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Old 03-23-2013, 09:02 PM   #1
marvelgirl2010
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Question What did you do for your rehearsal dinner?

Hi,
Please post what you did for your Rehearsal Dinner: Where you had it, how many people, who was invited, how much it cost and any other details you'd like to share! Or if you are planning, too, then what are you planning? Did you do something non-traditional, thats ok too! Just looking for ideas and it would be sooo helpful, thanks!
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Last edited by marvelgirl2010; 04-18-2013 at 12:24 AM. Reason: Making this thread a little more all purpose
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Old 03-23-2013, 11:09 PM   #2
MrsChdlc2011
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We had a small Disney wedding with 20 people, all of which were from the midwest. The boys went golfing the day before, and the girls had shopping/family/beach day. Afterwards, we all met at The Rainforest Cafe in DTD for dinner. Unfortunately, we ended up with two tables of 10 people in two totally different areas- we had one set with my husbands family and the other was my family. It didn't really encourage the "melding" of the families as we had hoped. Honestly, though, I think it was a perfect choice.
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:25 PM   #3
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i don’t know wat your whole wedding plan is but if i were to do this over i would have done a dessert party type thing as a rehearsal party (assuming i wasn’t still having a 10 am ceremony because that would be crazy).

what we did was reserve 3 tables of 10 at crystal palace and i felt bad later that i picked an in park thing. i think something casual at a DD would be fine. there’s not anything thats really “affordable” for that size and nowhere feasible to just like order 27 pizzas and say have at it. it’s tricky, you want to be a great host but i always think that if you were married at home you wouldn’t host all those guests to another meal, right? of course, it is generous of them to come, but if we had that many guests, i would kind of try to parse a really disney type experience out of the main event. good luck!
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:56 PM   #4
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We aren't having a formal dinner. We are going to tell everyone that we are eating at X if you'd like to join us let's us know.
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:08 PM   #5
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We couldn't afford to do a welcome/rehearsal dinner, but we wanted guests to have a chance to meet each other beforehand, so we did what we called a "Casual, Come-If-You-Want-To Meet 'n' Greet" in a public space at the Beach Club called The Parlor. I have the whole story and photos here, but basically we just all showed up there and there were no other guests around at the time, so we had the whole room to ourselves. We planned it to fall between lunch and dinner so that people wouldn't expect food, and afterward guests broke into groups and made their own dinner plans.

Some other ideas:
  • Mini-golfing
  • Pizza/Publix deli trays at your resort's pool
  • Rent a Disney Vacation Club Villa for one night and serve pizza/Publix deli trays
  • Ft. Wilderness hayrides and/or campfire sing-along
  • Movie night on the beach at Yacht & Beach Club
  • Bowling at Splitsville
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:02 PM   #6
marvelgirl2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsChdlc2011 View Post
We had a small Disney wedding with 20 people, all of which were from the midwest. The boys went golfing the day before, and the girls had shopping/family/beach day. Afterwards, we all met at The Rainforest Cafe in DTD for dinner. Unfortunately, we ended up with two tables of 10 people in two totally different areas- we had one set with my husbands family and the other was my family. It didn't really encourage the "melding" of the families as we had hoped. Honestly, though, I think it was a perfect choice.
Thank you for sharing! That is too bad they split you up.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sambycat View Post
i don’t know wat your whole wedding plan is but if i were to do this over i would have done a dessert party type thing as a rehearsal party (assuming i wasn’t still having a 10 am ceremony because that would be crazy).
what we did was reserve 3 tables of 10 at crystal palace and i felt bad later that i picked an in park thing. i think something casual at a DD would be fine. there’s not anything thats really “affordable” for that size and nowhere feasible to just like order 27 pizzas and say have at it. it’s tricky, you want to be a great host but i always think that if you were married at home you wouldn’t host all those guests to another meal, right? of course, it is generous of them to come, but if we had that many guests, i would kind of try to parse a really disney type experience out of the main event. good luck!
Thanks! We thought about a dessert party, but we are having a 10am ceremony. We have decided to not do anything that requires a park ticket.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Summer Daydream View Post
We aren't having a formal dinner. We are going to tell everyone that we are eating at X if you'd like to join us let's us know.
Thank you for sharing!
Quote:
Originally Posted by lurkyloo View Post
We couldn't afford to do a welcome/rehearsal dinner, but we wanted guests to have a chance to meet each other beforehand, so we did what we called a "Casual, Come-If-You-Want-To Meet 'n' Greet" in a public space at the Beach Club called The Parlor. I have the whole story and photos here, but basically we just all showed up there and there were no other guests around at the time, so we had the whole room to ourselves. We planned it to fall between lunch and dinner so that people wouldn't expect food, and afterward guests broke into groups and made their own dinner plans.

