Wedding Rehearsals - Inexpensive Dinners

Written by Ursula Furi-Perry

Ask any modern bride about the cost of a wedding, and you'll get a frown...add to that the costs of yet another party the night BEFORE the wedding, and you may just make her faint!  Rehearsal dinners can be quite the unnecessary expense when planning one's wedding--not to mention added planning, stress and headaches. Now, if you're lucky enough to have your rehearsal dinner thrown by a friend or family member, great! But if you're in charge, consider having an informal and inexpensive rehearsal dinner. Here are some ideas:

** Have a simple hors d'oeuvres reception at the ceremony site. If your site will allow you to use their facilities for a couple of hours, you may just take advantage by setting up a couple of tables and holding a short reception right there. You can provide drinks, party trays, small sandwiches and dessert. Whether you choose to make the food yourself or raid the nearest supermarket or deli, you'll be sure to save some money. This will also cut down on your guests' having to travel to yet another site the night before the wedding.

** Make yourselves at home. Nothing beats home cookin', right? Your guests will surely appreciate it if you hold a get-together at your house after the rehearsal. You can go all out and have a feast, or keep it simple and sweet. Some ideas include having a cookout or barbecue, make-it-yourself tacos and fajitas, a homemade pasta station, and a sundae bar. Of course, if you have a specialty of your own, make it: your guests will feel pampered and honored to have your home cooking. This is also a great way to allow for mingling among your guests, especially if your home presents a comfortable and warm setting.

** Go out for a quick bite. You don't have to rent a fancy hall or ballroom to have a nice rehearsal dinner. You may opt to treat your guests to an informal meal at a local restaurant. Whether it's great pizza, Chinese, or country cooking, your guests will be happy to join you for dinner. You may even choose to have a "theme rehearsal dinner," coordinating the restaurant with decorations and favors. For example, if you're having Chinese food, why not decorate with lanterns and give your guests engraved chopsticks? Establishing the menu beforehand may be easier, as it will cut down on costs, time and confusion. You may also try having a buffet dinner.

** Combine grabbing a quick meal with a post-dinner activity. Many recreational places, such as pool halls, bowling alleys, and paintball places offer food as well. If you think your guests will be up for a night of good eats and good fun, you may want to book a couple of tables--as well as a couple of pool tables. This will not only cost you less, it will also ease everyone's pre-wedding jitters by offering a fun way to relax the night before the wedding.

The possibilities for a great informal rehearsal dinner are endless, and planning a pre-party before THE party does not have to be full of aggravation and anxiety. Now, if you only had the rehearsal dinner guest list down pat...

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