The BEST 30A Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Spots
I’m sure you’ve selected your venue but you do not want to forget about your 30A wedding rehearsal dinner. Picking the venue for your wedding rehearsal dinner is almost as important! As with anything wedding related, the choice locations don’t stay available for long. BUT! I have you covered with the three BEST options for your wedding rehearsal on 30A.
THE PERFECT PIG
If I had to pick my favorite location on 30A, it would be Rosemary Beach. There is just something about the vibe there that has given me a sense of peace whenever I pass through. All that to say, if Rosemary Beach has my heart, Gulf Place would definitely have my appetite specifically because of The Perfect Pig. I’ve eaten at their Gulf Place location numerous times. Why? Four words: Parmesan Crusted Grilled Cheese. If that wasn’t enough, here’s four MORE words: Avocado, Bacon, Pulled Pork. You can opt to add just one, but why stop at a good thing when you can make just a good thing even better?
Their restaurant at Gulf Place is not the only one, though. The Perfect Pig serves 30A in Seagrove Beach (the original established in 2012), Gulf Place (built in 2015), and their newest location in Watercolor just turned one year old on February 22, 2020. I got to chat with Vickie and her daughter (also her business partner), Shelby, as they tasted prospective dishes for this season’s menu refresh. They do two menu refreshes each year.
Not Just Rehearsals
The Perfect Pig isn’t limited to just rehearsal dinners. They regularly host bridesmaids brunches as well as farewell brunches. Bridesmaids brunches are typically a couple of months before the wedding. Farewell brunches are often the day after the wedding. While not common, they have, on occasion, hosted a wedding reception at their Gulf Place location. Pro tip: The Gulf Place lawn is a great option to have the ceremony! Farewell brunches are a great idea for destination weddings. It can be a time for the bridal party and family members to get together to round out their trip to 30A. Everyone can the great memories surrounding and including the wedding. The bride and groom can also use this time as an opportunity to give bridal party gifts, which I touch on in A Groom’s Guide To Groomsmen.
At their Gulf Place location, they are currently able to accommodate parties of up to 80 guests. They will be able to host up to 100 following their planned bar expansion. The Watercolor setting boasts space for 100 guests, however, weather permitting, the outside space can be utilized to entertain up to 150
Food and Decor Options
The Perfect Pig offers a customized menu ranging from a buffet (their taco or oyster bars are popular options) to a plated meal including passed appetizers (crab cakes with aioli), salad, a choice of two entrees for their guests to choose from, and a dessert. Grouper is their most popular entree (they get it fresh daily) but their pork medallions over creamed gruyere grits and filet mignon are both a close second.
Because you would be renting the entire space, guests are able to bring in whatever decor they wish. From flowers to an easel for guest seating to other elements you can use to truly make the space customized to your desired aesthetic. The restaurants don’t usually have linens on the tables but they can provide white linens free of charge. Additionally, they allow for different seating configurations inside the restaurants if you’d like to group guests in a certain way.
Securing The Perfect Pig
In order for management to be able to rent out any of their locations during their busy season (March through October), there is a minimum rental amount required. The cost usually works out to around $65 a person but can be slightly higher if you choose filet mignon or grouper as an entree. One way to make having your rehearsal dinner more affordable at The Perfect Pig is to leave bar and outdoor seating available for walk-in guests. You usually need to book The Perfect Pig from eight months to a year before the event. Even if you are unable to secure one of their three locations, they can also provide in-home or venue catering for private events. Their catering menu can be found here. Unfortunately, they are unable to provide beach-side service.
For more information on how to secure The Perfect Pig for your 30A wedding rehearsal dinner or other private events, click here. You’ll be in great hands and your night will end with a great time and a satisfied appetite!
THE RED BAR
I originally reached out to get more information on Louis Louis as a top 30A rehearsal dinner location without realizing that it was owned by Oli Petit who also owns The Red Bar. The Red Bar has been an institution on 30A since 1995 known for its delicious food and its fabulous live band that plays five nights a week before turning the night over to the DJ that plays there. That, unfortunately, changed February 19, 2020.
