Four Ways To Keep Costs Down At Your Rehearsal Dinner

  |   Wedding Planning Ideas

The wedding rehearsal dinner is a great opportunity to relax with the wedding party, laugh about any slip-ups at the rehearsal, and greet out-of-town guests as they arrive for the wedding weekend. But for some couples, planning the wedding rehearsal dinner can be a tremendous source of stress.

Traditionally, out-of-town guests have been invited to the rehearsal dinner. This can pose a problem these days, though, when up to eighty percent of the guests at some weddings are traveling from out-of-town. There are a number of ways to handle your rehearsal dinner so that it doesn’t become a huge hassle or expense.

Option one: Reduce the formality of the rehearsal dinner. There’s no law that says the rehearsal dinner must be as formal as the wedding. Hosted at home, a rehearsal dinner can be as casual as a backyard cookout. Alternately, if you have many guests traveling to Massachusetts or Connecticut from out of state, choose a favorite local restaurant to cater an at-home meal that you can serve buffet style. Less expensive than taking everyone out for a sit-down meal, it’s a relaxed way to provide your guests some local flavor.

Option two: Reduce the size of the rehearsal dinner. If a formal rehearsal dinner is important to you, just don’t make it as large. The bride and groom, their parents, the officiant and spouse and the wedding party and their spouses are the only ones who really need to be there. If you have an extroverted relative or friend who’s not in the wedding, you can ask if they’ll organize an informal gathering of out-of-town guests at a local watering hole so those guests have something to do. You can always join them after your formal dinner.

Option three: Reduce the scope of the rehearsal dinner. Many restaurants offer a cocktail reception, with appetizers and drinks, as an alternative to a full rehearsal dinner. It’s lighter, less expensive, and often more fun than a formal rehearsal dinner, with more opportunity to mingle with your guests.

Option four: Change the date of the rehearsal dinner. If you’re getting married on a Saturday, consider having your rehearsal on Thursday night instead of Friday. You’ll have many fewer out-of-town guests to worry about and restaurants may charge less, since it’s not a weekend night. Best of all, that frees up the night before your wedding to greet and gather with your guests in any way you choose.