Some other ideas:
  • Mini-golfing
  • Pizza/Publix deli trays at your resort's pool
  • Rent a Disney Vacation Club Villa for one night and serve pizza/Publix deli trays
  • Ft. Wilderness hayrides and/or campfire sing-along
  • Movie night on the beach at Yacht & Beach Club
  • Bowling at Splitsville
Thanks LurkyLoo! I downloaded your book last night and read it e-cover to cover. There were a lot of helpful ideas! I wish I had known about it 6 months ago when we started planning.
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:08 PM   #7
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One thing we are thinking about doing is not serving food at all and just getting everyone a ticket to DisneyQuest for the night before our wedding. It would end up being way cheaper than any food option we have been able to come up with. I think we will probably have to set up some kind of dinner arrangements for our parents at Downtown Disney. Since, I just can't see them enjoying DisneyQuest. Then we could pop in and visit them during their meal and get back to Disney quest easily. Logistically it could be a challenge, since most people would be arriving that day and how would we get everyone tickets?

Otherwise, we have a Epcot fireworks party booked for the night before that I want to cancel. It is too expensive with the transportation and the fireworks viewing fee. I'm calling tomorrow to see if Sago Cay is available. The Halloween fireworks are my favorite anyways!
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:00 PM   #8
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We are having a Rehearsal Dinner and a Dessert Party both before the wedding (in 10 Days). DF didn't care if we had a RD, but I wanted to spend time with just the wedding party and thank them for making the trip and spending so much money to be a part of our day. We are rehearsing at the WP at 6:00 and then going to the Contemporary for the RD. It's in one of the small rooms in the convention center, they call them Pastorals. We are having a fajita bar and no alcohol. I did just request beverages, just coke, diet coke, sprite and unsweetened iced tea. The price per person before the beverages was $32/person. We are inviting everyone who is going to be involved in the ceremony.
After at 9:00 we are going to the Porte-Cochere at the Contemporary and having a dessert party for everyone invited to the wedding. This will be during the MK fireworks and we are paying $23/person. The menu is a churro action station, assorted cookies, dark and milk chocolate fountains, chocolate marshmallow peanut butter squares and fruit salad. We are also having Champagne, Wine and Grey Goose Slushies.
If you give them a price, they can probably create a menu that fits within your budget. I gave them a list of desserts that we wanted, I didn't even look at the menus.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rphelps27 View Post
We are having a Rehearsal Dinner and a Dessert Party both before the wedding (in 10 Days). DF didn't care if we had a RD, but I wanted to spend time with just the wedding party and thank them for making the trip and spending so much money to be a part of our day. We are rehearsing at the WP at 6:00 and then going to the Contemporary for the RD. It's in one of the small rooms in the convention center, they call them Pastorals. We are having a fajita bar and no alcohol. I did just request beverages, just coke, diet coke, sprite and unsweetened iced tea. The price per person before the beverages was $32/person. We are inviting everyone who is going to be involved in the ceremony.
After at 9:00 we are going to the Porte-Cochere at the Contemporary and having a dessert party for everyone invited to the wedding. This will be during the MK fireworks and we are paying $23/person. The menu is a churro action station, assorted cookies, dark and milk chocolate fountains, chocolate marshmallow peanut butter squares and fruit salad. We are also having Champagne, Wine and Grey Goose Slushies.
If you give them a price, they can probably create a menu that fits within your budget. I gave them a list of desserts that we wanted, I didn't even look at the menus.

That is awesome! Thank you so much for sharing! We are staying at Bay Lake Towers, so fireworks from there might be nice! I assume the $23 doesn't include the alcohol. I'm calling tomorrow to see what they can do. I'm still 7 months out so its hard to get them to tell me anything price wise. Its nice to know we don't have to stick to the menus. We kind of got tricked into signing up for the Epcot dessert party. Our scheduler told us it would only cost a few hundred dollars to add a dessert party, so we said sure. Later, at home, we realized it would be a few thousand dollars and that a big chunk of that was the Epcot fireworks viewing fee.
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Old 03-26-2013, 01:20 AM   #10
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Just to check (though it sounds like you're more interested in Wishes anyway), you know the viewing fee is only for those guests who don't have park admission, right? Also, you don't have to provide transportation for your guests into Epcot; you can have them meet an event guide at the gate (usually International Gateway, but sometimes they'll let you do the front gate) and walk in. The trick there is whether you think your guests can get themselves to Epcot easily. We decided to hire transportation because so many of ours were unfamiliar with WDW.
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:37 AM   #11
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I know you said not something in park, but did you consider the not-so-scary Halloween party? -

I just remembered your date was the 1st so that would be the party on 31st which is a premium price ($74 last year)...maybe not but ill suggest it anyway!- you could invite everyone as it is after all a cheaper way to get into the park than a full day ticket (so could be appealing to some people?) and you could maybe just pay for bridal party ?

