Lyssa
Super January 2015

Drive time between rehearsal and dinner?

Lyssa, on July 21, 2014 at 2:22 PM Posted in Planning 0 8
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I know we've all had the discussion of drive time between the ceremony and reception, if they're at different venues, but what about the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner? My wedding venue (ceremony & reception) is in a very small town with very few dining options that aren't things like "Bubba's Cafe" or a Jack in the Box.

There's a larger town about 20 minutes away and a major city about 30 minutes away. I know it'll be around dinnertime, so I assume traffic will be worse, and our rehearsal is Tuesday, December 30th. Busy times, I'm sure.

While I'd love to keep it easy and eat in the larger town, the only places I'd consider going to are BBQ..and we're serving BBQ at the wedding.

So! My question is, would it be unreasonable to ask people to drive 30 minutes (or 45 with traffic) to a nicer dinner? Would you go? Granted, this would mostly be the BP, so I know they're committed, but I don't want to push it. Haha.

Finally! Is something like Olive Garden acceptable?

8 Comments

  • ELFie
    VIP August 2014
    ELFie ·
    • Flag

    Yeah, this is a hard question. My reception is down the road from FIL's house, and they're having the rehearsal dinner there. It's about 30 minutes from the church to the reception/FIL house. My bridal party will have to drive it for the rehearsal night and twice on the wedding day because we're taking photos at the reception site, having the wedding at the church, then going back to the reception. I really wanted to give them gas cards as part of their gift. FH thought that was weird.

    I think all of your ideas are alright, though 45 minutes with traffic is a bit rough. I do think Olive Garden or something is fine too. I would also base it on whether most of your guests live in an area with lots of traffic and driving (45 minute commutes) or not? That will help you see what their perspective of a long drive is (and will they be driving back 30 minutes to get home at the end of the night).

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  • Debbie
    Super May 2015
    Debbie ·
    • Flag

    Let me preface this by saying I've never had to go to a rehearsal dinner and I'm also not having an actual wedding rehearsal BUT what if you found a place in the bigger towns and just kind of staged it out there? Kind of like draw a mental picture in their heads of how they're supposed to walk in and all that. Don't know if you think that would work but that way they wouldn't have to drive from the venue to another town in the middle of rush hour.

    I think Olive Garden is acceptable! My sister had hers at a pizza restaurant that wasn't too casual and not too fancy and it ended up being really nice!

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  • F32
    Devoted November 2014
    F32 ·
    • Flag

    I don't think its unreasonable, those close to you should get it that most small-town dining options are not really the vibe you are going for.

    It would be worth a call to Olive Garden to see if they can seat you guys in a semi-private section or something.

    • Reply
  • Lyssa
    Super January 2015
    Lyssa ·
    • Flag

    You know, asking the BP is a brilliant idea. I mean, my FMIL has been asking me what I want to do. I know if I asked her, she'd just say "Whatever you want, sweetie!" And she means it. If I wanted to have everyone drive into the city, she'd be okay with it.

    I'd kind of love to do something nicer, even if it's just Olive Garden (or Macaroni Grill or something else in that vein) because of how casual the food will be for the wedding. I just don't want to drag everyone all over creation. There might be one in the larger town which is closer to the venue...

    Thank you for your input! I needed someone to talk it out to me. Smiley smile

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  • heidi
    VIP October 2014
    heidi ·
    • Flag

    Personally, if I'd had to drive 15-20mins, I'd be good. 30-45mins, I'd been a little annoyed. Even if it's a nice dinner, I just don't want to drive that long. I'd still do it. I just wouldn't be crazy about it, especially if it's in a town I'm unfamiliar with.

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  • Katie
    Super June 2014
    Katie ·
    • Flag

    I personally would be ok having to drive as long as I didn't have a long drive after. Could you provide a shuttle/some sort of carpool for those who wanted as well? Also, if you're ceremony and space aren't too complicated could you do the rehearsal at the restaurant instead? I'm not sure where you're from but you could also do an outdoor space rehearsal near too ( a park or something).

    • Reply
  • Lyssa
    Super January 2015
    Lyssa ·
    • Flag

    @Katie, because it's the end of December, I'm worried about it being too cold/dark to do an outside rehearsal. As far as complicated ceremony...it's not terribly complicated, but I want to make sure we can time out the music just right. (OCD, I know.) Besides, it's always good to rehearse with your flower girls. Haha.

    I think I might just go with a chain restaurant in the larger town, that way we don't end up in rush hour traffic. It's a country road, it'll be about 20 minutes no matter when we drive it. Smiley smile

    • Reply
  • Kaegurl
    Master June 2014
    Kaegurl ·
    • Flag

    For the rehearsal 30-45 mins seems far. Olive Garden is acceptable. We had our rehearsal dinner (which was 10 min drive from our venue) at Macaroni Grill. They sat us in a semi-private part of the restaurant. I had the GM create a speciality menu (giving our guests 10 entree choices that fit our budget). We also pre-selected appetizers and dessert for our guests as well.

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