Rehearsal dinners have changed along with wedding trends. Traditionally, the dinner was given the night before the wedding by the parents of the groom. Everyone in both families, in the wedding party, and from out of town was invited. The dinner was a more formal affair, but not so much anymore. Like everything else wedding-related, couples are making these pre-nuptial parties their own. And the parents of the groom aren't always footing the bill anymore. If you and your guy are trying to save money on your rehearsal dinner, here are five easy tips to help you keep the budget low without sacrificing experience:
1. Get creative with the venue.
Do something low-key and outdoors if the season is right and you have a friend or family member willing to let you host it at their home.
2. Skip an open bar.
Keep the bar limited for the event — beer, sangria and soft drinks are more than enough selection.
3. Choose a location that doesn't require much money to decorate.
A beach or a pretty yard requires little — same with some indoor venues. Remember it's not the wedding reception and you don't necessarily need over-the-top centerpieces.
4. Forget the live music for the rehearsal dinner.
No dancing required on this night — that's what the wedding reception is for. Hopefully the venue has a sound system you can plug an iPod into, but if not, look for the least expensive music option to background your dinner.
5. If you're not inviting everyone, keep the plans on the down low and send invitations specifically to the invitees.
Don't put anything on the schedule for the whole group that not all of the guests are invited to attend.
Owner of Weddings in Vieques, a destination-wedding planning company off the coast of Puerto Rico, Sandy Malone has helped countless couples plan their big day since 2007.