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Feb 8, 2010 02:11 PM

Rehearsal Dinner Suggestions for This Out-Of-Town Host?

Hello Austin Hounds!

My stepson is getting married in the Austin area in May. We will be hosting the reheasal dinner, but we are all east-coasters and so could use your help with suggestions for a venue that could accommodate our 35 guests.

Our budget, like many these days, is modest. While the kids ate at Eastside Cafe ( on a recent visit and suggested it as a location for the dinner, the cost of approx $45 per head (plus $500 room rental fee) puts it out of our reach. $25-30 per head is more what we can afford.

Do you have any suggestions for us of a place that would have relatively similar types of food choices/ambiance that would come in at a lower price?

Your help is certainly appreciated!

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  1. I would suggest Chez Zee as an option. We had our rehearsal dinner there (45) people, and it was lovely, and the food was great. Depending on the options and food you chose, you could definitely get it down below $35 a head. They are pretty accomodating.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Homero

      Thanks so much for this recommendation -- will definitely look into Chez Zee as well as any other options folks can suggest!

    2. Austin in May is pretty nice weather-wise. Check out Austin Party Cruises:

      You can rent a party boat that will easily fit your 35 guests, then just have some place in town cater it. We did this for our rehearsal dinner back in October. We had Jason's Deli cater it with some sandwiches, cheeses, fruits, etc. The 2-hour Lake Austin cruise is very scenic and about the right amount of time for a rehearsal dinner. The whole thing ended up being pretty affordable, and all the east cost/NY guests just thought it was great ("I had no idea Texas had lakes!"). A lot of fun, and kind of different than the typical restaurant dinner.

      4 Replies
      1. re: jwynne2000

        Hmmm, very intriguing! Looks more casual than we had considered but that may very well be necessary given our budget. I'll be sure to investigate!

        1. re: jwynne2000

          We've also done something similar to this through Vino 100 they did a fajita buffett, wine tastings, music, etc. So you could dress the food up a bit if you didn't want sandwiches

          1. re: amykragan

            So Vino 100 catered your boat event? Did they keep staff on the boat during the cruise?

            Looks like I would definitely want an off-boat caterer if I went the cruise route as the boat's menu is pretty uninspired and doesn't seem to have much accommodation for the vegetarians who will be among my party.

            I'm off to check Vino 100 out. Any other catering recommendations out there?

            1. re: foodacious

              Yes, it was a wine dinner cruise through Vino 100 in Round Rock. They hired the boat and arranged the food. We just paid them. Their staff manned the bar the whole time and they also provided the musicians.

        2. this isn't exactly what you're asking for,but we (from DC) went to a rehearsal dinner at the Salt Lick and it was wonderful. (the groom was from DC, the bride from Dallas) They did rent a bus for transportation, and that (and the cooler of Shiner for the ride) added to the cost, but it has to be less expensive than most restaurants, and it was a lot more fun. There was a separate room -- and, of course, great food. It was a real treat for the east coast folks, and I think the Texans appreciated the homage to the Lone Star state. It isn't along the lines of the East Side Cafe, but it was great -- special but not expensive. And you don't have to dress up.