What to Know About Planning a Restaurant Rehearsal Dinner

Rehearsal dinner venue, Lounge 31, at Highland Park Village in Dallas with florals from Something Pretty Floral for blogger Hoang-Kim

On the night of our rehearsal dinner, there was a cotton candy sky complemented with a subtle breeze. It was a balmy Friday evening and while the morning wedding ceremonies were overcast, the clouds parted for the perfect backdrop. We wanted our rehearsal dinner to be an intimate gathering of those closest to us and to thank them for being in our lives.

Our rehearsal dinner was in Dallas at Highland Park Village. We quickly learned if you want a private space with great food for 30 people there aren’t a lot of venues you can book for less than $5,000. Unfortunately, we were too slow to book our first choice. So I went on a crazy hunt to find another great option. I’m so thankful we found the perfect spot with fantastic food, drinks, great ambiance and a picturesque setting. Keep reading for how we pulled the whole night together!

Rehearsal dinner venue, Lounge 31, at Highland Park Village in Dallas with florals from Something Pretty Floral for blogger Hoang-Kim

Venue & Table Setting

Rehearsal Dinner Venue

A few years ago, we fell in love with Mercat Bistro. They make the best quiches and we love how they have a private side carriage house perfect for hosting events. They could fit our guests and the pricing was within our budget. Unfortunately, we didn’t book the space in time, which left us in a time crunch to find a new spot to host our rehearsal dinner! We called around and so many places had a $10,000 or more food and beverage minimum to be in a private space from the rest of the restaurant.

We got in the car and started driving around Dallas. One area we absolutely thought would be out of our price range included Highland Park Village. I had previously eaten at Bistro 31 and loved their food. Both of us have a “Worst they can say is no” attitude. After a quick call, we discovered their upstairs space, Lounge 31, was in our price range! They had a $3,000 food and beverage minimum and could fit 32 guests. They gave us a few menu options to choose from.

Table Setting

If you are hosting your rehearsal dinner at a restaurant, ask them what their dinnerware, linens and flatware will look like! This helped me in coordinating everything for a cohesive look. The restaurant let me know they would have white place settings, silver flatware and light blue linens. The entire room was blue, so I played off that theme with our rehearsal dinner invitations and menus. I ordered both in the blue colorway from the knot and you can use my code, HKCUNG20, for 20% off all paper products.

Since I was ordering menus, I told the restaurant I would be printing my own so they could prepare and not have to print their own. Our florists dropped them off when they came to set up the flowers earlier that day so it worked out perfectly!

Blue rehearsal dinner table setting with blue botanical menus from the knot, white place setting and silver flatware at Lounge 31 in Highland Park Village

Florals

Something Pretty Floral did all of the florals for our wedding, so it was no surprise they would make our rehearsal dinner beautiful, too! I’ll be honest, at this point, I had hit major decision fatigue. I know the team does the most incredible work and doesn’t need to be told what to do. When it comes to hiring vendors, one of my biggest pieces of advice is to pick the team you don’t have to micromanage. It was incredible to know if I took a step back, things would still be flawless.

Since the room is very saturated, we opted for white airy florals. I love how it makes a big impact, but is subtle. There was a mix of florals, which kept it interesting, too!

Rehearsal dinner table setting with white florals from Something Pretty Floral at Lounge 31 in Highland Park Village

Speeches

One of our favorite parts of the evening was the speeches our family and friends made! If you’re on the fence about this, I’d definitely recommend it! We opted for those who wouldn’t be giving a speech during the reception to share a little something. Since our videographers were there, it was perfect to have those memories recorded, too!

We kept it pretty casual and just let our family and friends pass the microphone around. This way, they can share what they wanted. At first, we were hesitant, but one of my bridesmaids convinced me otherwise! This is one of the only times in our lives where we’ll be able to be celebrated, so to let it happen!

Blogger Hoang-Kim and her fiance Johnny in rehearsal dinner outfits wearing an Alexia Maria Blair Convertible Jumpsuit in white and Hugo Boss Genius Fit suit in navy at Highland Park Village in Dallas

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