Here Comes the Guide brings you expert advice and inspiring ideas about celebrating your special event or wedding at one of our great restaurants. Whether you're looking for a rehearsal dinner location or a venue with gourmet food for your bridal shower, bachelorette party or wedding reception, we've got the inside track.

9 Great Places for Your San Francisco Rehearsal Dinner

Great Places for Your San Francisco Rehearsal DinnerSan Francisco is a veritable smorgasbord of world-class cuisine, encompassing virtually every culture, culinary delight, and price point. But a rehearsal dinner is no mere meal—it's the introduction to your all-important wedding festivities. So we've put together a list of dining options with a combination of great food, cool style, and pretty fabulous views that will inspire you to make reservations.


Unique California Wedding Venues & Rehearsal Dinner Locations: Spotlight On Patina Catering

Unique California Wedding Venues & Rehearsal Dinner Locations: Spotlight On Patina CateringPatina Catering is all about celebrations. Every wedding or special event is customized to reflect your individual personality and style, thanks to a world-class team of experts.


Rethinking Rehearsal Dinners

Cliffs ResortThink about it: rehearsal dinners include a high concentration of people you love who have gathered in your honor. So why not relax and let your hair down? With very little effort, you can assemble a pre-wedding event that provides some much-needed calm before the busy storm of your wedding weekend. Learn how to make the most of your rehearsal dinner.


A New Twist on an Old Tradition: Cooking Competition Transforms Wedding Rehearsal Dinner

Cooking Competition Transforms Wedding Rehearsal DinnerMary Allred faced a common dilemma that most grooms’ mothers know all too well: where to hold a rehearsal dinner for her son’s Atlanta wedding? Ultimately, Mary did more than just come up with an interesting venue—she came up with a totally different experience that all members of the wedding party will remember for a long time.


Good Food, Good People: Tarpy’s Roadhouse

Through the front door swooped the lovely staff from Tarpy’s Roadhouse, there to make our dinner. But, more than that, they took care of us. They made us tea, they served us in front of the TV so we could watch Glee and they whipped up fantastic, comforting food: a salad with apples, pecans and gorgonzola, steak and garlic mashed potatoes, Chilean Sea Bass with a mango relish and, finally, strawberry shortcake—yum!!!


Chef Eric Wadlund, Spencer's Restaurant

Featured Chef Eric Wadlund, Spencer's RestaurantMultiple award-winning chef and cookbook author Eric Wadlund has come a long way from his first childhood foray into culinary creation—making doughnuts.


Chef Soerke Peters, Ca' Del Sole Ristorante

Ca' del Sole RistoranteIn his home kitchen, the European born and trained Soerke Peters experiments with a variety of global cuisine; but he particularly loves the simplicity and spontaneity of Italian food.


Chef Ruben Ortiz, Las Casuelas Nuevas

Chef Ruben Ortiz, Las Casuelas NuevasChef Ruben Ortiz helms the (busy!) kitchen at Las Casuelas Nuevas, an award-winning Rancho Mirage restaurant that’s a favorite banquet spot in Greater Palm Springs.


Chef Celestino Drago, Drago Centro

Drago Centro, Los Angeles Restaurant and Private Event SpaceHis newest L.A. restaurant reflects the chef’s warm personality and culinary style—traditional Italian cuisine infused with a modern touch.


Jolene On The Scene at the Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey

My colleague Jan invites me to spend the upcoming weekend with her at the Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey, where she’ll be staying while profiling new locations for Here Comes The Guide. I jump at the chance for some quality Ritz time.


Lunch With A View At The Lake Chalet

We dined in the Lake Room upstairs, which extends over the lake and has views on three sides plus a fireplace and it’s own bar. This room, as well as the Gondola Room on the opposite side of the restaurant, is a charming space for a rehearsal dinner, reception or other kind of private party.


Diary of a Ritz Fan: Marina del Rey Edition

Pool AreaMy colleague Jan invites me to spend the upcoming weekend with her at the Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey, where she’ll be staying while profiling new locations for Here Comes The Guide. I jump at the chance for some quality Ritz time. It’s a well-known fact around the office that I the Ritzes. (What can I say? I have a soft spot for superior customer service and a swanky setting!)


On The Scene Video: Ca' Del Sole Ristorante

I recently visited Ca’ del Sole Ristorante for Here Comes The Guide, and I have to say: If you’re looking for a great venue for wedding rehearsal dinners, wedding receptions and bridal showers, this North Hollywood restaurant should be on the list:


Wedding Anniversary Road Trip, Part 2

The second part of our wedding anniversary road trip was as fun and romantic as the first. My husband Jaya and I drove to Half Moon Bay, a quaint little town along the coastline where the air is fresh, the people are friendly, and the pace is slow. By the way, this is also a great spot for a honeymoon by the sea, too.


Wedding Anniversary Road Trip, Part 1

For our 5th wedding anniversary, my husband Jaya and I decided to visit places we had each frequented separately in our early adulthood—but this time, we’d be together!


My Cup O' Tea

My mother, a true Anglophile, brought me up surrounded by more than a few of her favorite British things. The first real, hearty books I read as a child were Agatha Christie mysteries and Charles Dickens novels. Every Thursday was Masterpiece Theatre night featuring an array of her favorite actors from the UK, and I was probably the only 12-year-old kid in school who (at the time, don’t quiz me now) knew the entire history of the English Royal Family.


Our Own Top Chefs

At HereComesTheGuide.com, we have our own top chefs: the food wizards behind our featured catering companies, restaurants and special event venues. We like to think of them as wedding celebrities in their own right—and why not? They’re trained, experienced food artists who consistently deliver up quality meals to make your wedding reception and rehearsal dinners shine.


History and Romance in San Diego

If you’re on the lookout for a San Diego wedding location that has a history as special as the one you and your fiancé share, you’re in luck: Many of the San Diego venues we feature have historical significance that is only surpassed by their impressive architecture. Here are a few of my faves:

 


Carmelized

Recently, KC and I had the pleasure of visiting Carmel Valley Ranch. It’s a fantastic weekend getaway with a wonderful restaurant that offers many creative menu choices. The lobby’s rust-brown and burnt orange hues are warm and inviting. The golf clubhouse has shades of lime green, deep chocolate and white, giving it a crisp, modern feel. The pool area is charming without being too fussy, and the staff is so attentive. I can’t remember how many of them remembered my name, “Mrs. Chin!”. The in-room spa service was terrific, and they even honored my request to have my spa services near the pool. I believe I had Carmel Valley Ranch’s very first by-the-pool massage!


Central Coast Event Locations: Think Beyond the Winery

Robin's Restaurant, Cambria California’s Central Coast, celebrated for its charming wineries and photogenic vineyards, also lures visitors with landmarks like Hearst Castle, and the chance to golf, surf or go horseback riding amidst spectacular natural scenery. If you’re planning a honeymoon or destination wedding in one of the area’s picturesque towns, you might think beyond the winery.