My apologies for all the devoted readers of our Food Editor Gourmet Rambler but Tatiana is ill this week so I am going to step in and share my two cents about rehearsal dinners.
Wedding professionals contracted for, invitations sent, designer gown in alterations, wedding rings ordered, bachelor and bachelorette parties scheduled… what else? Ahhhh… rehearsal dinner. And just when you thought there were no more ways to create drama with your fiance, you found another one!
Who to invite? Where to go? What is the budget? Do we want formal invitations or an email? What to eat? It is a mini-wedding reception in and of itself!
Since today is FOOD FRIDAY and I am substituting for the fabulous Gourmet Rambler, I will confine my thoughts on the rehearsal dinner to the food. I know that sometimes the grooms’ parents want to show off with a fabulous steak dinner – especially if you are having your wedding in Chicago – but more than likely, the bride and groom have selected steak for their celebratory meal. So, please consider what is being served for the dinner after the wedding – sorry MOG’s but that trumps your selection!
I also really like family style. Why you ask? Because it gets people talking to each other and interacting. Many of the bridal party people will not know each other so it is a good ice breaker. And it can be less expensive – so maybe the grooms’ parents can help out with the Sunday brunch!
I had a bride and groom who were paying for everything themselves and they just could not figure out what they wanted to do with their guests. The wedding reception was at a country club in the suburbs of Chicago and, for them, it was a pretty fancy event. So, we talked about what they liked to do on date night. Portillo’s and a movie. And there it was… a fun, inexpensive and delicious taste of Chicago for all their guests!
My husband and I selected Buca di Beppo in downtown Chicago for a number of reasons. It was close enough to the hotel so we could walk and point out the sites to our guests who had never been to Chicago. The kitschy decor was fun, the Italian food was an homage to his heritage, family style got everyone talking and the free flowing wine and beer made for a fun and memorable evening. All for around $40 per person inclusive of tax and gratuity!
Please do not get me wrong! I love our Chicago steak houses and there are so many great ones to chose from… but think about the food for the entire weekend. And especially in Chicago, we have a style all our own and there are so many fabulous restaurants (with private rooms) that are available for you to entertain your special guests.
Claudia Antony Zompa is Principal of AS YOU WISH – An Event Planning Company and Editor-in-Chief of theBrideScoop. To read more about what Claudia has to say, follow her on twitter and facebook or give her a call at (312) 920-9330.