Kicked Back Rehearsal Dinner

As I’d mentioned in a previous post, our wedding takes place on the same date as two popular happenings in Nashville– Vanderbilt’s graduation, and Steeplechase. Both are presenting challenges for us in different ways as planning progresses, but not anything that we haven’t been able to handle. We had originally thought about doing a small rehearsal dinner at a nicer restaurant in town. I’d priced several places that we like, but nothing felt like the perfect fit in both style, food selection, and price. With having a large Southern comfort food feast at the wedding, we wanted something very different from that the night before.

With many restaurants booked and frustration setting in, we thought of the perfect solution, which should have been obvious from the start. We’ve decided to have our rehearsal dinner at the World Famous Station Inn, a music venue in the Gulch that I happen to work part-time at.

1. Space: We wanted somewhere big enough to accommodate not only the wedding party, but also some close family. We have a lot of people traveling from out of town that we’ll want to catch up with, and it’s a nice thing for them to be able to enjoy good food and good company.

2. Atmosphere: We love the laid back atmosphere of the Station Inn. It’ll be a relaxed setting where we can mingle, not a loud restaurant where we feel rushed to get in and out. We can play our own background music, the place matches the vibe of our wedding, and we’ll have it all to ourselves. Our venue is also booked for another wedding the night before, so we’ll be doing our actual rehearsal at the rehearsal dinner too, not at the Loveless Barn.

3. Food: We’re getting B&C BBQ for the event… a perfect pairing! Their meal includes a big bang for your buck, and while Eric’s parents are footing the bill, this was still important to me. If you’re in the Nashville area, be SURE to check them out! They also have a great selection of top-notch catering that is not BBQ.

4. Bar: While we’re not splurging for an open bar at our wedding, we did want to do so for our rehearsal dinner. We’re able to get a great deal on beer and can bring in other alcohol of our own, because the bar will be closed to the public. My bridesmaid, Rebekah, has offered to handle a couple of themed/ signature cocktails that we’re serving in Mason jars with green & white paper straws. To save a little money on this, my Maid of Honor and I are splitting the cost of the jars (Sam’s Club) and straws ( and she’s also using them at my shower as well.

rehearsal dinner Photo from

We lucked out with decorations for the rehearsal dinner. I helped with a wedding on Superbowl Sunday, and the bride gave me all of her decorations as a contribution for OUR wedding! I have burlap tablecloths cut-to-fit the tables, great ideas for set-up, and centerpiece items for the tables as well. Here’s a before & after of the typical look vs. Lori & Jason’s wedding day.
rehearsal dinner
Personal photo
rehearsal dinner
 Photo by Judith Hill
rehearsal dinner

Editor’s note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more pandemic wedding resources here

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