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Sep 23, 2012 07:40 PM

Rehearsal drinks and finger food for 20, with room for more

Hi everyone - wedding planning has been hell, but hopefully some fellow chowhounds can help our stress levels with your suggestions!

Instead of having a formal rehearsal dinner the night before our wedding, we want to have our bridal party and family (~25 total) to a more informal but still special drinks and finger food event. After an hour or two, we'd like to invite the rest of our guests (many from Germany, estimating 30 more people) to join us, either at the same venue or a venue nearby. We want to pay for the rehearsal drinks/food for the first part but not for the 2nd part when the rest of the guests join.

Any suggestions on venues? We've found that private rooms seem to have high minimums, and we don't need a private room but would like an area we can all mill about and isn't too loud so we can talk. Location should be Manhattan, not too far uptown or downtown so as to be convenient for guests. We'd like to keep costs down, so nothing fancy. All types of food OK.

Thanks in advance!!

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  1. Most importantly: Budget for each event?

    Per person; including drinks; tax and tip.

    When is this and what day of the week? All this makes a difference in price and availability. And the ability of posters to offer helpful suggestions.

    1 Reply
    1. re: thegforceny

      Sorry, I knew I was forgetting some details!

      This will be on Nov. 30th, a Friday. Hopefully I'm not yet competing with holiday parties.

      Budget... I don't even know what's reasonable! Probably would like to keep it to $1500 all in for the 1st part where we're paying for the bridal party/family. So that's $60/person... maybe $20 of that on food and $40 on drinks? Cheaper than that is better, but I think we'd pay more if it was for something particularly special.


    2. I recently ran into the very same dilemma, as so many private rooms require such high food and beverage minimums. We found Prandial on 21st Street to be the exception. Talk to Vivian - she was outstanding and was able to accommodate 22 very picky eaters for around $60 per person. We were able to mingle at the bar before and after dinner pretty easily. The staff was courteous, the service was great, and the decor is beautiful. I was extremely pleased with how the event turned out, as were my guests. Hope this information helps. Best wishes !