Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Ideas

Planning a wedding rehearsal dinner can seem overwhelming in conjunction with everything else you are organizing. This is a guide about wedding rehearsal dinner ideas.

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Wedding Rehearsal Dinner
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April 10, 2011 Flag
1 found this helpful

Any ideas for a rehearsal dinner for 50? The bride's parents are having a $20 a plate wedding for 300 people. I hate to look too cheap, but I am on a budget! (It is a summer wedding.)

By Jilly from WI

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April 12, 20110 found this helpful

If you can it is usually best to have a Rehearsal Dinner that is casual. Many times the families are meeting for the first time,and a casual atmosphere is less intimidating and allows everyone to relax and have fun. A picnic or Barbeque is probably your best bet for a nice dinner that is more affordable. Limit the proteins and serve a lot of salads and vegetables and fruit. and serve the grooms cake for dessert. Many times a novelty Grooms cake just sort of gets lost at the wedding day reception. And sometimes the funky look sort of ruins that presentation if it is a formal affair. And most importantly, remember if you have fun, all of your quests will, too.

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April 12, 20110 found this helpful

I am also hosting a rehearsal dinner for 40 in the summer at my church building. My brother is making the homemade bar-b-q. I am getting the plates, napkins, cups, tablecloths & serving dishes at a local Dollar Tree store. I'll get the potato salad, coleslaw and big cake for dessert at Sam's Club. These ideas should help keep my costs down. I plan to make this rehearsal dinner a fun occasion for all.

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April 12, 20110 found this helpful

I would suggest doing a spiral ham and a turkey breast or chicken salad with and assortment of rolls and potato/pasta salad and cole slaw/salad. This is a great casual idea that I'm sure everyone would enjoy and you could really do a great pic nic theme!

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November 4, 20110 found this helpful

We did mostly finger foods at my daughter's August wedding. We had a large (20.00) shrimp cocktail, ham and cheese rolls, turkey rolls, veggie platter, fruit platter, chips and dips and assorted canned drinks. Everyone found something they liked and it was inexpensive.

Good luck to you and the future "Mr".

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April 1, 2013 Flag
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I recently attended the wedding rehearsal dinner of my niece that was so wonderful. They had put up a big-screen TV and played a musical show made with pictures of the couple's dating days. It was perfectly synchronized to music and because it was professionally made, the results were awesomely romantic and touching! They got the show custom-made for them by SmilingSnaps and I had never seen anything like that before.

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    October 5, 2013 Flag
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    My son will be getting married in early May 2014. He lives on the coast of South Carolina and wants to have a BBQ meal. What type of decorations would be appropriate for a rustic marina type facility right on the water that would be informal yet still present that "wow" factor without breaking the budget?

    By Carole

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    October 7, 20130 found this helpful

    You can't go wrong with mason jars! Depending on what type of "mood" they're going for, try putting in some flowers or other types of filler to coordinate with their colors/theme.

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    October 7, 20130 found this helpful

    Depending on where the dinner will be held, table centerpieces could be simple glass pillar style vases, fill half way with sand, add some shells and coral around the edges and a votive candle (the battery ones work very well). place these on top of a square of fabric in either the wedding colors or a color to co-ordinate with the venue (I love blue and white for nautical themes), sprinkle a little sand on top and add a few shells or starfish. Very inexpensive, easy to put together and looks elegant.

    If you use wide pillar vases, fill them with bleached oyster shells (get them from a local restaurant), some water and a floating candle. If it's a more fun/casual atmosphere, exchange the glass pillars for toy sandbuckets and shovels, tilted on their sides with a little bit of sand they look festive and fun. It's also a great give-away for any children that might be there, and makes them feel special too.

    Hope this is helpful, I co-ordinate and decorate for a lot of parties and nautical/beach themes are always one of the most popular. Here's an idea from pinterest as well, I love the wine cork sailboat.

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    January 27, 2012 Flag
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    Instead of a rehearsal dinner I thought we could have all the family members and wedding party for the meal after the wedding rehearsal. Between the 2 families, if everyone came it would 80 people then add in the pastor, bridesmaids, groomsmen, and maybe dates if they have one.

    I am looking for a catered meal for 80 to 100 people that will not cost me an arm and a leg. We were looking at BBQ thinking that would be the least expensive, but I am open to suggestions. The wedding is in July, but I like to plan ahead.
    Thanks for your help.

    By Ginnie C

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    January 27, 20120 found this helpful

    The rehearsal dinners that I have heard of are strictly for close family members and participants in the wedding. No dates allowed. You could serve sloppy joes, and various salads. Or else make it pot luck with the closest family members bring dishes to pass.

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    January 29, 20120 found this helpful

    As it's not a rehearsal dinner, but a dinner in general after the rehearsal, I would have the worlds largest salad bar! It's summer, no one wants anything hot or that might be messy to eat. You can rent inflatable salad bars that hold ice, and bring your own additions such as bowls, tubs, etc.

