6 Fun Alternatives to a Traditional Rehearsal Dinner

May 16, 2023
6 Fun Alternatives to a Traditional Rehearsal Dinner

Featured Photo: Meghann Jesstine Photography

A rehearsal dinner is the ultimate opportunity to spend quality time with your VIPs before the busyness of your wedding day begins.  Traditionally, this event is held at a restaurant the evening before your wedding – with relatively fancy food, lots of wine, and heartfelt speeches.  Our Rocky Mountain brides tend to be anything but traditional, so if you’re looking for a creative spin on this important wedding weekend event, keep reading for 6 Fun Alternatives to a Traditional Rehearsal Dinner!

1. Pool Party

The chances are high that you (or your family) are hosting a rehearsal dinner, which means regardless – you already have it in the budget to pay for your favorite people to have a great meal and great drinks this weekend.  Why not make this meal something fun & refreshing out by the pool?  Margaritas and tacos in the sunshine give a chance for everyone to mingle and visit outside and take the cutest candid photos for you to look back on.   The extra bonus is that they don’t have to get all dressed up two nights in a row – just make sure you have some big shady umbrellas to avoid those bridesmaid tan lines!

Laura Murray Photography

2. Brunch

You’ve probably heard of a post-wedding brunch, but you could also have a brunch the day before the wedding in place of the time you’d spend at a rehearsal dinner.  This allows you to have the evening before your wedding a little more free for any fun group activities you want to do with family & friends, or just extra time to get some beauty rest before the big day!  Plus who doesn’t love toasting with mimosas after a great speech!

McKenzie Coyle Photography

3. Group Hike & Picnic

10If you have out of town guests who don’t get the pleasure of living in the Rocky Mountains all the time, then this would be a great way to give them extra time to explore and see the beauty that our part of the world has to offer.  Everyone can work up a good appetite while sight seeing, and then have a special chance to feel extra close to you while secluded in natural.  This is also a great way to cut costs in the wedding budget by not having to rent an actual venue for a rehearsal dinner!

With Megs Photography | Meghann Jesting Photography

4. Hibachi Chef

Home hibachi chefs are all the rage right now, and we are loving this trend!  If you have a large house rented for the weekend, you may be able to invite your closest friends and family there for the rehearsal dinner, and let the restaurant come to you.  Not only will it be delicious food cooked fresh just for you, but it’s an entertaining and immersive experience!  Careful though, this might become the talk of the weekend so don’t make it *too* fun right before your wedding day.

D’Arcy Benicosa

5. Food Trucks

Food trucks are a really cute spin on a traditional rehearsal dinner – it allows guests to choose their meals and be a cute, memorable experience (and photo op!).  You may be able to rent more than one food truck to come to a venue space and create your own little festival with your favorite people.

Elizabeth Riley

6. “Pool” Party

We like BOTH types of pool here at Rocky Mountain Bride!  In place of a traditional rehearsal dinner, you can have a really swanky party with pool playing and craft cocktails.  We’ve also seen couples incorporate cigar rolling into a night like this – making it an even more unique experience for your guests, and giving everyone a chance to just sit and talk together.

Kayleigh Rust | Emily Joanne

We love a great rehearsal dinner at a nice restaurant with steak and pasta and champagne!  We also love to switch it up, though, so we hope this sparks a little creativity for any of you wanting to host a different type of dinner for your very important wedding guests.  Or, you can always have a Welcome Party the weekend of your wedding as well – where all of your guests are invited and you do something on the fun side like this – and keep your rehearsal dinner more traditional.  Either way, you’ll need something to wear to your Rehearsal Dinner, so check out our blog  10 of the Most Romantic Rehearsal Dinner Dresses to help you find “the one before the one”!

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