From the Ashes
If you’ve never heard of Red Bar, and have visited the 30A area in the previous year, there’s a sad reason why. According to Southern Living, “Beloved restaurant and regular haunt for most who live along or visit Florida’s 30A, Red Bar in Grayton Beach burned down Wednesday morning.” However, Oli confirmed that Red Bar is projecting a Memorial Day opening. It’s exciting news for all residents on the Emerald Coast but even more exciting for those living in and visiting the 30A area.
The “King” of Rehearsal Dinners
Oli described The Red Bar as “The King of Rehearsal Dinners”, and he’s not exaggerating. The restaurant averaged 30-50 rehearsal dinners a year while the restaurant was up and running. The reason for the popularity? You do not have to make the restaurant private unless you want to. There is a rear room tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the restaurant that allows you and your guests the chance to unwind before the rigors and the formalities of the wedding come to the forefront. There is room to accommodate at least 80 guests in the space.
In addition to knowing that your guests will be able to enjoy delicious food, entertainment is taken care of by the house live jazz band that plays there five days a week. Also, the bohemian vibe that Grayton Beach is known for permeates the establishment from the eclectic decor to the limited chalkboard menu. And, Oli intends to maintain that aesthetic with the upcoming rebuild of Red Bar. As far as favorite dishes are concerned, the crabcakes, chicken penne, and blackened grouper are all raved about. Once dinner has concluded, if you have any guests who would like to keep the party going can do so once the live jazz band concludes their set with DJ Dan (Facebook, Instagram), their house DJ, from Wednesday to Saturday, event permitting.
All in all, regardless of whether or not you plan on booking Red Bar for your 30A wedding rehearsal dinner, make sure you stop by for some great food and atmosphere if your travel plans bring you to 30A after May 25, 2020.
I was recently part of Cafe Thirty-A’s Christmas Charity Gala that raised awareness of and support for Caring and Sharing of South Walton. It was such a vibrant and fun atmosphere. Plus, it’s a really good feeling to be able to be a part of an event that supports a good cause. BUT, we are not talking about charities. We are discussing why Cafe Thirty-A is a GREAT idea to host your wedding rehearsal dinner.
Wedding Rehearsal & Reception For ALL Your Guests
Note that I only mentioned rehearsal dinner. Just like Red Bar, Cafe Thirty-A doesn’t accommodate brunches; however, they DO host wedding reception dinners similar to Perfect Pig. According to Jackie, they average between 20 to 30 rehearsal and reception dinners both at the restaurant and catered off-site. The entire restaurant can be reserved for 150 to 250 seated guests, or for a buffet reception for up to 350. If you won’t have quite that many guests, The Fishbone Room has enough space for parties of 25 to 80. It boasts spectacular Gulf views, chic décor, and a private full-service bar.
Guests are able to bring in live music or a DJ but they can take advantage of the house sound system and play their own music. For decor, guests often hire a florist to decorate, and it is always a treat to see the different looks that florists come up with for the space.
Food, Decor, and Booking Cafe Thirty-A
But the ultimate reason that Cafe Thirty-A is a winner when it comes to a couple’s wedding rehearsal or reception location is THE FOOD. Their most popular dishes feature items you would expect from a restaurant on the Gulf of Mexico Maine Lobster in Paradise, Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, Snapper, and Filet Mignon. However, a surprisingly delightful, but understandably popular dish is their grilled Georgia quail with creamy grits and shiitake bacon butter. With all these great choices, you may find it hard to decide on what the menu for your event will be. Don’t worry. They offer sample menus from events they have hosted in the past. If you don’t see something that you’d like included, the staff is more than happy to customize the menu for your event!
30A’s BEST Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Spots
Are you hungry!? I know I am. Which of the 30A’s best rehearsal dinner locations was your favorite? I don’t think I can choose one, but you can’t wrong with ANY of them! I hope you found this helpful and it assists you in deciding on your 30A wedding rehearsal dinner location. If you have any questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Did I miss a restaurant? Comment below!
Thanks for stopping by. Here’s to your wedding planning success. I hope I can help you make it a highlight :).