Rehearsal dinners are generally a more intimate affair, a tradition reserved for the bridal party and close friends and family alone. So how can you make other guests arriving a night early for your celebratory weekend feel included in the pre-wedding festivities? A casual post-rehearsal gathering can really do the trick. Instead of the standard watering hole, consider a location with a little personality — like the five Chicago spots listed below — for this mood-setting meeting. Your guests, out-of-towners and otherwise, will thank you for it.
The Berkshire Room (Above)
Anchoring the trendy ACME boutique hotel, this cozy and chic bar stands out for its drink menu. If your gathering is a relatively small one, the dim ambiance and creative cocktails will win over even the hardest to please of guests. How? In addition to their pre-set drink menu, the Dealer's Choice option allows patrons to design their own swanky sipper based on the flavors and styles they like best with the help of the bar's talented staffers.
Photo: Courtesy of The Drifter via Facebook
Plenty of places in Chicago try to cash in on the city's sexy prohibition history, but few do it with as much style as this secret speakeasy hiding in the basement of an unassuming sports bar. Steeped in real 1920s history, this tiny retro lounge gets bonus points for special details like a tarot card menu and carnival-like performers. Like Three Dots and a Dash, things get tight here, so renting it out might be wise if you have more than a few guests attending.
Photo: Courtesy of Three Dots and a Dash via Facebook
Stepping into this subterranean cocktail lounge is like hula-ing back in time to a fabulous '60s tiki bar, complete with unforgettable drinks served in everything from a coconut to a retro chalice ringed with seahorses and adorned with tropical blooms. The space can get crowded and there's often a wait, so reserving the bar as a private event may be your best bet.
Photo: Courtesy of Headquarters
Unlike some other downtown nostalgic arcade-style bars, Headquarters two locations are brimming with old school pinball and video game machines that you can play free of additional charge. Playful without being exhausting, this choice is a memorable one for '80s enthusiasts and craft beer fans alike.
Photo: Courtesy of Pinstripes via Facebook
If you've got a particularly energetic group, this upscale bowling alley and event space rolls the line between playful game night and a posh party. The downtown location also features an impressive patio overlooking the Chicago river. Read real brides' reviews here!