Rehearsal dinners have long been a very American concept, but plenty of British nearly-weds are getting in on the act and there are plenty of good reasons to do so.
The rehearsal dinner provides the various members of the wedding party with the opportunity to get acquainted before the big day. This is obviously important in the States, where families can be spread across a huge country. Still, the modern UK family could be fairly well split up too and in-laws might never have met before the wedding celebrations.
While the average wedding rehearsal dinner will take place in a restaurant, bar or hotel, there is absolutely no reason why it has to. Here are 5 fun ways to get the benefits of the rehearsal without the silver service formality you’ll be getting on the wedding day anyway:
It seems like the weather is finally getting the memo that spring was supposed to start weeks ago. There have already been some really warm days and the summer is set to bring even more, so why not stage your rehearsal dinner outside.
Everybody loves a barbecue, and if the weather can’t exactly be relied upon, you can always hire a gazebo for shelter, or simply shade.
Similarly, an upturn in the weather provides the opportunity to set up in the local park for a low key, day time rehearsal. Serve a good old fashioned spread of sandwiches, salads, fresh fruit and treats.
Ideally, you’ll want a set of picnic tables to base your gathering around, but if that isn’t possible, spread out some blankets instead. Most importantly ensure that you have enough food to go around all of your guests.
Another way to get guests on their feet is with a buffet style food presentation, complete with fondue pots or even fondue fountain. These will provide guests with plenty of reason to mingle, over various dippers and sauces, before fresh fruit, brownies and marshmallows for desert.
It’s worth bearing in mind that fondue can get messy. You might want to have plenty of napkins at hand, and if you’re hosting your fondue rehearsal dinner at home, be mindful to factor in clean up time afterward.
Of course, you don’t have to treat your rehearsal guests to a full three course dinner. A simple dessert buffet is a fun little treat which works best in the evening. This is ideal if your guests are required to travel a fair distance and may not be able to attend an earlier gathering.
Offer a choice of pastries, chocolates, tarts and sweeties along with a selection of healthier alternatives like fresh fruit or even bite size butties, if certain guests don’t have a sweet tooth.
The wedding rehearsal dinner doesn’t actually have to include dinner. A fun activity or game can help to break the ice between family and friends on either side of the family and ensures that they have something to talk and joke about come the big day.
Simple food and drink options are best for a laid back rehearsal evening. Handhelds like pizza and burgers work best, along with a small amount of cold beer and wine.
Choose the best setting for your rehearsal festivities and make sure you provide guests with plenty of notice to ensure that they can make it. Once organisation is complete, you can sit back and enjoy.