I don't know why I haven't aired my grievances here, but today is the day.
If you asked me what has been the most challenging, difficult, strife-filled part of wedding planning, I'd tell you it had nothing to do with the wedding at all. It's the rehearsal dinner.
I can't even talk about it without feeling angst in my stomach.
Let me walk you through the troubles I've seen:
Rehearsal Dinner Idea #1
Sean and I decided to pay for the rehearsal dinner ourselves. That severely limited our options, as most rehearsal dinner-appropriate restaurants are quite pricey and between family members and bridal party, we have about 30 people to feed.
Rehearsal Dinner Idea #2
We thought, "Okay, let's get our favorite BBQ place to cater and we'll have it at the clubhouse at our complex." Complex operators say no can do.
Rehearsal Dinner Idea #3
Okay, we said, let's just get the private room at the BBQ restaurant. Not ideal aesthetically, but whatever. Turns out it's booked.
Rehearsal Dinner Idea #4
Okay, back to the drawing board. We ask Facebook friends for advice. Get lots of good suggestions that are then ruled out because: too expensive, already booked, too far to travel, too many picky eaters to enjoy cuisine.
Decide on a back-up restaurant and play phone tag with catering manager for a week, only to find out the venue is already booked.
Rehearsal Dinner Idea #5
Find another venue where we can still have BBQ catering from favorite restaurant. I suggest park shelters, but Sean rules out because of a) fear of inclement weather and b) disappointment that means rehearsal dinner must end by sunset.
And that's pretty much where we are right now. I went and took a look at one of the parks and I can admit, it wasn't pretty. But it could work. And would also be inexpensive. I'm leaning this way unless someone can suggest something genius.
So Internets, I'm asking you for genius suggestions. What you need to know: we don't have any family in the area (so no backyards available to us) and we don't belong to a church (which rules out fellowship halls). Is there any place I haven't thought of?
EDIT: We came to a compromise. I found a park shelter that was fairly new and really nice and convinced Sean we could have a fun field day. Thank you all for your help!