Fun and Affordable Rehearsal Dinner Ideas
The rehearsal dinner which follows the wedding rehearsal is an important part of wedding tradition, but that does not mean that it must be a traditional formal party. In fact, the rehearsal dinner can be as laid back as you like, which also means that you can throw a great party without a huge budget. These are some fun and affordable rehearsal dinner ideas.
Cookout on the beach. A top pick for summer rehearsal dinners, find a beach that allows you to grill, and host a relaxed cookout. Beach food is at its best when it is simple, so think hot dogs and hamburgers, that sort of thing. Best of all, if your party runs into the evening hours, you can have a bonfire and make s'mores. Way more fun than doing your rehearsal dinner in a stuffy hotel and really affordable. Just be sure to check about any permits needed for the bonfire. Wear a sundress and maybe one piece of your wedding jewelry, such as a classic tin cup necklace. A cardigan or wrap for the late night hours would also be a good idea.
Bowling. Yes, bowling. This is one of those ideas that is so out there it is almost trendy. A bowling alley rehearsal dinner is great for families who know how to relax and have a good time together. Bowling a few frames will also help to relieve the last minute wedding stress. To make it even more fun, get vintage bowling shirts for the wedding party or make up mock bowling league shirts that say "bride" and "groom". Memorable and fun!
Backyard bash. If you or your parents have a spacious backyard, why not have your rehearsal dinner there? Keep the menu easy, and serve the same types of things that you would for any summer barbeque: grilled chicken and burgers, macaroni and potato salad, fresh fruit, and a sweet treat like cupcakes. This can be one of the easiest rehearsal dinners of all to coordinate, as long as the host is not the type to go crazy about remaking the garden to get it "perfect" before the party.
Family style Italian restaurant. Everyone loves Italian food, and it is great for feeding a crowd. An Italian restaurant is a terrific rehearsal dinner idea when you want to have a more traditional type of rehearsal dinner, but still want one that is going to be relaxed and inexpensive. Many restaurants have private rooms which are perfect for hosting parties. The most affordable option is to order large platters of food to pass or to have a buffet style dinner.
If your local Italian restaurant only offers the regular type of service where guests order off a menu, ask if you can create a limited menu of starters and entrees especially for your rehearsal dinner. This will allow you to keep costs under control by selecting entrees within your price range, and it should make it easier for the restaurant to get the dinner out more quickly and efficiently. Order bottles of white and red wine for the table, rather than having guests order wine by the glass as another cost cutting measure. For an indoor rehearsal dinner, you can feel free to dress up a little more. A pretty dress worn with a great pair of shoes and jewelry like your wedding earrings will be just right.
When it comes to planning an affordable and enjoyable rehearsal dinner, let your creativity be your guide. The party can be as offbeat as you like. The point of a rehearsal dinner is to bring the bride and groom's families and attendants together before the wedding, not to have a fancy or upscale evening. As long as the conversation is flowing, spirits will be high and everyone will have a great time!