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5 Fun & Casual Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Ideas

crawfish-boil-rehearsal-dinnerWait, we have to plan yet another big party in addition to the one we’re already planning? You’ve gotta be kidding me!

Unfortunately, this is how many couples feel when they think about their wedding rehearsal dinner. When you are in middle of organizing and paying for the main event - from making decisions about bridal ring sets to ordering all the last-minute details - it’s hard to muster a lot of enthusiasm for putting together a pre-party.

Don’t worry. You are not obligated to do anything elaborate or expensive for your rehearsal dinner. It should be a fun and relaxing occasion to spend time with a smaller group of friends and family than will be attending the wedding. This might mean you and your immediate families cooking dinner together at someone’s house or you take over a bar for happy hour with a big group. Keep it fun, casual and affordable, and you’ll be able to enjoy yourself with some of your favorite people. Here are a few simple wedding rehearsal dinner ideas:

1. Takeout or DIY Dinner Night 

Treat it like a laidback house party, and ask a family member or close friend to host. Order pizza, Chinese food or some other takeout option, or prepare simple dishes that are great for a crowd, like tacos, salads, burgers or wings. Buy wine or beer, and you’re done! Everyone will have a great time catching up or getting to know one another, and you can have a stress-free evening.

2. Bowling or Game Night 

Who needs to have a sit-down wedding rehearsal dinner? Reserve several lanes in a bowling alley, or take over a big arcade and hand out buckets of tokens to everyone. This is a fun option particularly if you have kids joining your party. You can arrange to pick up the tab for beer and pizza and nachos, and let people cut loose and play.

3. Backyard BBQ 

If the weather is nice, enjoy the sunshine at a cookout someone’s backyard or a local park. Grill burgers and hot dogs, serve sodas and beers and pick up prepared salads and side dishes (or ask people to bring a dish, potluck-style).

4. Seafood Bake or Boil 

If you are getting married in an area with delicious seafood close by, take advantage of it for your rehearsal dinner. Host a clam bake or a crawfish, crab or shrimp boil. Ask for a few friends or family members to help you out with the cooking, and tell everyone to dress prepared to get their hands dirty.

5. Drop-in Drinks 

Organize a cocktail hour at the hotel bar where everyone is staying or at a relaxed neighborhood pub. Invite guests to drop by and have a drink and hors d’oeuvres after the rehearsal. It will be a fun and low-stress way for people to mingle and have a bite to eat.

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