In the United States it is traditional for the bride and groom to have a rehearsal dinner, or prenuptial meal, with the wedding party just after rehearsing the wedding ceremony. From at-home cookouts to dinner at the local favorite restaurant, rehearsal dinners are a way for the bride and groom to thank a group of friends and loved ones for their help in planning and being apart of the wedding.
Rehearsal Dinner Atmosphere
Give the dinner a theme. Pick something completely opposite of the wedding for a casual escape from all the wedding planning. Announce the plans by handcrafting invitations dictating the theme. For a summer theme, make Hawaiian leis and grass skirts to hand out as people enter. Make pineapples filled with fruit as edible centerpieces for the tables.
Make fun quizzes for the dinner. As guests wait for their meals to be served, have short quizzes typed up on fun paper waiting at their seats. Ask questions about the couple's likes, dislikes and how they met. Use the quiz to break the ice and discuss a little history of the couple. Then lead into thank-you speeches.
Rehearsal Dinner Gift Ideas
Make gift bags for each member of the bridal party. Start with embroidered tote bags for them to use on the day of the wedding. Have her first name or initials sewn into the fabric. Pack the tote with a small travel case filled with lipstick and nail polish in the wedding day shades. Consider adding a gift of jewelry, such as a necklace or earrings, to wear on the wedding day. For the men include a pair of stylish cuff links.
Make favors to be placed at each person's seat. Since the rehearsal dinner often includes a smaller group of people, the favors can be more elaborate. A wedding day survival kit basket of bobby pins, stain remover pens, lotion, breath mints and chocolate are fun options.
Rehearsal Dinner Food Ideas
Make a fun signature wedding drink for the rehearsal dinner. Have the bartender at the restaurant customize a special blend for the occasion. Ask him to add food coloring or ingredients that make the drink match the wedding colors. For example, grenadine can be added for pink, blue agave for blue or lemon wedges for yellow.
Ask the restaurant to create appetizers that play off the wedding theme. Custom-printed menus on the dinner tables could advertise Crunchy Wedding Rings (onion rings), Taking the Plunge Cheese Dip or Feeling a Little Chicken Wings.
- Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images