After the wedding rehearsal, in which the wedding party gets together to go over last-minute details and practices for the actual event, it is customary to hold a rehearsal dinner. Although rehearsal dinners are often held at a fancy restaurant or country club, you can save money by hosting an alternative and inexpensive rehearsal dinner.
One way to have a fairly inexpensive rehearsal dinner is to hold your gathering at the fellowship hall of the church where you will be having your ceremony. Because the rehearsal is also held at the church, it will be convenient for everyone involved to have the dinner at the same place. Church reception halls can accommodate large numbers of guests and can offer all the necessary tables, chairs and utensils. You can choose from a variety of restaurants to cater your event, such as local pizza parlors, which often offer large family-size pasta dishes in addition to pizza.
Consider holding a pot-luck dinner at your home or the home of your fiance. Provide a main dish, and ask each guest to bring a side dish. You might even set a theme for the dinner, such as Mexican, Italian or American cuisine. Hosting a pot-luck at your own home is a nice way to keep the evening casual and keep the expense to a minimum.
Another inexpensive idea is to serve finger foods after your rehearsal. Possible food items include trays of sandwiches, fruits and vegetables, chips and dip and a cookie platter. You can serve your guests at the venue where you held your rehearsal, or you can host a get-together at a nearby park or community center.
After your wedding rehearsal, invite everyone to a barbecue at your home or a local park. You can grill inexpensive items such as hot dogs, burgers and chicken, and add some side dishes such as potato salad, baked beans or chips and dip.