Megan Simpson Photography

Best Rehearsal Dinner Places in Estes Park

May 10, 2022

Bride and groom celebrate their wedding in Estes Park, Colorado.
Estes Park is one of the most amazing places to get married. Every season offers a different landscape.

I love seeing the happy faces at rehearsal dinners; it feels like the unofficial “kick-off” to the wedding weekend.

Rehearsal dinners are a time-honored tradition that helps to ensure a successful wedding. They allow the wedding couple and their families and closest friends to come together in a relaxed setting and celebrate the upcoming day.

Mostly, it’s a place to connect, eat, and toast to the coming together of families!

Who Gets Invited to Rehearsal Dinners?

A rehearsal dinner is one of the best places to catch up with your friends, family, and wedding party before the big day. Typically, this event will include close family members and other key individuals who are integral to ensuring that everything goes smoothly on your wedding day.

Old school etiquette says that the groom’s parents pay for this, but your mileage may vary. Today’s weddings have much less formal rules than that!

All of the key players in the wedding should be invited to the rehearsal dinner. This includes the wedding party and the officiant, and close family friends. If you’re using a wedding planner, they can be a big help in organizing this event!

Inviting out-of-town guests is always a nice touch if you have the budget to include them, and it can be a really great way to connect with them and thank them for making the trip to celebrate with you.

So even though there are some key players expected at your rehearsal, it’s really your choice who gets invited and how big of an event it is.

What to Look For in A Rehearsal Dinner Location

When looking for the perfect place to host your rehearsal dinner, there are a few key factors to keep in mind.

First and foremost, you’ll want to pick a convenient location for all of your guests. Rehearsal dinners are typically held the night before the wedding, so most people should already be in town and ready to celebrate.

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You’ll also want to choose a well-suited venue for hosting large groups of people. Rehearsal dinners are typically held in restaurants or other casual dining spaces, so you’ll want to look for a place that can comfortably accommodate your entire group.

Finally, you’ll want to pick a place that has excellent food! Rehearsal dinners are all about celebrating with good food and good company, so you’ll want to choose a venue that can offer both. It’s time to show off Estes Park, and we’ve got some fantastic places to eat.

The Stanley Hotel: Yes, THAT Stanley Hotel. The Stanley Hotel is one of the most well-known places in Estes Park, and it would make an amazing setting for your rehearsal dinner. It’s beautiful and a little creepy cool. Bonus points if you can get them to let you have use of the outdoor maze. If you’re interested in booking this iconic venue, don’t delay, because as you can guess, it’s pretty popular.

Stanley Hotel Rehearsal Dinner setup
The Stanley Hotel has many beautiful spaces for large and small group rehearsal dinners.

The Barrel

If you’re a craft beer lover, this is a great choice. They don’t serve food there, but you can bring in food trucks, and they have a list of preferred vendors that can hook you up. You can even bring in your food! Great beer-garden feel and they have indoor and outdoor spaces.

Bird and Jim

If you’re looking for a hip and trendy restaurant with excellent eats to host your rehearsal dinner, then Bird and Jim is a place to check out. They have a varied menu with many tasty things that look beautiful but manage not to be too fussy. They are also opening a venue across the street!

Ed’s Cantina

If you think tacos are a food group, then Ed’s Cantina might be the perfect place to host your rehearsal dinner. Everything is so tasty and fresh, and they have a nice sized event room and patio that can accommodate up to 65. Taco and Fajita bar for the win!

Dao House

This one has a special place in my heart because it’s where my husband and I had our rehearsal dinner. It’s a retreat venue that also hosts a wellness center and hostel. It’s got breathtaking views of the Rockies and can host up to 125 people on site. It’s also 420-friendly outdoors and has great vegetarian food. It feels a world away, but it’s only about 90 minutes from Denver International and is close to downtown Estes Park.

Rock Cut Brewing Company

Have I mentioned that if you are a beer lover, you’ll love Estes Park? Rock Cut Brewing Company is a local favorite that offers a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere and delicious craft beers. It’s suitable for a smaller rehearsal of about 20-30 guests, and they always have a food truck on site. You can bring in any food you like, and it’s centrally located in downtown Estes Park.

Dunraven at the Estes Park Resort

Killer views of Estes Lake and Rocky Mountain National Park, and it’s only about a 10-minute drive from downtown Estes Park. Amazing Italian food and big fat Colorado steaks! The view is fancy, but the atmosphere is not; we call it “mountain casual,” so it has a nice vibe for a rehearsal dinner crowd.

Rehearsal Dinners in Estes Park

Whether you’re a craft beer aficionado or just love good food, there are plenty of excellent venues to choose from. So if you’re looking for an iconic setting like the Stanley Hotel or something a little more laid back, Estes Park has you covered. So start planning your menu and making your guest list because your rehearsal dinner is sure to be a hit!

Looking for an Estes Park Wedding Photographer?

If you’re planning a wedding in or around  Estes Park, I would love to chat with you about your plans. I’m always happy to meet cool people looking to connect! Contact me today and tell me about your wedding!







I book a limited number of couples and families every year... and you deserve to be one of 'em right?!

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