How Much Does a Rehearsal Dinner Cost?
A rehearsal dinner is a common traditional among those that are about to be married. After the wedding rehearsal, a rehearsal dinner will be held at a local restaurant or reception hall. Based on tradition, it is often the groom’s parents that will pay for the entire dinner. The dinner is meant to bond the people that will be standing up in the wedding. The cost of a rehearsal dinner is going to depend on the number of people, the restaurant, the geographical location, as well as other factors.
How much is it?
- Depending on the type of food and dinner, the plate fees can range anywhere from $8 to $35 per person per plate. Just like any other dinner that is held on any given night, it is going to come down to the restaurant. A higher end steakhouse is going to cost a lot more than a local franchise restaurant or buffet.
- For a private room held in a local restaurant, the fees can range anywhere from $25 to $85 per plate depending on the type of food and restaurant. A local seafood restaurant or steakhouse will cost more than a lower grade place such as a bar.
- It is not uncommon to find elaborate dinners at well known banquet centers in higher priced cities such as New York City to go for as much as $200 per plate.
- According to the site WeddingBee.com, the average price ranges anywhere from $500 for 17 people to$1,000 for 24 people.
What are the extra costs?
- Decorations and additional items such as customized menus and banners can cost more if the restaurant has to set them up.
- While many restaurants will include gratuities with parties of 10 or more, it may be optional depending on the restaurant. Plan on setting aside 10% to 20% of the total bill.
- Invitations to the party can be purchased ahead of time. While these can be made on your own, many opt to have professional ones done.
What is going to be included?
- The dinner can be planned in advance. Most restaurants will recommend that reservations are made well ahead of time. Because of the larger parties, restaurants will recommend that two to four meals are picked out on the menu.
- During a dinner, a toast can be made celebrating the soon to be groom and bride. Some parties opt to include games as well as gift sharing.
How can I save money?
- Consider having the rehearsal dinner at a local house or park. Have a grill out or pizza party instead of taking everyone out to a restaurant. This way, you will not have to feel rushed to leave the restaurant once the meals are finished.
- A prefixed dinner is going to cost a lot less than if the party uses a regular dinner menu. Talk with the restaurant to discuss pricing options.
- Talk with a handful of restaurants around the area and see what they can do for you. What you’ll find is that many of them can work out big group discounts if you plan well ahead of time.