Just thought I'd throw my thoughts in x
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:17 PM   #12
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I read a PJ years ago where the couple held a RD for 25 or so at the Olive Garden in Lake Buena Vista, just outside DTD, and said it was the cheapest nicer option they found. I've never seen anyone else try this.

We're planning a rehearsal dinner at Epcot and trying to minimize other costs to make it fit. Since most of us will be park-hopping, we'll just plan for Epcot that day (and won't be charged the viewing fee) Everyone else will meet/walk in together from the Boardwalk area so that we don't have to rent a bus and can pay as few viewing fees as possible. With one of the lower priced dinners, smaller areas, and no alcohol, it works for us.

In the spirit of equality, we are looking into a few off-property places, too, but it's going to be a challenge to find anything significantly cheaper, we're pretty sure. Epcot would be really special, is convenient to our guests staying on property, and entertainment is definitely provided!

As a side note (not to you personally but to the lurkers reading this) if you are a couple with a rehearsal dinner group that wouldn't mix very well (it happens!) the bzillion dinner shows in the Orlando area usually have group rates. Most of these include, for about the rate of Disney's meals alone, a full dinner, evening's entertainment, and (cash) bar that you don't have to pay for! They're good entertainment for kids, too, and most of them have you seated where you're only side-by-side for minimum friction, particularly when combined with the attention-holding power of the show.

Not for everyone, certainly, but if you have a medieval/pirate/murder mystery/Arabian nights/etc themed event, or just want a diversion, you could consider it. Just trying to be helpful.
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:53 PM   #13
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We didn't have a welcome/rehearsal dinner (all of our guests were local and we had an Escape wedding), but we were staying in a grand villa at Bay Lake Tower so we held a mini get together the night before. My dad and husband drove over to the Flippers at the Crossroads (they don't deliver to the MK resort area) and picked up a bunch of pizzas and our friends brought desserts. We enjoyed a casual dinner and then were able to walk out on our balcony and watch Wishes. It was a perfect, private way to hang out with everyone before our ceremony in the morning, plus it cost us basically nothing!
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Old 03-28-2013, 11:26 PM   #14
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My wife and I wanted to do something for our wedding party so we decided to have our rehearsal dinner at the Polynesian Luau Dinner Show. It was pricey but it was an event that we will never forget. I believe it was about 70.00 or so a person. We paid for every one that was involved in the wedding and their husband and wives, we gave the option to all the guests if they wanted to take part in our rehearsal dinner.
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:12 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lurkyloo View Post
Just to check (though it sounds like you're more interested in Wishes anyway), you know the viewing fee is only for those guests who don't have park admission, right? ...The trick there is whether you think your guests can get themselves to Epcot easily.
Thanks, you are correct. But we have a lot of Disney Newbs going and since most people will be arriving that day, few if any will have park tickets.

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Originally Posted by FairytaleBelle View Post
I know you said not something in park, but did you consider the not-so-scary Halloween party? -
I think the Halloween Party is an awesome rehearsal dinner substitute! But, we are asking everyone to purchase Halloween Party tickets for after our reception on the 1st!

Quote:
Originally Posted by princessvirginia View Post
Not for everyone, certainly, but if you have a medieval/pirate/murder mystery/Arabian nights/etc themed event, or just want a diversion, you could consider it. Just trying to be helpful.
Thanks for sharing! I think your comments are super helpful! I agree, there are a lot of cool options downtown. I found a murder mystery theater that served dinner and was very affordable. We definitely considered outside the park, but it seems a shame to make people leave right when they get there, especially when you have to transport them

Quote:
Originally Posted by figmentfan84 View Post
My dad and husband drove over to the Flippers at the Crossroads (they don't deliver to the MK resort area) and picked up a bunch of pizzas and our friends brought desserts. We enjoyed a casual dinner and then were able to walk out on our balcony and watch Wishes.
That sounds awesome! I really wish we had a smaller party and could do that. We have a one bedroom Castle View at Bay Lake Towers and we might do something like that the night before our rehearsal with just family!

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We paid for every one that was involved in the wedding and their husband and wives, we gave the option to all the guests if they wanted to take part in our rehearsal dinner.
Thanks for sharing. That was what my DF originally wanted to do, until I told him we had to pay for everyone. I hadn't thought about that option.


These are all awesome ideas! Keep em coming!
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