Rehearsal Dinner Winner

Just when I thought I was tying up all of the details for the wedding, I was reminded that Fiance and I still had to coordinate the festivities for the evening prior. The rehearsal dinner is an important, yet slightly sensitive occasion for us; as products of divorced and remarried parents, all four sets of our families have not really had the opportunity to meet. It will be their first and most likely only chance to socialize a bit. I’m hopeful that the right food and drink combination will keep pleasantries high and tension low, particularly in the case of my mother and father, who have not been in the same room in 18 years. This could go poorly.

Originally, we thought a backyard style barbecue at Fiance’s parents’ community clubhouse would be a perfect prelude to our big day, and also a great way to kick off the summer solstice. However, once Fiance’s mother and stepfather offered to foot the bill, we set our sights a little higher.

They recommended we check out the Buckeye Tavern, a quaint historic inn turned bar and restaurant that had a few private rooms for parties. After some e-mail exchanges with the owner, we learned we could have a buffet feast for 30 people that came complete with charm and whimsy. I envisioned our guests, wine glasses in hand, enjoying a beautiful summer evening outside on the patio, getting to know each other better, and no snarky comments from my mother.  The Buckeye Tavern seemed to be a winner.

However, we took action a little too late. Fiance’s mother contacted the tavern and we learned that the room I was imagining our guests sipping cocktails and not engaging in verbal kickboxing in had already been taken. We were offered another room off to the side that was cozy, but had no outdoor seating.

That’s when I felt the first twinge of Bridezilla kick in, and a competitive vibe flow through my veins. Someone else have something better than me on my special day? Pfft.

So the Buckeye Tavern is right out and we’re back to square one for rehearsal dinner locations.  Perhaps we should stick with our original plan of picking up 30 doggie bags of Yocco’s hot dogs and hanging out poolside. Nothing builds camaraderie like sharing a bag of fried pierogies while dipping your toes in cold water.

What are your plans for your rehearsal dinner? What are the pros and cons of having a casual versus formal dinner? Let me know your thoughts here!