We originally had the idea to have the rehearsal dinner at Mon Ami Gabi which is a very cute restaurant in Bethesda. It's a pretty reasonably priced place for the food you get (it's a French steakhouse) and the atmosphere. We mentioned it to the boy's parents and they were very excited. We've taken them their once and they fell in love with it. Well we went to visit it on Wednesday night and meet with their banquet manager.
We ran into a few problems. We were aware of the minimum to use the private room. It was okay as we figured we'd be spending about that much. Problem #1: it holds a maximum of 40 people. We have 41 people on the list already (and will probably end up adding a few). This includes both sets of immediate family, bridal party and significant others, and family that will be traveling for the wedding. Do we need to include anyone else? Even if we don't - we are still over the maximum. Problem #2: we can reserve the private room from 5-8pm or 8:30-close. Well, our rehearsal at the chapel is at 5pm. By the time we get there and park, it'll be about 6:30ish. That leaves us 1.5 hours for 40-50 people to eat. Not going to happen. If we blocked it for a different time, the minimum would almost double! Problem #3: there is no discount on valet parking. Bethesda on a Friday night is a madhouse so we'd certainly need to valet park. While it's not outrageously expensive, it's still another cost that we wouldn't want people to incur.
So there you have it - just too many problems with it. My future in-laws are not very familiar with how rehearsal dinners work (it's only an American tradition). So they are giving it to us to handle organizing it. I flat out told the boy that I have enough on my plate planning the wedding so that he can take care of the rehearsal dinner. So far - he hasn't had much luck finding places that aren't ridiculously expensive. Any ideas? We now are thinking it's a better idea to find a place near the hotel so that people don't have to worry about driving. We also were thinking that a family style italian dinner or mexican fiesta night would be great. I'm desperate for ideas!
Another idea is to have the rehearsal dinner at Prep. Prep has a room in a new building that can hold about 100 people (which would be great that we'd have no limit on guests). The boy is looking into the catering there as we'd have to use Prep's caterer. The only bad thing about having it here is that it's a terribly boring room (we'd have to do flowers and decorate and the whole shabang), and we like the idea of people seeing Prep for the first time for the wedding instead of at the rehearsal dinner.
Where did you have your rehearsal dinner? If anyone wants to offer up their home for me to cater the food to that would be fantastic also ha. I kid, I kid!