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Backyard CookoutFor many couples who are planning a wedding celebration, the rehearsal dinner is an important part of the festivities. This pre-wedding activity is an opportunity for the couple to show appreciation to those in the wedding party as well as other loved ones who have helped pull things together. The rehearsal dinner is traditionally held the night before the big day and after the final run-through. This event may be held at a restaurant or venue of the couple’s choice. Here are some fun ideas for a different approach to the rehearsal dinner.

1. Rehearsal Brunch

There’s no rule that says you have to hold a dinner after your final rehearsal. In fact, you may prefer to switch things up by having a brunch before wedding practice. Brunches expand your menu options, with offerings that range from breakfast classics to a variety of lunchtime fare. Brunch gatherings tend to lend themselves to a more casual approach to both attire and menu. There’s nothing quite like warm donuts to help break up some of the tension associated with the upcoming nuptials.

2. Backyard Party

When the sun’s out, the fun’s out, especially when you opt for a backyard soiree as a rehearsal dinner alternative. Whether you’re a budget-minded iconoclast or looking for something less formal, a backyard barbecue or regional alternatives such as a crawfish boil or clam bake provide a relaxed atmosphere for the couple’s friends and family to mix, mingle and make merry. You can have the event catered from a favorite local eatery or hire someone who knows their way around a grill.

3. Tour of Your Favorite Winery, Brewery or Distillery

Build your rehearsal dinner around sampling your favorite libations with a tour of a local winery, brewery or distillery. Many of these places offer private tours with light bites that complement featured wines or brews. Check to see what rules are in place when it comes to party sizes and accommodating people under the legal drinking age. If the winery, brewery or distillery doesn’t offer food, there may be food trucks available to cover the eats that go with the liquid treats. Touring these facilities are a great way to incorporate local color into your pre-wedding celebration.

4. Game Night

It’s hard to be uptight and nervous when it’s game night. From group activities that are natural icebreakers for friends and family of the couple to board games of various types, game nights turn up the fun for parties of different sizes. If it’s a large group, you and your partner can work the room, rotating from group to group. You can boost the enjoyment with door prizes or special gifts for tournament winners. This alternative to a rehearsal dinner also provides several types of games for guests of all ages. From card games to video games, there’s something for everyone.

5. Grazing Table

A grazing table is a great alternative to a traditional dinner menu. Instead of limiting guests to a prix fixe selection, you can provide a large table of various snacks, hors d’oeuvres, appetizers and small bites that people can choose from as they socialize. This can be set up at a home or at the venue of the rehearsal. Each setting offers a casual environment for friends and family to connect with old and new faces. Put on a playlist of your favorite tunes and create a family-style setting that is symbolic of the love and togetherness that characterizes your union.

When you’re getting married, it’s up to you and your spouse-to-be to decide on the type of celebration you have. This also includes the rehearsal dinner. A traditional meal with the wedding party and close family and friends is sure to make for a memorable evening, but these alternatives can be just as special when it comes to kicking off your big day and the beginning of your lives together.

Category: Wedding Planning

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