If I were in your shoes, I would get a chicken dinner package from my local Super Walmart for the number of people I'm planning to serve. The chicken is much better than KFC and much cheaper. They have packages that will feed up to 100 people. Good luck with your plans.
I don't know where you live, but if it's warm you could have a cook-out. My son got married last September and that's what he wanted. I had hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, salads and a few dips. For desserts, I made cheese cake, pound cake, and a regular chocolate cake. I got colored tablecloths and decorated each table. I also got disposable cameras for each table so people could take random pictures. It turned out great.
We ended up buying the flowers to decorate the church and the men's boutonniere. I can't remember what other flowers we may have provided, but it was quite expensive.
I feel for you, I went through the same thing last year and was so glad when it was over. Good luck! (03/11/2005)
Do a pot luck dinner, nobody will mind bringing something and it is supposed to be a relaxed fun atmosphere, a rehearsal for the big day!
Good luck and congrats! (03/11/2005)
You can serve pasta as a very inexpensive meal for quite a few people. Walmart has a great bottled pasta sauce for $1.00 per bottle. It's really good for a quick meal. If you want to add meat use ground turkey. It's around 99 cents per pound and no one will know the difference in spaghetti sauce. Serve french bread on the side, 99 cents per loaf at Walmart. Make a basic salad with a vinegar and oil type dressing. This saves from having to buy multiple dressings. Use paper plates, cups, napkins, and plastic serving ware. Again all this can be purchased at Walmart for a very reasonable price. For dessert you could go with a pre-made angel food type cake topped with melted milk chocolate chips and whipped cream or fruit and whipped cream. More than likely you could feed everyone you need to for around $60.00. You could make up everything ahead of time except the actual pasta. Good luck and congratulations. (03/11/2005)
My parents had my brother's rehearsal dinner at a local restaurant, on a night this restaurant was normally closed. The restaurant did the BBQ meat, rolls, drinks, plates, napkins, cutlery. My mom and I did side dishes and desserts. This was great, everyone agreed. It was nice to have the place to ourselves minus the restaurant owners. And my parents didn't have to do it all themselves.
If you belong to a church what about their fellowship hall? Also, I went to a wedding reception at our church where the couple was older, and had a tight budget. They asked that everyone bring a dish and have a "family" dinner. It was nice and we had a lot of fun. (03/21/2005)
We did pizza after our rehearsal. There was so much going on that evening as far as little details that needed to be worked out and having the pizza delivered really took the worry of what to cook and who was going to cook it! You can add bread stix and wine & beer. With that short of a time span you could ask to host it at someone's house or right at the hall where you may be decorating that evening. (04/01/2005)
SAMS club has an awesome frozen lasagna, paired with asking perhaps a few family members to bring salad, bread, and drinks. You could also have a sheet cake made for around $25 with the bride and groom's name on it. Offer a meatless version for those who are not into carnivorous eating.
When my brother got married, we had the rehearsal party at Pizza Hut! It was great, mountains of pizza, wings, beer, Caesar salad and it cost less than $500 (we had a lot of out of town guests join us, even though they weren't part of the wedding - about 50 of us in all). That's only $10/person for beer and everything it was fun!
We had a festive chili feast in the venue where we held the wedding.
I purchased multi-colored plastic tablecloths from the party store on sale for 74 cents each, and bought napkins in the same colors. Red, gold, and green, I think. I took my cue from some fiesta decorations in the store. We embellished the decorations by putting maracas and cheap sombreros around the room. I also bought some red plastic baskets, which we lined with different colored napkins and filled with tortilla chips. I didn't do it, but I considered buying 2 dozen multi-colored balloons and putting 6 in each corner of the room, that would have added only $10 to the tab.
I made the chili myself, and served it in a disposable chafer from the party store. I also made up a garnishes tray with cheese, jalapenos, onion, and sour cream. We served domestic light beer and whichever "Mexican" beer was on sale that week. We put it out on ice in party tubs. We also served iced tea and after dinner, coffee. My mother-in-law made cookies for dessert.
The whole deal cost us about $250. You could have the same food catered from a place like Red Hot and Blue for about $500. We served approximately 50 people. (10/18/2007)
We have been thinking about having our Rehearsal Dinner at a bowling alley. They have party rooms and also serve pizza, etc. It sounds like it might be a good idea. No fuss! (06/07/2008)
My parents did a great job, with a night time catered chicken, cold side dishes, beer, and wine in their yard under a tent canopy. Low cost. Each of the women brought desserts. His family paid for the drinks. (07/20/2008)
At our first son's wedding we had a wine and cheese tasting with tons of hoers 'd oeuvres and breads. We finished with light cakes and pastries for dessert. Everyone enjoyed them selves and we spent about $300 by doing the cooking ourselves for the 50 guests. (09/18/2008)
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