How to Plan a Rehearsal Dinner BBQ. A rehearsal dinner BBQ is a great way to socialize with family and friends prior to the wedding day. A BBQ can offer guests the opportunity to relax in a casual setting free from some of the formalities that will be associated with the ceremony and reception. A BBQ is simple to plan and can be an inexpensive way to kick off the wedding festivities.
Choose a location that offers a nice outdoor space for grilling, having dinner and celebrating with guests. The backyard of a friend or family member might be the perfect choice. Make sure the space provides adequate shade from the sun.
Rent tables and chairs from a party rental store. Make sure to provide enough tables for all guests to have a seat while eating as well as a few tables for serving purposes.
Select a supplier for the barbecue. A local barbecue joint can provide the main entrees as well as side dishes for the event. You can choose to pick up the food and set it up yourself or have the supplier come to the event to handle the dinner service and clean up.
Decorate the outdoor space to add character to the event. Red and white checkered tablecloths can improve the look of rented tables. Accentuate each table with a potted plant as a centerpiece. The plants could even serve as gifts for the bridal party.
Stock up on beverages appropriate for the event. A BBQ is not complete without ice-cold beer. Lemonade or tea can be refreshing for non-drinkers. You might also consider serving a special or signature drink, such as fresh-fruit punch, flavored iced tea, mint juleps, mojitos or margaritas.
Plan to ice down beverages in a large metal tub. This will serve as unique decor while keeping the drinks cool.
Purchase serving supplies (unless provided by the barbecue supplier) that compliment the decor. Red paper plates, plastic utensils, napkins and paper cups work well with gingham-print table cloths. As an alternative to classic barbecue decor, consider matching your place settings to the color theme of the wedding.
Plan to repel mosquitoes and other bugs that could invade your gathering. Citronella candles or tiki torches can ward off these uninvited guests while helping to add mood lighting to the party.
Burn a CD of party music to play at the gathering. Make sure to secure a stereo system as well.
Send out invitations with the necessary details of the event. The invitations convey the theme of the event through color and font style, and should remind guests of the casual attire. The invitations can also include the location and time for the rehearsal as well as a request for an RSVP if needed. Be sure to include a printed map of the location, too.
Consider renting misters or fans if you are worried about hot temperatures on the day of the event. Make sure someone can be at the venue to set up for the party while the wedding participants are at the rehearsal.
Always have a backup plan in case of rain.