Of all the wedding-related events to plan, the rehearsal dinner can be one of the trickiest. But the good news is, rehearsal dinners don’t have to be big, fussy, or formal.
It used to be that you would have a rehearsal the day before the wedding with the bridal party, and then everyone would have dinner and celebrate the couple of honor in an intimate setting. Often now rehearsal dinners don’t include a rehearsal at all, and they can be creative, fun, and something you actually look forward to. Think about it: you’ve got your besties and relatives in town to celebrate you, so you might as well have an event where you can see them before the wedding. Trust us, it’s nice to get that extra face time with your loved ones because the wedding day will most likely go faster than you ever imagined. Not sure where to start? Here are some alternative rehearsal dinner ideas that won’t rival your wedding and will still be fun and memorable.
CHANGE UP THE MEAL FOR YOUR REHEARSAL DINNER
One of the many ways you can make your rehearsal dinner event feel very different from your wedding is to take the word “dinner” away. There are no rules you have to make it a dinner, and switching up the meal, making it a brunch, or even just a cocktail hour, is a great way to make this event stand out. And if you host a brunch the day before the wedding there’s less pressure to stay out all night with everyone should you choose to get your rest. Also, there are so many creative venues to have brunches, and keeping the meal more eggs and waffles than steak and chicken most definitely makes it less like a wedding.
Alternatively, you can have a “dessert hour” rehearsal get-together. Think ice cream bar with all the fixings. Or a display of mini cakes, cupcakes, or other favorite desserts with a coffee station. Remember, the purpose of the rehearsal dinner (once the actual rehearsal is out of the way) is to give you another chance to see loved ones who have gathered for your celebration, so a dessert get-together, rather than a dinner, is just as sweet.
THE COCKTAIL HOUR CELEBRATION
Should you skip a formal meal altogether, you could have a very classy and chic rehearsal “dinner” with food trucks that serve various cocktail hour favorites outside at a park or even someone’s backyard. If the weather is questionable you could always put up a tent, string some lights, and have a gorgeous party that looks effortless but is still beautiful. Physically distanced but still, a lot of fun, this type of event will feel and look unlike a wedding, but will be festive and is great for foodies and those that want a low-key vibe. And if food trucks are not your thing, you can serve individual items like lobster rolls, arancini, kebabs, or grab and go hors d’oeuvres.
INCLUDE AN ACTIVITY FOR YOUR REHEARSAL DINNER
Another way to differentiate your rehearsal dinner from your wedding is to incorporate an activity. Gather everyone for a softball game and have a catering company do a cookout. You can also consider a beach, pool, or backyard BBQ, with games like croquet, Kadima, or volleyball to keep your gathering the perfect get-together with a casual vibe.
Be sure to check out our “Sips & Bites” vendors to find local experts to cater your unique rehearsal dinner!