The rehearsal dinner is one of our favorite wedding week festivities as it provides a
special opportunity for the bride and groom to-be to spend some time
with those closest to them. The wedding day tends to be hectic, so this evening allows them to
enjoy time with family and the bridal party. we loved our more intimate, casual and relaxed celebration but we realize some couples want something a bit grander. So big or small, here are some good rehearsal dinner ideas for
making it extra-special for one and all. We have also included below our creative idea for rehearsal dinner toasts!
Traditionally, the groom's parents host this event but the kids may opt to host it themselves. So see what they are thinking and know what you can afford. Ask them what they would like in terms of the guest list, the menu, the type of venue and the ambiance they want for their rehearsal dinner. You'll know very quickly if you can afford what they are wanting. If not.. be ready to make some adjustments. Here are 4 rehearsal dinner ideas to save money:
If you have never been to or planned a rehearsal dinner our post on rehearsal dinner etiquette may be helpful to answer any questions you may have.
Consider a THEME for your rehearsal dinner. We love themes as it makes it so easy to plan a party! One of ours was themed after the famous Dr. Seuss book, "Oh The Places You Will Go". We switched it up to "Oh The Places You Have Been"! In lieu of table numbers, we themed the tables using places that were a part of the history of their relationship. Everyone was seated at a table that also reflected their relationship to the couple. See how we furthered the theme with the Rehearsal Dinner decorations here!
With our other son's rehearsal dinner, we themed it Celebrating Our Classic Couple and used centerpieces, desserts and favors based on the couples favorite past times, hobbies and memories together. See how we tied the theme into our rehearsal dinner invitations.
Our couple wanted a casual, intimate dinner. Their menu choice... a
great rehearsal dinner idea...our bride's favorite food: Pizza!! We settled on a restaurant
that is one of our family favorites. A place we knew we would receive the
attention and service we wanted for our guests. We gave the owner our
budget and our head count and he worked backwards off of that amount to create
a wonderful "Pizza & Pasta" dinner. Look at the fun rehearsal dinner favors we had to reflect the Pizza themed dinner!
Consider adding a Candy Bar ( if your couple is NOT planning one at their wedding reception) to your rehearsal dinner celebration. You could label the bags with a cute tagline like: "Rehearsing for the SWEETEST day of your life" or "Energy for the big day ahead". You can add clip art to the label or even a picture of the couple! See how to plan a candy buffet for your rehearsal dinner
Rehearsal Dinner Seating We are big believers in having assigned seats. We work to put people together at tables that know each other or have things in common. Your guests willl feel more comfortable knowing where to sit and not having to look around for an empty table. If anyone is running late, they can quietly enter and go to their seats without interrupting the celebration. Here is a form I put together using Excel that kept me organized. I entered the guest list, checked off once I had mailed the invitation and entered the RSVP information as it came back. I also used it to assign the table seating. So.. one document became my master list. This may have been my best rehearsal dinner idea!
Here's how we turned our decorations into seating assignments!
In lieu of or in addition to the traditional toasts, add some laughs with this rehearsal dinner toast idea. It is a wine gift basket! The assortment of wines and champagnes in the basket are each tagged with funny and clever poems to toast the upcoming" firsts" of the couple's life ahead: from 1st Christmas, to 1st Fight to 1st Anniversary. While this is more commonly used at bridal showers, it will work great here. The wedding party and parents read one of the poems as a toast and then they gift the bottle. Here are the Mother of the Bride and Mother of the Groom toasting with a poem for the 1st Baby accompanied by a bottle of champagne! An awesome gift for the couple to take home and enjoy for months to come! Here is detailed information if you want to add these poems to your rehearsal dinner.
For more Rehearsal Dinner Ideas see our Wedding Fun section!