5 Great Rehearsal Dinner Ideas around San Luis Obispo

A fun rehearsal party with panoramic views of Avila and Pismo Beach from this private rooftop, Seacrest Hotel

A fun rehearsal party option with panoramic views of Avila and Pismo Beach on the Seacrest Hotel rooftop

As a central coast wedding venue owner, our engaged couples often ask for ideas to show their guests another side of our central coast. Our hilltop estate shows off the local wineries, their vines, and Santa Lucia Mountains with inland views. Their wedding receptions here typically carry a more elegant, classy feel, so I typically like to suggest something different and often casual in nature. I think this offers your guests a really great feel for why our central coast region is so special and what many say is still a hidden gem.

Rehearsal Party option to see another side of San Luis Obispo's nearby beaches

A casual rehearsal party option for wedding guests to enjoy,  San Luis Obispo’s nearby beaches

Here are 5 fun locations (or venues) around San Luis Obispo that we like to suggest to our booked couples for their rehearsal party or dinner:

1 – The panoramic Rooftop deck (or patio) of the Seacrest Hotel, Pismo Beach

Many of our couples have their wedding guests stay at this hotel or nearby Dolphin Bay but they don’t always consider that each of these hotels offer great rehearsal party options so their guests aren’t drinking and driving. It’s super convenient and fun before they are shuttled the following day to our Estate (as part of our wedding reception package) for the wedding and reception.

Rooftop is lovely for daytime or evening events with full ocean views

Rooftop is lovely for daytime or evening events with full ocean views

2 – A beach barbecue bonfire on Grover Beach

Beach Butlerz offers affordable and fun rentals for your wedding rehearsal party or event at the beach

Beach Butlerz offers affordable and fun rentals for your wedding rehearsal party or event at the beach

This option fits many budgets based on your guest count from simple finger food to passed appetizers or dinner. One of our destination weddings held here in August wanted to make their rehearsal party casual for their children to enjoy.  Since their wedding guests were visiting from Chicago and St. Louis, time at the beach to play games and hang out was really important when they planned their event on the central coast. Great vendors to call on who created this event? Auten Boys Barbecue & Catering, Shenanigans for game rentals, Elegant Details Floral, Sandcastle Celebrations (design), and Beach Butlerz to help have all the chairs and bonfire waiting for you is a great option!

3- A cozy dinner at sister restaurants Luna Red or Novo, in downtown SLO

Luna Red, pictured, and sister restaurant, Novo, offer creative cuisine and outdoor seating for your rehearsal dinner

Luna Red, pictured, and sister restaurant, Novo, offer creative cuisine and outdoor seating for your rehearsal.

Even though our estate is located in San Luis Obispo,  just 10 miles from downtown, it’s still a country setting with vineyard views and mountains. For this reason, I also like to recommend a couple of our favorite restaurants in downtown SLO, so wedding guests can get a feel for our county seat. The area has boutique shopping, many college hangouts (with Cal Poly adjoining) and each of these restaurants exude charm, paired with wonderful service and menu options.

4- The truly enchanting historic townsite of Old Edna in Edna Valley wine region

My friend, Pattea Torrence, is the creative force behind this lovely farmstay site where she offers two lodging houses and walking tour of many interesting preserved buildings that she has lovingly restored and beautified. It must be a lovely setting for a intimate gathering (Pattea shared that 40 guests or less work best) and again, this setting provides something very different from a restaurant or our tuscan hilltop estate wedding.

Consider Old Edna, a historic townsite near Edna Valley vineyards for your party or rehearsal dinner

Consider Old Edna, nestled near Edna Valley vineyards, for a party or rehearsal dinner

5 – The Station  in San Luis Obispo offering a unique setting & great vibe

Launched in June, 2015, The Station will close for private events and can offer great suggestions to assist you in creating a wonderful rehearsal party setting (or even bridal or baby showers for locals!). What are they? “A carefully curated wine bar, wine shop, market and event space in San Luis Obispo…”with wines selected from around the world.”

A delightful spread offered at The Station for an event with Fromagerie Sophie

Just drooling over this spread offered at The Station for an event with Fromagerie Sophie

Their calendar is already packed with fun opportunities to enjoy when you are visiting San Luis Obispo and finding your wedding venue, but consider stopping in for a glass of vino and considering it for a rehearsal party location. We think you might fall in love with what this cozy wine bar offers.

A sweet spot that may not be on the rehearsal party radar yet!

A sweet spot that may not be on the rehearsal party radar yet!

So there’s five that Tony and I think are great options for your 2016 or 2017 wedding rehearsal party. We’d love to hear where you end up and other non-traditional ideas to share in the future with other newly engaged couples. Drop us a line, we’d love to hear from you.


2 Comments

  1. We have 5 rehearsal dinners in our garden scheduled for this year so far.

    • Pat Goetz

      Thanks Judi, San Luis Obispo county definitely has so much to offer wedding guests as a wonderful destination wedding location. So glad to have you as a fellow venue owner!

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