and insured! Your professional help should be just that: professional! A company that is up to code and organized is operating smoothly, which means they’re producing events that run smoothly.

Have questions about budgeting and planning a rehearsal dinner, or finding the perfect venue to host your wedding event? E-mail us at