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Best Places to Host a Rehearsal Dinner in Chattanooga

Best Places to Host a Rehearsal Dinner in Chattanooga

Wedding Tips & Inspiration

A lot goes into planning a wedding. For some weddings, the the big day needs to be rehearsed at the venue with the couple’s family and the wedding party. After running through the events of the ceremony, couples sometimes host a rehearsal dinner the evening before the wedding to celebrate and honor the guests closest to them. 

Because a wedding day can be busy, it doesn’t always leave time for the couple to interact with all of their guests. Planning a rehearsal dinner gives them the opportunity to engage in conversation and spend quality time before the excitement of their wedding day begins. 

Learn more about rehearsal dinners and where to find some of the best rehearsal dinner spots in Chattanooga throughout this blog.

Rehearsal Dinner Traditions

The official history of how rehearsal dinners became customary the eve before a wedding is not fully known. However, it is believed that rehearsal dinners started around the time weddings became a bit more in-depth in the 1950s. This was a time when the world started to see weddings get bigger and the wedding market start to take off. 

Who Should You Invite to a Rehearsal Dinner?

There is no rulebook for who should and shouldn’t be invited to the rehearsal dinner. This decision is completely up to the couple. However, traditionally, the rehearsal dinner is typically hosted for the wedding party, close family members and other key members of the wedding such as the officiant (if they’re close to the couple), ushers, readers, parents and grandparents. In other words, you don’t necessarily want to invite the entire guest list for the wedding. 

That said, with weddings being more involved than they used to be, sometimes couples will invite out-of-town guests to the rehearsal dinner as a gesture of appreciation. 

Who Traditionally Pays for the Rehearsal Dinner?

Traditionally, the rehearsal dinner is paid for by the groom's parents. Obviously, not every couple will fall in line with this tradition, because every couple is different. Some modern-day couples will have one side of the couple’s parents pay for the dinner or jointly by both sets of parents. Other modern-day couples will pay for the rehearsal dinner themselves. If a rehearsal dinner is a part of the wedding experience, it’s important to discuss who will be paying for the dinner prior to the wedding. 

What Happens at a Rehearsal Dinner?

Typically, there is no set schedule for the rehearsal dinner. This time is generally meant to be a bit more relaxed prior to the events of the following day. However, this is not to say that the evening should be totally unstructured. It is nice to have a few activities planned for the rehearsal dinner. Some couples use this opportunity to have guests give speeches as well as give gifts to the wedding party and parents. Other ideas for rehearsal dinner activities include slideshow presentations and a cocktail hour that allows everyone to interact with each other prior to the next day.

Best Places to Host a Rehearsal Dinner in Chattanooga

Deciding on where to host your rehearsal dinner will depend on a few things. For one, the location. You want the location of the rehearsal dinner to be in close proximity to where many of the guests will be staying. Another factor to consider is the size of the event. How many people are invited to the dinner and how much space do you need? Taking these things into account will help you decide where to host your rehearsal dinner.

Here are some of the best places to host a rehearsal dinner in Chattanooga.

Common House Chattanooga

If you want the guests of your rehearsal dinner to have a unique dining experience, consider hosting at Common House Chattanooga. This innovative space offers an atmosphere that has been beautifully designed for your guests to enjoy intentionally sourced food and beverages. Not only will Common House host your rehearsal dinner, but they will also host your wedding ceremony and reception. Rentals are available to both members and non-members of Common House.

The food at Common House is based on a seasonal menu using fresh, local ingredients. With their world-class chefs and craft cocktail experts, Common House can turn your rehearsal dinner into an unforgettable experience prior to your wedding. 

Public House

Enjoy a private dining experience for your rehearsal dinner at Public House in downtown Chattanooga. Public House carries the highest quality steaks, seafood and seasonal produce. Depending on the size of your gathering, Public House offers a couple of different options for seating your guests. 

The Polo Room is a private dining room with seating for up to 50 guests. This area is closed off from the restaurant with barn doors. The food and beverage minimum for this room is $1,000 Monday through Thursday and $1,600 on Friday and Saturday. The room can also be divided in half with floor to ceiling curtains, this would cut costs and seat up to 24 guests. The food and beverage minimum for half of the Polo Room is $500 Monday through Thursday and $800 on Friday and Saturday. 

If you choose not to go the route of the Polo Room, you can opt for the Oak Room and Social Lounge. The Oak Room is a semi-private dining room, which is attached to the Social. This area seats 8 to 10 guests. The Oak Room is also a fun option for hors d'oeuvre receptions in the Social. The food and beverage minimum for this area is $300 Monday through Saturday. 


At Grandview, you can get a rehearsal dinner space, wedding ceremony site and reception area all packaged into one. This dynamic wedding venue offers everything you could need for the perfect wedding experience along with breathtaking views of the Chattanooga Valley. If it’s just a rehearsal dinner space you need, Grandview can do just that. Rent the space for a rehearsal dinner only, with a starting fee of $500. From there, the Grandview team will work with you to customize a menu using fresh, seasonal and locally sourced foods. 


Hosting a rehearsal dinner at Alleia will get you a delicious meal made with quality ingredients imported from Italy and produce delivered from local farms. They offer a few options for renting for a private dining experience. Choose between their indoor Renaissance Room or outdoor porch. Both areas can be arranged depending on the type of rehearsal dinner you are hoping to host, from a cocktail hour with passed hors d’oeuvres to a formal seated dinner setting.  

The Renaissance Room is a classy setting for a rehearsal dinner. To use this room, there is a $900 food and beverage minimum Monday through Thursday and a $2,300 food and beverage minimum on Friday and Saturday. 

The enclosed outdoor porch area differs slightly in price and continues to offer year-round seating. The covered porch is heated in the winter months and open and airy in the warmer months. This area can accommodate up to 50 guests with a $1,200 food and beverage minimum Monday through Thursday and $2,300 food and beverage minimum on Friday and Saturday. The restaurant can host anywhere from 10 to 50 guests for a seated dinner and 60 guests for a cocktail soiree of sorts.

To see photos and learn more about Alleia’s private dinners, check out their website.

Il Primo at Cambridge

If you’re looking for a similarly delicious Italian-based option but for a little less in price, Il Primo Cambridge in Ooltewah is the perfect choice. Host your rehearsal dinner at Il Primo in their private dining area, which is separated from the main room with velvet curtains. This area can accommodate up to 32 guests at three separate tables or 20 guests at a central banquet table. 

The food and beverage minimum is $800 Monday through Thursday and $1,200 on Friday and Saturday. A deposit is required for reservations. 

Contact us at Grandview for any information you need about our wedding venue space in the Chattanooga area atop Lookout Mountain. Host your wedding in our courtyard, patio, pavilion or inside our 1930s English-style Tudor house. Our space offers incredible views of the Chattanooga Valley and beyond. Learn more about us by getting in touch today.