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Here are 7 Unique Rehearsal Dinner Ideas

Want to impress your friends and family at your Rehearsal Dinner?


Have you been a bridesmaid in several weddings and got BORED of the same 'ol rehearsal dinners? It seems every one is the same!


You practice the processional and recessional with the Wedding Planner and then you all go grab a bite to eat at a really loud restaurant and then go out dancing and wake up the next day with a major headache and ringing in your ears from standing next to the speaker at a night club.

Sound familiar? Been there, done that a HUNDRED times it feels like! Well, as a Wedding Planner, I have witnessed some really cute and innovative ideas that some of my brides have used to "shake things up" a bit and overcome the dread of the rehearsal dinner monotony, so here are some of the ideas that were the most successful:


ONE - The Cook-Off

If your families enjoy good food and fun, then why not do a CHILI COOK-OFF? You don’t have to just keep it to chili, either! You can do salsa, guacamole, BBQ or any ethnic food of your choice! Your Maid of Honor and Best Man can be the judges or utilize your entire Bridal Party to judge the contest. Make sure and have some antacids handy just in case!

Another idea is a build-your-own-pizzas. Buy the crust and all the toppings and let everyone make their own customized pizza. You can have the “does pineapple belong on pizza” debate to keep things interesting!




TWO – Guess the Grapes

This idea is along the same lines as #1 listed above but this one is more for families who are wine lovers. You can hire someone to perform the tasting or you can do it yourself. You can talk about the wine and pair it with an assortment of meats and cheeses OR you can bag each bottle and do a blind tasting to see who can guess the grapes and turn it into a bit of fun competition. You can do this with red or white wine or BOTH!


Not wine drinkers? Then do it with Craft Beers. Craft beers are huge in the U.S. right now and you will never run out of options. You can pair beer with cheese, too! There is a lot of info on the web about beer andwine tastings, so check it out!


THREE – More S’Mores Please!

If your wedding is in the winter or held on a chilly night,

a good idea is to have your rehearsal dinner around a bonfire with Hot Chocolate Bar, S’Mores and Marshmallows. With or without the Baileys! Sound boring? Hire a guitarist to do sing-a-long songs around the campfire or share your engagement story with everyone. You can even have everyone share their best advice for a loving, long-lasting marriage.



Another activity is to pass out index cards for everyone with a tell-a-tale topic such as, “If I had a million dollars I would do this first”, or “who would I have dinner with (alive or dead)”, or “the first thing I’m going to ask God when I get to Heaven is”….I think you get the general idea. You can get really creative and the outcome is always laughter and fun.


Some groups like to do Truth or Dare games (the clean version) or even Taboo games. No one will mind the cold weather with any of these activities!


FOUR – Bubbly Brunch

Who says your rehearsal dinner has to be at night? Why not do a Champagne Brunch with yummy quiches or croissant sandwiches? Bring out the Mimosa juices and serve your bubbly with pineapple juice, grapefruit juice, punch or lemonade! Add some berries to your mimosas or go rogue and just do bubbles sans the juice (my preferance, personally!).

For the non-drinkers, good coffee with a variety of creamers and toppings such as, chocolate, cinnamon or vanilla is always a hit! You can do this brunch at your wedding venue (check with them first) and the BEST part is that you have everyone there to help decorate!!


After the décor is all set up, the fun can begin with a night out for those that want to keep the party going and you can relax knowing the décor part is done and things are ready to go for your BIG DAY!


FIVE - For the Gamers

If a bonfire isn’t it your plans (like #3), then how about a good ‘ol game night competition between the families? This one is easy to do and is a GREAT ice breaker for families that really don’t know each other. This option is also popular because by the time the wedding day arrives, the families have bonded over some fun competition the night before.

Pick any game of your choice; but remember to keep it simple and not overcomplicate it (no one wants to listen to 20 minutes of rules of the game). The obvious options are: Charades, Pictionary, Taboo, or pie-eating contest (this one is guaranteed to bring out the laughs). The general idea is to have the families compete against each other OR you can mix them all together and divide them into teams so they can “bond” over their victories!


But you don’t have to limit it to those games. If your families are into sports, then maybe your best options are kick-ball, badminton, volleyball or croquet! These are all guaranteed fun and casual if you want to REALLY break the ice!


SIX – Impress Your Guests

Want to have an activity that everyone can do and get some good belly laughs? Hire a dancing instructor! Have the instructor pick something basic and simple that everyone can do and practice it to music! You will always have those 1 or 2 people that have 2 left feet but that just makes it more fun (and hopefully, they have a good sense of humor!).

To add on to this idea, your families can put on a show at the wedding with the dance they practiced to impress your guests! You can have the DJ/Band play the same song and watch your guests bring out their phones and make your wedding go viral! Everybody loves to be entertained and what better way to show off than this??


SEVEN- Picnic and Potluck

If you and your fiancée are more the laid back/easy type, than why not do a family picnic? If your wedding is in a scenic area like a beach, the mountains or a state park; then a picnic is a great idea. This is also the most AFFORDABLE option. You can set your menu and have everyone “pot luck” the food.


This is also a great way to have your future mother-in-law show off her delectable apple pie or peach cobbler. You can incorporate local cuisine into your picnic and offer some fun outdoor games, as well.


For the beach, you can do beach volleyball and for the mountains you can hire a guide to take everyone on a fun hike to a scenic plateau and have pictures taken. The pictures can be sent after the wedding as a very memorable keepsake for your wedding.


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With all the ideas I presented above, you can add your own flair and creativity but this should get the wheels turning to some unique ways to make your rehearsal stand out!


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Happy Planning!




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