The Ultimate Rehearsal Dinner Venue Guide
Are you planning your pre-wedding soiree? Be sure you’ve got the basics covered. The ESR team has got your back with the ultimate checklist. We’ve narrowed down the key points when deciding on your rehearsal dinner venue.
We’ve got more answers to all your rehearsal dinner questions – be sure to check out our blog for more rehearsal dinner ideas.
What’s a Wedding Rehearsal Dinner?
The wedding rehearsal typically occurs one to two nights before the wedding ceremony. The bride, groom, wedding planner, bridal parties and any family members walking in the ceremony attend the ceremony rehearsal. It’s important to run through a rehearsal at the wedding venue to ensure the procession runs smoothly and everyone knows what to expect.
When you are deciding on which venues to choose from, consider the distance between the ceremony site and rehearsal dinner venue. If you’re looking for a unique setting that differs from a restaurant or private dinner room, then get creative and consider thinking outside the box when it comes to the rehearsal dinner locale.
Why not plan your rehearsal at a venue that provides your guests with one-of-a-kind experiences? Despite its name, the focus of the rehearsal dinner is not on the dinner itself, but the time spent with family and friends celebrating before the big day. It’s a truly special occasion in a more intimate setting before the wedding festivities begin.
From breweries to boat cruises, rehearsal dinners are opportunities to spend time together in fun, unconventional ways. Enchanted Springs Ranch is an incredible San Antonio wedding venue perfect for some country fun and delicious BBQ. Located in the Texas hill country, just 25 minutes north of downtown San Antonio, ESR is a beautiful small town event space with rustic western flair. It’s a great country venue filled with outdoor spaces that are perfect for special events like your wedding day ceremonies and receptions.
Where should I have my rehearsal dinner?
When looking at rehearsal dinner venues, consider the tone and atmosphere you want. Are you looking for something formal and elegant? Or would you prefer something a bit more casual and laid back? If you are looking for an event with specific entertainment and activities, then be sure there is plenty of event space to accommodate your guests while seated and up and about.
Wedding planning may be for several hundred, but the typical rehearsal dinner guest list can be as low as a dozen to around 50 guests. If you are hoping to kick up your boots and dance the night away, then space for live music and a dance floor is something you’ll want to consider in addition to seating, catering and bar service.
If you’re planning a Texas hill country rehearsal dinner then an outdoor venue is the perfect way to experience the natural beauty of the area as if you were in a state park but with the modern amenities of an updated special event venue. Because when looking at event venues in San Antonio it is also important to consider weather conditions. Having an emergency plan in case of rain makes having a backup indoor venue a must.
When asking about inclement weather plans, be sure to also get some answers from your venue event planner to these very important questions:
-Does this space accommodate everyone on your wedding rehearsal guest list?
-Does the venue have audio visual capabilities for slideshows or speeches?
-If the wedding planner leaves after the ceremony rehearsal, does the venue provide a coordinator for the rehearsal dinner festivities?
-When can I set up personal decorations? When do they have to be removed?
-Can I serve alcohol? What beverage service options are available?
What should you do at a rehearsal dinner?
Eat, of course!
After you decide on your guest count and venue, it’s time to think about the menu. Remember to keep in mind the meal that your guests will enjoy the next day at the wedding reception. Maybe you don’t want them eating Texas BBQ both nights in a row. If your wedding reception is a formal sit down meal, then consider a more casual service style like a family style buffet for the rehearsal dinner.
No matter what you choose, be sure to ask your caterer these important questions:
-How do you handle any dietary restrictions that the guests may have?
-When do you need the final headcount?
-Have you catered at the selected venue before?
-Are you available for a walk through prior to the rehearsal dinner?
-Are there any additional fees to cut a rehearsal dinner cake? What utensils are provided?
The ESR team works with many amazing San Antonio area caterers. When booking an event with ESR, you get an event coordinator that gets the answers to these questions for you. We’ll work with the caterer and help design a menu that fits your budget that your guests will love.
Next are the activities and entertainment!
After you practice the walk down the aisle, it’s time to let loose and enjoy the evening! One approach is to think about your guests and where they are coming from. If your guests are from out of town or visiting then showcasing a fun venue in your area may be the perfect way to share your hometown with family and friends.
The event entertainment is the perfect opportunity to get creative and give your guests an experience they’ll never forget. ESR is the perfect large venue to accommodate all of your guests and planned activities. Some fan favorites include mechanical bull rides, line dancing, trick roping shows, wagon rides, live music and shooting competitions. A San Antonio rehearsal dinner with a bit of western flair is the perfect way to kick off a Texas hill country wedding weekend.
If you’re looking for some inspiration, check out this outstanding blog post by Lukas & Suzy Vandyke about their experience photographing a rehearsal dinner at Enchanted Springs Ranch.
What does an ESR rehearsal dinner look like?
You have many options to choose from when it comes to wedding venues in San Antonio. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with wedding event planning then let the ESR team help with your rehearsal dinner! This is a very exciting time and you deserve to enjoy every second of it.
If you’re considering hosting your rehearsal dinner at Enchanted Springs Ranch, hear from one of our amazing clients and their experience:
“We had 75 peeps attend our son’s rehearsal dinner and we had a wonderful evening. We planned the event via email and telephone and it looked good on paper but was so much more on the night. We made a few changes the day before and Sylvia and Lindsey (staff) made sure everything went as planned.
The mechanical bull was a big hit as well as the trail rides. I do not think any of our guests wanted for anything that evening as the bar was well stocked with popular beer and wine. The caterer had everything ready and the AV equipment worked perfectly. Could not have been more satisfied with this full service venue.”
We hope these tips help you decide on the perfect venue for your rehearsal dinner. Our experienced team of professional event coordinators are happy to design an itinerary that meets your budget and pleases all your guests. Let us handle the logistics and details of your special night before your big day so that you and your guests can enjoy every moment of your special weekend.
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