10 Rehearsal Dinner Ideas That You Won’t Dread

Here are 10 rehearsal dinner ideas that won't make you puke. Rehearsal dinners don’t have to be stuffy, boring affairs where Aunt Louise harasses the waiters, Mom complains about her too-dry chicken vesuvio, and every time your girl’s sister clinks her glass, you guys have to kiss. Again.

  1. Cookout. Enlist the dads to be grillmasters.  Fire up the grill for burgers and brats. Hit the deli for potato salad and coleslaw.  Better yet, make it a kegger. Who doesn’t love that?
  2. Throw a fiesta. Every town has a killer margarita joint.  Load up on chips and salsa, order burritos the size of your face, and avoid the beans. Your girl should thank us for reminding you.
  3. Go bowling. Food doesn’t have to be the center of attention for your rehearsal dinner.  Get Gramps his own pitcher of PBR. Gorge yourselves on cheap burgers, cheap beer, and cheap nachos while getting rid of some last minute jitters.
  4. Cater the church hall. If your wedding budget was blown on limos and flower arrangements, move the crew into the church’s gym or social space. Cater from your favorite fried chicken place, pizzeria, or Chinese takeout. Who says your rehearsal dinner should be any different than your regular Friday night fare?
  5. See a show. You’re in luck if you have a Medieval Times in your town.  If you don’t mind some severe embarrassment, these kinds of places love making a spectacle out of its audience.
  6. Go wine tasting. No one is forcing you to sit down an eat as soon as your done with the actual rehearsal.  Loosen your guests up with a couple glasses of wine first.  It will make the speeches more entertaining.
  7. Fondue. The worst part of a rehearsal dinner is the conversation.  You will inevitably be asked questions about children, honeymooning, buying a house, and fornicating.  Fondue provides a great excuse not to have conversation.
  8. Have a potluck. So your annoying cousin was bummed to not be in the wedding party? Have him bring a casserole. You don’t have to eat it.
  9. Pizza and beer. Your future mother-in-law may question your intentions, but how can you go wrong with your favorite ham and mushroom and a pint of Sam Adams? On the plus side, your parents will thank you for being frugal when they pick up the bill.
  10. Show off your town. Maybe you're getting married in her hometown or your college town.  Take everyone to the most quintessential restaurant. There's always one place where the locals say you haven't experienced that town until you've eaten here.


Lastly, if your families are really concerned about the fancy dinner and speeches, the two of you should consider dual rehearsal dinners.  Pretend to enjoy the Italian dinner that requires proper manners, tell your family “Ciao!” as soon as it’s over, and then meet your friends (and the family you actually like to hang out with) at your favorite local pub for beers.  But if your families are pretty cool, loosen up your tie and go for one of these options.

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