Rehearsal Dinner Venues in Raleigh, Durham, Cary, and Chapel Hill

We know what you’re thinking: why would I need a different venue for my rehearsal dinner? If you’re new to the wedding game, this is a fair question. The answer is that most wedding venues can’t open up that much of a window in their booking schedules. If brides want to take advantage of balmy weather, natural blooms, and photo-ready greenery, they need to schedule their event somewhere between March and September—and compete with all the other brides trying to do the same thing! Bottom line: in these cases, your next best option is to choose another venue for the rehearsal ceremony. Luckily, Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Cary offer countless options to choose from.

How to Plan a Rehearsal Dinner

Despite the formal-sounding name, a rehearsal dinner is essentially a fun party the night before the wedding. It’s an opportunity for you to welcome your guests, introduce everyone, and celebrate your love in a comfortable, casual setting. Here are some tips for hosting an amazing rehearsal dinner.

  • Keep the guest list short. Invite your wedding party (bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls, etc.) and their plus-ones; plus your immediate families. It’s also customary to invite the officiant of the ceremony and his or her spouse, if he or she is close to the family.
  • Keep it close. The closer the venue is to your guests’ accommodations, the better—a long drive is tough the night before the wedding day.
  • Keep it casual. There’s no need to host your dinner in a fancy sit-down restaurant if you don’t want to. Modern couples are hosting their rehearsal dinners anywhere from backyards to art galleries to the beach. There’s no need to make it a “dinner,” either—barbecues, buffets, cocktail hours, and morning-of brunches are all great alternatives.
  • …But not too casual. Although of course you will want to host some (likely very lively) toasts, try to keep the alcohol minimal—hungover reception guests make for an unhappy wedding party.

Below are just a few of our favorite wedding rehearsal dinner venues in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Cary. Want to be featured on this page? Click here to learn how to become one of our vendors.

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