    I saw this once in a wedding in Tucson, which was outdoors and it was a stunning success. Cold, crisp and easy to eat, everyone loved it.

    http://www.amazon.com/Unknown-Inflatable-Salad-Bar/dp/B0017VKR7M

    As a diabetic, and with people who have gluten problems, this might be the best "all around please everyone" thing.

    I hope this helps.

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    January 29, 20120 found this helpful

    Get sliced deli meats, cheeses, and rolls. You can arrange them on dollar store trays, along with lettuce leaves, tomatoes, bowls of pickles, mayo, mustard, etc. Have someone make nice potato and macaroni salads, etc. If you want guests rather than immediate family and attendants, have them bring pot-luck dishes, bottles of pop, etc. Congratulations and good luck.

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    November 3, 2011 Flag
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    My wedding is in the spring and I have no idea what to do for my rehearsal dinner. I live in Maine so the springtime gets very muddy we are also on a very tight budget :/ Help please!

    By Beth S.

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    November 3, 20110 found this helpful

    Make the rehearsal dinner a pot luck. Have it at somebody's home, even if it is in a garage. Borrow folding tables and chairs or picnic tables. Also limit the people that will be attending. Just the attendents and the brides and grooms parents. I know some people that include spouses/significant others of the bridal party, kids, etc. With a pot luck you wouldn't really need any decorations and the cost would be minimal.

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    November 4, 20110 found this helpful

    Reserve tables at a nice restaurant and invite the guests.

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    November 5, 20110 found this helpful

    Hi Beth, I too live in Maine and hear what you are saying. My sister had a cook-out. Nothing fancy, hot dogs, hamburgs, potato salad etc. very casual. I actually toyed with the idea of having mine at a well known truck stop, the food is great and its very casual. Are there any smaller Mom & Pop restaurants that would work with you? Go to Sams club and buy lasagna, salad & rolls and have it at your house. Last suggestion: Pizza in or out! Best wishes to you & the groom.

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    March 10, 2010 Flag
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    My groom and I are paying for every aspect of out wedding. So we are a little strapped for cash when it comes to the rehearsal dinner. I was going to have sandwiches or something at the house.

    But we live with members of his family in a cramped house and some of our friends and my family don't feel comfortable at the house. Does anyone have a good idea for what to do in my situation?

    By Bridge from Bucks County, PA

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    March 10, 20100 found this helpful

    If this is in the spring, summer, early fall make reservations for a certain area of a nice park and have a picnic. You could set up things like volley ball, etc. for entertainment. Most cities don't charge for using a park, or if so it is minimal.

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    March 10, 20100 found this helpful

    My sisters prepared our rehearsal dinner in the church fellowship hall. We had ham salad and chicken salad sandwiches with vegetables and fruit. I'm sure they had pie and desserts, also. It's been 42 years ago! Other places that might be available for little or no charge would be senior citizens halls (some are really nice for events), bowling alley (you provide some snacks and everyone pays for their games and drinks), legion hall, Knights of Columbus halls, etc. We are doing a pizza dinner in an historic house. We are preparing everything but the pizza. Hope this helped!

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    March 11, 20100 found this helpful

    Thanks everyone for the ideas.

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    March 12, 20100 found this helpful

    Check with your parks and recreation department. Many parks have covered pavilians that you can get for free or little to nothing. Depending on the time you can get brisket for cheap and cook it and prepare it ahead. Take care w/sandwiches as cost can sometimes be much higher than chicken or brisket or ham. You could provide the meat and ask family to bring the sides desserts drinks, etc.

    As far as the wedding goes, check thrift stores for wedding dresses. One near me must have had a bridal salon donate all of their inventory and there were bridesmaid dresses and wedding dresses all for less than $100. My oldest wanted a small wedding. She had her husband to be found a double decker party boat for a song. We had brisket, ham, salad bar w/pasta salad, slaw, 5 bean salad, etc. Beans and bread. The boat was limited to 70. I found small lanterns that held votives for the tables. People changed and swam in the lake for a lot of fun.

    My youngest daughter we did a family meal in the back yard as his mother was from out of state. We booked and outdoor facility on a Sunday afternoon for the wedding. Cut the cost by almost 50%. Was cheaper to have them cater and get the facility than to rent the facility and cater myself.

    For flowers we purchased the first wedding from Sam's club, the second wedding, our grocery store floral department gave us the best price on the flowers my daughter wanted.

    Another way to cut cost is to ask friends if they have access to facilities at a low cost, ie neighborhood association community center, military chapel, pavilion. Also, ask friend about decorations they might have. I bought white tablecloth material on the bolt for $1/yard, white golf tees and used this for aisle runner for wedding. golf tees anchored it to the ground. Used for 2 weddings, then separated later (after washing) and hemmed and gave to daughters for wedding memento.

    We also cut bamboo from neighbors yard (w/permission) and used for greenery. Anyway, did each wedding for $3,000 dresses included. People still come up and talk about how much fun they had and how nice the weddings were. If you want to use live flowers on cakes check out edible flowers to make sure what you want to use is not toxic.

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