Wedding rehearsal dinners are a great way to discuss the events of the wedding day, meet and greet important guests, and blow off a little steam before you are married.
Often, brides and grooms hold a nice dinner to keep their guests entertained and informed, and they are also a great way to say thank you for being a part of the upcoming nuptials.
But, there is no one way to do a rehearsal dinner. You may want to skip that traditional sit-down dinner and instead choose a more casual gathering or a cocktail party, even.
At your rehearsal dinner, you’ll be able to relax before the big day and have some fun without any pressure or stress. The following unique wedding rehearsal dinner suggestions are perfect for couples that want to impress without overwhelming effort.
Here are our favorite ways to make your wedding rehearsal dinner unique:
Unique Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Ideas
When planning a wedding ceremony and reception, there are some steps that you must follow—for instance, the vows. But, when it comes to a rehearsal dinner, consider what you and your guests might have fun doing.
A rehearsal dinner or party with everyone engaged, laughing, and enjoying themselves is the perfect event and is not that hard to pull off.
If you and your partner have lots in common, like hobbies, activities, and interests you enjoy together, you can use these as inspiration for your wedding rehearsal dinner.
Reflect on some of your most memorable dates and think about how you can translate those memories into something your guests can experience as the kickoff to their weekend with you.
Because your rehearsal dinner will have a smaller guest list than the wedding, pulling off the perfect theme is easier since there isn’t as much pressure. However, no matter the number of guests you include, there are several ways to create a fun and entertaining event that is just, well, you.
Hold An Experiential Rehearsal Dinner
Forgoing a formal sit-down dinner in favor of something fun can be a welcome change for your wedding rehearsal dinner.
Choose from experiences that range from fun and unique activities like playing lawn or board games, wine tasting, hosting a screening of your favorite movie, a guest chef preparing a special meal, visiting a horse track, or having a portrait artist capture those special to you.
Doing something unexpected for your wedding rehearsal can help set the event’s tone. Unique rehearsals often encourage conversation and create excitement for the big day.
You can opt for making a local hot spot the focal point of your rehearsal. Take advantage of the area if your wedding will be held in a picturesque locale. One great idea is chartering a yacht or sailboat if your wedding locale has a vibrant harbor. This idea is even great for destination weddings, especially when there are great places to explore and help to add to your wedding memories.
Choose A Fun Theme
During the wedding planning process, most brides and grooms look to make wedding events a representation of the couple. Sometimes, avoiding more traditional parts of a wedding ceremony or reception is impossible, but the sky is the limit regarding the wedding rehearsal dinner.
A theme is one of the most critical aspects of your wedding, whether you’re planning a complete do-over or just need a little something to give your big day that special touch. It doesn’t have to be complicated, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be themed around you. Just keep it classy and opt for nothing too kitschy to make it memorable.
If you are sports fans, you could have a sports-themed rehearsal by asking guests to wear your favorite team’s colors or a special jersey and enjoy trivia and sports-themed foods and drinks. If your proposal took place in Italy, hold an Italian-themed rehearsal dinner. If you are country people, a BBQ with local corn on the cob and other local produce can be a relaxing way to visit with friends and family before the more formal wedding day.
These are just suggestions–you can choose which ideas would work well for you!
Host A Cocktail Tasting
Hosting a cocktail or beer tasting is fun to mingle with your guests before your wedding day. The options for this type of event are endless; from hosting a cocktail tasting at a chic bar or hiring a mobile bar service that can serve guests, you can have some fun with your cocktails.
You can name the cocktails after things that are important to you or give a nod to special guests or wedding party members with a signature cocktail named in their honor.
This allows guests to get to know one another and visit with people they haven’t seen in a while, and you can set up a fabulous backdrop for them to take amazing photos to add to your wedding weekend memories.
If you know your wedding rehearsal crowd loves to dance or sing along with good music, hiring a local band to entertain during your rehearsal dinner and providing music for dancing afterward can be a great idea.
Guests will appreciate the entertainment, and it gives them a chance to enjoy the company of other guests, gives ‘plus ones’ a welcome distraction, and provides an excellent background for chatting or dancing.
Wherever your wedding venue is, whomever you hire for entertainment can add to your rehearsal dinner theme. For instance, a Jamaican destination wedding might call for a local steel drum band, while a hometown wedding would be perfect for a cover band that plays the best sing-along tunes.
Rather than the typical rehearsal dinner, a wedding rehearsal brunch can be unforgettable and allow the wedding party more time to prepare for the wedding.
A brunch event may pose a scheduling problem for some guests, so it will be best to ensure that everyone will be able to attend by providing the details far enough in advance.
There are many benefits to holding your rehearsal party at brunch instead of dinner, such as avoiding the repercussions of overindulging, fun breakfast choices like a waffle or pancake bar and mimosas, and more time for whatever needs doing—visiting, organizing, or even just allowing for some time alone on the night before your wedding.
Throw a Pizza Party
Who doesn’t love pizza? You may want to keep things simple for your wedding rehearsal, and a great way to do that is by serving pizza!
From gourmet wood-fired pizzas from a trendy restaurant or caterer to the local pizza joint’s best pepperoni, the choice is yours, and your guests will love it.
This is a momentous occasion, so find some fun, gourmet options (like palm hearts and sun-dried tomatoes) and as many different cheeses, meats, and other exciting toppings as possible. Offer options for those with food intolerances and a fun dessert (Pizza and Pies has a fun ring to it), and your guests will rave about your rehearsal dinner.
Pizza parties are often associated with children, but adding a handful of elegant decorations to a fabulous venue is the perfect way to bring a pizza party to the wedding rehearsal level. Pizza parties can also be held anywhere, so if your rehearsal dinner is beachside, at the lakefront, in the backyard, or a ballroom, the party fits the theme.
Host a Family-Style Meal
There’s a good chance the guests at your wedding rehearsal dinner are those closest to you. This means it is a great time to have an intimate dinner with your favorite people before celebrating one of the most important days of your life.
The plated meal service is becoming increasingly popular, combining the best of an entire sit-down affair with the best of a buffet. Guests can choose what they want and how much they want without getting up. A family-style dinner, or one served from passed dishes, is a great way to get everyone involved in the conversation and enjoy a meal with friends and family.
There is no waiting time involved with this way of delivering food, so everyone is served simultaneously, can take what they want, and chooses their portion size.
Have a Photographer On Hand
While hiring the perfect wedding photographer to capture your wedding day is an important task, the casual and intimate setting of the rehearsal dinner can lead to some beautiful photos. Hiring a photographer to capture some, or all, of the wedding rehearsal dinner is an excellent idea.
Not only will you be left with fantastic souvenirs of friends and family celebrating you, but tasking the photographer with taking photos of each guest can provide a thoughtful extra to your thank you cards after all is said and done.
Find the Perfect Wedding Gown
Wedding planning can be complex, but selecting the perfect bridal gown for your wedding day doesn’t have to be. At Viero Bridal, we offer a selection of the most elegant and fashionable wedding gowns for brides. Our talented bridal consultants at our flagship locations in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Miami can help you find the perfect wedding gown.
If you have always dreamed of designing your wedding gown, Viero Bridal offers the option of custom-designed couture-inspired gowns.
Ready to find your dream wedding gown? Schedule an appointment today.