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  • Writer's pictureMarylee Marmer

How to Choose (A Series): Part 6

We've been so excited to share this blog with you, as it's one of the things our couples ask us most frequently. So, you've chosen the wedding venue, but how do you choose the rehearsal dinner venue? We've gathered our top tips for picking the perfect place!

Guest List

Just like when choosing a wedding venue, you'll need to start considering your guest list first. The amount of guests at your rehearsal dinner will probably greatly vary from your wedding day list, since it's usually much smaller. The typical attendees are your closest family and friends; the same people who are most likely making up your bridal party. Once you start your search for the best place to host dinner, make sure there's room for everyone!

Celebration Park: Alyse Michelle Images


This one is a little trickier to plan for our couples. You'll want to choose a place that's easy to get to for your guests, but also close to the wedding venue. The night before your wedding is usually reserved for your final rehearsal at the venue before heading to dinner, so make sure the commute between the two locations isn't too long. We're always happy to help our couples choose the right spot for them, especially when they may be unfamiliar with the area.


When choosing your venue, timing is another important factor to consider. As we mentioned above, you'll need to choose a place that's close to your wedding venue, but also consider how much time you'll need at the rehearsal dinner venue, too. There's usually an hour or two for dinner, but if your including any other activities, like toasts or speeches, you'll need to factor that in. (Don't forget to include setup and breakdown time if you're choosing a more unique venue that allows you to bring in your own materials. The Brickhouse RVA is a great spot for this!)

The Brickhouse RVA; Leah Redding Photo

The Brickhouse RVA has no food or beverage minimums, and couples are able to choose from a list of suggested caterers and provide their own alcohol should they get their own ABC license! We also offer decor rentals through Marylee Marmer Events!


While tradition usually states that the in-laws cover the cost of the rehearsal dinner, this doesn't have to be the case. As current trends change and more and more couples are paying for their big day (loosening the bride's parent's traditional pursestrings), it may be time to let the in-laws off the hook, too.

If someone else is paying for the dinner, be sure to have the conversation on budget with them before you start looking for venues.


This is maybe the most obvious but definitely our last suggestion when it comes to booking your rehearsal dinner venue. Of course you're excited about the food, but be sure to go through the points above first and think of the food next. Menu options can be a cuisine that you and your partner love or even something that everyone can love. Just make sure it's within the budget when choosing!

When you start your search, we typically recommend looking for either a restaurant near your venue, or an open event space that you can transform the way you want and bring in the food you like!

The Boathouse; TD Photography

We always work with our couples by starting with location and budget, and then finding a place that feels like it fits their personalities and their wedding day vision.

Not sure what venue works for you? Contact us today and we'll help you find the perfect place!

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