Fun Ideas for Rehearsal Dinners


Wedding weekends are quickly becoming the norm and the rehearsal dinner is the event that kicks everything off.  No one ever said a rehearsal dinner had to be a stuffy sit down affair.  Couples today are planning fun and interactive wedding rehearsals for their guests to kick off their wedding weekends with a bang.  Here are some ideas to help you throw a rehearsal dinner that everyone will remember.

An Old Fashioned Picnic/Cookout

This is a great option for couples with a large guest list.  Set up the party at a local park or someone’s house if there’s enough room.  Menu ideas can include traditional picnic foods, such as fried chicken, potato salad, watermelon and lemonade.  Either hire someone or ask someone to man the grill and offer burgers and hot dogs.  Set up old-fashioned yard games such as badminton and croquet for your guests to enjoy.

Bowling Night

After the rehearsal dinner, invite your guests to a retro bowling alley.  Many bowling alleys offer party rooms and packages including food and drinks.  With events like neon bowling and 80’s night, this can be a really great option to help everyone get to know each other before the big day.


Rent out a private room at your favorite bar or pub and hire a DJ to provide a karaoke machine.  Nothing brings people together like bad singing!  Offer guests traditional bar foods such as mini burgers, wings, pizza and cocktails to enjoy while they are serenaded by your family and friends.


Are you headed off to a beautiful tropical destination for your honeymoon?  Why not throw a luau to get yourselves ready for some fun in the sun?  Offer guests leis when they arrive along with frozen pina coladas or daiquiris.  Menu items can consist of traditional Hawaiian luau food such as grilled pork.  For an exciting finale to the evening, hire a fire eater to entertain your guests.

Golf Outing

There’s no rule that says the rehearsal dinner has to happen directly after the rehearsal.  If you and your fiancé enjoy golfing, why not set up a golf outing at a local golf course or country club?  Pair up people who don’t know each other so they can become better acquainted.  Offer prizes for closest to the pin and longest drive.  Then, enjoy a late lunch together in a private room in the clubhouse.  If you’re concerned that 18 holes is too many for guests who don’t golf often, just play 9.  Or, throw a party at a local driving range and miniature golf course.  Everyone can have fun there!

Show Off Your City

Do you have a lot of guests coming in from out of town?  Why not do something unique to your city?  For example, in Pittsburgh, guests could ride the Monongahela Incline up to Mt. Washington to enjoy a stunning view of the city.  Then have dinner at one of the world-class restaurants on Grandview Avenue.  Or, take your guests to Primanti Brothers for their world-famous sandwiches.  Find something that your guests can’t experience anywhere else and plan your rehearsal dinner around it.

Remember the rehearsal is all about practicing for the wedding, but the rehearsal dinner gives everyone a chance to relax after all the stress and madness of the wedding planning.  It’s also a great opportunity for your friends and family to get to know each other before the wedding.  Whatever you do, be creative and have fun and your guests will, too!

Yvone Kon is a mom and a freelance writer who frequently writes about weddings, wedding planning, wedding fashion and mother of the bride outfits.  She is also the author of the blog EventSpiration, providing inspiration and ideas for weddings, parties and holidays.  If you’d like to discuss a freelance writing project with her, please contact her via her blog.

Published: 06/21/2012 by Yvone Kon


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