4 Modern Alternatives To the Traditional Rehearsal Dinner

Events, Showers & Parties
Alternatives To the Traditional Rehearsal Dinner

Photo: Gia Canali

Out with the old, in with the new! We couldn't be more stoked that so many brides are thinking outside the box when it comes to their big day, but why limit yourself to just the wedding? Your rehearsal dinner is the perfect time to let your personality shine and spice things up with something your guests will definitely want to write home about.

1. Brunch
Who doesn't love a good brunch? If you're having an evening wedding, planner Kelli Corn of Kelli Corn Weddings & Events says brunch is a great way to mix up the food options (and the vibe as well!). "Think mimosas, Bloody Marys, French toast, waffles and more." Keep it casual or get super swanky with it, your choice.

2. Dinner and a movie
Food trucks are all the rage right now so having your own personalized food and/or dessert truck show up to your rehearsal will literally thrill your guests, notes Corn. Once dinner is done or while you dine, she suggests setting up a movie screen (you can rent these along with a projector) and letting your friends enjoy a new release or a classic favorite.

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3. A wine, beer or foodie tour
Take your rehearsal "dinner" on the go by doing an urban food tour in the city where you're getting hitched or a wine tour if you're close to wine country, offer Natasha Burton and Jennifer Arreguin, co-founders of Santa Barbara-based event planning company Swoon California. For the beer aficionados (and let's be real, the grooms), Phoenix, Arizona-based wedding planner Chandra Keel, owner of Chandra Keel Events, recommends finding a local brewery and treating your guests to a guided tour of the beer-making process. "End the evening with a cocktail style reception and plenty of food that pairs perfectly with beer and, of course, plenty of beer itself."

4. A progressive dinner party
If you've never heard of a progressive dinner (or safari supper) before, you're in for a real treat. Your wedding guests will delight in each course of your rehearsal meal at different host's houses. Um, how fun! "You can have cocktail hour at a particular location and do dessert and dancing at the final location," says CEO of Elegant Affairs Andrea Correale. "Your friends and family get to do their part to help, and your guests will dig it because it's new and interesting." Another unique and somewhat similar idea proposed by Michael Waiser of Michael Scott Events is to plan a food scavenger hunt rehearsal dinner where the last stop is at a dessert party.

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