Really How Much?
As the bridal industry continues to grow, it also continues to grow more expensive. Many couples getting married focus on the cost of the wedding itself and forget they will have another huge expense the night before. However, it is best to budget for all wedding expenses, including the rehearsal dinner.
As CNN notes in a May 2005 article entitled "Ka-ching! Wedding price tag nears $30K," the 2005 average cost of a rehearsal dinner was $1153, up 51 percent from 1999. CNN also noted that the average wedding in 2005 cost $26,327. Other hefty expenses included the engagement ring $4146 (up 39 percent from 1999), photography/videography $2570 (up 103 percent from 1999) and flowers $1121 (up 45 percent from 1999).
In general, prices seem to vary from area to area, amount of guests, venue and food. If you live in an affluent area, prices will be much higher. For example on Weddingbee, a bride from Westchester County, NY, located right outside of New York City and one of the most expensive places to live in the nation, reports her rehearsal dinner costing $4500. She invited 50 people, the venue was a restaurant overlooking the water and food included a lobster bake with other types of seafood mixed in.
On the opposite side of the country in San Francisco, another bride stated her rehearsal dinner cost at $900 for 40 guests. How did she get the number so low? Prefix menu.