City-by-City Guide: Southern California's Best Rehearsal Dinner Sites

7 rehearsal dinner sites guaranteed to wow your crowd.
by Christa Vagnozzi

1. Bowling Bash

Not your typical alley (or rehearsal dinner), Lucky Strike in Hollywood knows how to throw a party, complete with comfort food. Kelley Lee Gin of Picture Perfect Events pointed us to this hip establishment. Her advice: pick your teams prior to the big night. (323) 337-1302

2. Garden Party

Rehearsal dinners are in full bloom at Il Cielo in Beverly Hills. Christine Gray of C & G Planning likes this ivy-covered restaurant for its calming garden-like atmosphere, situated amid the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. You can have your party set up near a romantic fireplace, in the fountain garden, or on the front patio. The menu: Northern Italian country cuisine. (310) 276-9990

3. Scenic Setting

Celebrity sightings aside, Malibu could quite possibly harbor the best view for your rehearsal dinner. Duke’s Malibu has 300 feet of picture windows lining its oceanfront property from which your guests can spot the moonlight sparkling on the water and watch the waves crashing on the rocks below. The private Ocean Room can accommodate up to 260 guests. The menu: fresh seafood and succulent steaks. (800) 910-0600

4. Beach Bums

Having a formal wedding? Set the rehearsal dinner apart with a relaxed gathering by the bay. Event planner Marsha Orlin loves the in Newport Beach to set the tone for a casual and fun evening. Whether it’s a barbecue or a clambake on the beach, the resort’s culinary staff will tailor a menu to your tastes. (949) 729-3800

5. Ranch Rehearsal

Treat your guests to a slice of cowboy life at Camarillo Ranch in Ventura County. Host a western-themed rehearsal dinner for up to 125 inside the Victorian-era Camarillo Ranch House, or for 50 or more guests in the intimate White Horse Garden. (805) 389 -8182

6. Gallery Space

Modern couples with an appreciation for contemporary art should consider Seven Degrees in Laguna Beach. Decide between a seated dinner downstairs in the main gallery or upstairs on the patio, surrounded by stunning works by well-known and emerging artists. (949) 376-1555

7. Foodie Find

If to you, the rehearsal dinner is really about the dinner, check out Kagaya in Los Angeles. This small Japanese restaurant can accommodate 25-30 guests for a six-course, shabu-shabu meal (think thinly sliced meats and vegetables simmering in broth, cooked tableside). The best part: the variety of dipping sauces! (213) 617-1016

Photo: Courtesy of Lucky Strike

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