If you have recently attended a rehearsal dinner or are planning a wedding weekend of your own, you know that rehearsal dinners have become far more than a formality following a wedding rehearsal. This pre-wedding soiree is the perfect opportunity for the families of the soon-to-be married couple, the wedding party, the officiant and sometimes other close-knit friends and out-of-town guests to enjoy quality time together in a more intimate setting, full of joyous anticipation.
While a rehearsal dinner is traditionally held on a Friday night for a Saturday wedding, a couple can cater this festivity to whatever works best in their situation. Sometimes the rehearsal dinner is held two nights before the wedding or maybe even becomes a celebration over breakfast the morning of the wedding ceremony. While you probably don’t want this event to upstage the big day, a rehearsal dinner can be as formal or as informal as you wish.
My husband and I opted for a more relaxed vibe at a brewery with a buffet of some of our favorite foods from many different cuisines. I was having so much fun at our rehearsal dinner and then our welcome party following dinner, that I made my sister set an alarm for her to kick me out. I knew that I would never leave if she did not make me and it was already later than I had planned on staying.
A rehearsal dinner has become a celebration in its own right and when done correctly, relieves some of the wedding rigidity and puts everyone at ease for the wedding.Make it whatever you want! Check out this list of places to kick off your wedding weekend in the Charlotte area:
303 S Church St
Angeline’s warm and inviting setting, situated in Uptown, makes for a well-suited rehearsal dinner site. This Italian-inspired spot has a private dining room for more intimate parties or the whole restaurant can be bought out for a larger event.
Prices: starting at $2,650
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1829 Cleveland Ave. @ East Worthington Ave.
Found in a renovated church in historic Dilworth, Bonterra is absolutely stunning. They provide several event space options, from renting their intimate wine cellar and patio, to renting out the entire restaurant. My favorite space, which can be used without shutting the restaurant down, is the Choir Balcony (the Choir Loft and Choir Room combined), which can cater to a maximum of 50 seated guests.
Prices: starting at $55/person
1100 Metropolitan Ave. #125
Located in the Met, Dressler’s offers a number of rehearsal dinner location prospects. They have private rooms, semi-private areas, patio space and the full restaurant can also be rented out. With views of the Charlotte skyline, Dressler’s makes for a memorable place to celebrate with friends and family.
Prices: starting at $60/person
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It’s going to be a beautiful evening! Come to Dressler’s Metro, dine on our patio and enjoy a beautiful view, a delicious dinner and a wonderful evening. “I cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food.” – W.C. Feilds Anyone that recites the above quote to his/her server receives a complimentary appetizer. . *one per table, Friday Feb 23rd, valid on patio only** . . . . #rarerootshospitality #dining #uptown #charlottenc #queencity #datenight #february #warmweather #patio #metropolitan #clteats #vino
135 Levine Avenue of the Arts
One of my most-loved Charlotte restaurants, Fin and Fino has an easygoing setting for a rehearsal dinner. The décor is a clear celebration of seafaring cultures and the setup is ideal for socializing. This seafood house radiates relaxation and they have three private dining options fitting small and large gatherings.
Prices: starting at $25-$65/person
500 South Tryon St.
Located in The Mint Museum Uptown, this space is simultaneously rustic and ethereal. A view of Uptown, indoor and outdoor space are details that make Halcyon is one of my favorite spaces to celebrate a special moment in time. (Fun fact: This was the location for my grad school graduation celebration.)
Prices: weekday night buyout: $8,000 minimum, weekend night buyout: $13,500 minimum
300 S Tryon.
With a fresh take on the classic French brasserie, La Belle Helene is perfect for a smaller rehearsal dinner. By combining two of their four exquisite private dining rooms, up to 20 guests can be accommodated. (Full buyouts are also considered.) From hand-painted murals, peekaboo windows into the pastry kitchen to the sky-high ceilings adorned with light after light, this scene makes for a romantic rehearsal dinner venue.
Prices: up to 20 guests starting at $1,200
If you are both into barbeque and leaning towards having a low-key dinner, Midwood Smokehouse is right up your alley. With mouth-watering barbeque and capacity maximums ranging from 40 to 70 people in their spaces, there are multiple viable options for a casual reception at their locations across Charlotte.
Prices: starting at $22-$30/person
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110 Perrin Place
With its vineyard-inspired ambiance tucked away off of Providence Road, Napa has long been one of my go-to happy hours for its wine and bites. It is also the model location of a rehearsal dinner with a cozy California vibe. They offer two private room options with maximums of 22 and 50 guests.
Prices: $1,500 minimum, fixed menu prices range from $36-$44/person
100 W Trade St
Stoke’s vibrant atmosphere and modern, yet welcoming space make it an appealing rehearsal dinner choice. Depending on the size and setup you have in mind for your event, the bar, private dining room, speakeasy (near the main restaurant) or even the entire restaurant can be rented out.
Prices: minimums starting at $600 to $20,000
1601 E. 7th St
The Fig Tree, located in the Lucas House, a 1913 Craftsman-style bungalow in Elizabeth, makes for an unforgettable and unique rehearsal dinner choice; from its veranda, patio, fireplaces, original woodwork, five stunning dining rooms (their largest holds up to 38 guests) to of course, fig trees.
Prices: minimums starting at $2,500 to $6,300