Sunday, November 1, 2009

Rehearsal Dinner Dilemmas...

Since even well-oiled machines don’t always run smoothly, I need to tell you about a little “snafu” that we ran into about a week and a half before our wedding. From the title of the post, you can probably guess that it had to do with our Rehearsal Dinner. I wrote about the triumphant booking of our rehearsal dinner here, and here I showed you the super cute invitations that I made to invite our family and friends to the dinner.

Well, all was going along well...until October 13th or so. You see, we were supposed to call the Johnny Carino’s that we booked to have our RD at two weeks before the event to secure the date. And then we were supposed to call them back the week of the event and place our order for food. Knowing the time line that I was working with, I mailed the invites and had an RSVP date on there of October 16th...a week out from the RD. But one little thing happened. I should have called Johnny Carino’s on the 9th to secure everything. But I was busy on the 9th. So I didn’t think about it again until the 12th, and I was busy again, so I asked B to make the call for me.

He forgot to do it, but remembered on the 13th...and then called me in a panic. Never fear, Johnny Carino’s had not taken us off of their schedule, but somehow it never came up when B was booking the room there that the room only holds 30 people. Hmmm...there were 45 on our guest list for the RD. Bad news, huh? Oh, just wait, it gets worse. On further conversation with the guy at Carino’s, B was told that the guy that had promised that this would be no problem to secure and hold was no longer there and they had no record of our event. Not that big of a deal, since the room wasn’t booked for anything else and we could just re-book the room. But the seating capacity WAS a problem...

We were getting RSVPs in the mail for the RD, but hadn’t heard from half of our guests yet. So we didn’t know for sure that we needed space for 45 people. And to my recollection, the room wasn’t a separate room with doors or anything, there were just low half-walls separating that area from the general dining area. So how hard could it be to seat the remaining “overflow” guests at tables right on the other side of those low walls? I would think not that hard.

That’s what I get for thinking. The guy from Carino’s that was slowly destroying my carefully laid out plans further informed B that since this was a Friday evening at 7pm, he was not included to “hold” seats for our party in general seating. Pretty much, they just weren’t working with us.

I tried to calm B down, a pretty hard task let me tell you! I saw several options:

1 – verify our guest list – maybe we wouldn’t even have 30 guests say yes
2 – if there were just a few more than 30, a table for 6 might be easier to “hold” next to our low walls than a table for 15
3 – change venue – either pick another restaurant in the same shopping center (there are several) or change to the Carino’s in San Marcos all together. Most of the guests were local, but the others could be given a map at the rehearsal.
4 – last, but not least, have Carino’s cater the event and hold the dinner at the venue. Which wasn’t the best option, because at this point we didn’t even know if we could rehearse, let alone dine, at the venue.

I quickly listed those options, but B was being stubborn and he didn’t like any of them. We finally settled on option 1 and started calling our respective family and friends. After an hour of phone calls, we were down to 36 guests...YEA!...but no real solution on the seating problem. Carino’s was being firm on not holding tables and not putting more than 30 in the room.

So I took matters into my own hands. I called the Johnny Carino’s in San Marcos and surprisingly got the catering manager, Casey on the first try. She was MORE than accommodating, being quick to assure me that their private room was an actual room by itself and held up to 50 people. We worked on the menu while I had her and within 10 minutes she sent me an invoice for an estimated cost. Whew! That was WAY easier. I quickly re-worked the maps that I had made for the RD, and felt settled by the time that B called me back. He wasn’t really thrilled that I handled the situation that way, but what could we do? There were several guests that we couldn’t reach and I saw no other alternative.

By the time that I got home that night, he was fine with my “executive decision” and the world was at peace again. Now I just needed to change my maps...and spread the word about the last minute change. No problem, right?

Well...just a small problem...more to come about the actual night soon! Hopefully with pictures, since I took NONE during the entire rehearsal dinner! I’m a bad bride...


  1. That is such a bummer. I know exactly what you are talking about regarding the first room with low walls...we had my sister's baby shower at a mexican restaurant with a very similar set up. That is really lame that they wouldn't just guarantee you a table or two when you were basically guaranteeing them money. Restaurants trip me out sometimes! But it sounds like (at least for the capacity aspect of it), it worked out to be better in the end. Hopefully you're not going to tell us that half of your guests went to the old Carino's?!? :(

  2. You are so together... I would have been a crying mess!!!!! Bravo!