Private dining spaces offer elegance and choice for rehearsal dinners.

This story first appeared in the Spring/Summer 2019 issue of Columbus Weddings, published December 2018.

Traditionally held the evening before the big day, rehearsal dinners are often the first event of the wedding weekend’s festivities, where family and attendants can gather and mingle after running through the ceremony’s particulars. Like today’s weddings, rehearsal dinners run a wide gamut in style, from ultra-casual backyard barbecues to formal multi-course affairs.

While the guest list and overall grandiosity tend to be much smaller than the reception, finding the right venue is tricky. Many rehearsal dinners aren’t big enough to necessitate renting out an entire banquet hall or restaurant, while sitting among other guests in a main dining area (especially on a busy weekend night) might not set the special, celebratory tone some desire.

One often overlooked rehearsal dinner space is a private dining room within a restaurant. As Grant Cassidy, executive event manager at Lindey’s Restaurant, explains, private dining experiences can be tailored to your needs and preferences, creating a memorable event.

“You have your private setting, catered specifically to what you want, to the feel you’re trying to go for,” he says. “You don’t have to worry about any other interruptions from any other guests. And you have the ability to work with myself or one of our other coordinators to customize your event, with that bit of extra attention.”

While some couples may shy away from private spaces, fearing they’ll be locked into rigid packages or sky-high costs, Cassidy is quick to dispel such notions. For instance, Lindey’s—which frequently hosts rehearsal dinners, as well as weddings and the full range of related events—offers a variety of spaces that can be rented individually or combined into one large-scale rental; the cozy terrace room seats up to 14, while the full upstairs can accommodate up to 180. The restaurant offers several prix fixe event menu tiers to choose from for private events, making it easy to work within your scale and budget. The restaurant also offers brunch menus, food stations (think: carved meats, seafood, desserts, heavy hors d’oeuvres) and buffet options.

Each restaurant’s private dining space has different capacities, menus and policies, so it pays to ask lots of questions up front and tour the spaces before deciding which one has the perfect ambiance for your rehearsal dinner.

“We’ve been fortunate enough to become known for providing excellent service and excellent food,” Cassidy says. “People feel they can come here and know they’ll get a beautiful setting; beautiful artwork; a nice, classical setting. Yet our menus and service have all adjusted with the times.” ?