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Fun and Festive Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Ideas

Blue Ridge Seafood in Gainesville. Photo by Mark Gilvey

By Rebecca Barnes, Publisher of Brides & Weddings

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Planning a wedding can be a whirlwind of excitement and anticipation, and the rehearsal dinner is no exception. It’s a chance to gather with your loved ones and toast to the upcoming nuptials. With so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide on a theme or menu. From a casual BBQ to a formal cocktail party, there are many rehearsal dinner ideas to fit your style and taste. In this article, we will explore some of the best and most popular rehearsal dinner ideas to inspire your celebration.

BBQ or Outdoor Picnic

Host a casual outdoor rehearsal dinner with BBQ food, lawn games, and a relaxed atmosphere.

Italian Feast

A classic Italian feast is always a hit for a rehearsal dinner. Serve up family-style dishes like spaghetti and meatballs, chicken parmesan, and garlic bread.

Cocktail Party

Host a cocktail party with passed hors d’oeuvres and a fun signature drink. This is a great option for couples who want a more upscale and elegant rehearsal dinner.

Pizza Party

Who doesn’t love pizza? Host a pizza party with gourmet toppings and a variety of pizza styles.


Host a brunch for your rehearsal dinner with a variety of breakfast foods like eggs, bacon, pancakes, and waffles. This is a great option for morning weddings.

Food Trucks

Hire a few food trucks to cater your rehearsal dinner. Guests can choose from a variety of cuisines and enjoy the casual, outdoor atmosphere.

Seafood Feast

If you’re having a beach wedding near the coast, consider hosting a seafood feast with fresh catches like lobster, crab, and shrimp.

Taco Bar

A taco bar is a fun and casual option for a rehearsal dinner. Guests can customize their tacos with a variety of toppings and fillings.

Sushi Bar

For sushi lovers, a sushi bar is a unique and delicious option for a rehearsal dinner. Serve up a variety of rolls and sashimi.

Wine Tasting

Host a wine tasting for your rehearsal dinner with a selection of local wines and small bites to pair with them.

Your rehearsal dinner is a great opportunity to celebrate with your family and friends before your big day. It’s a time to relax, have fun, and enjoy delicious food and drinks. Whether you prefer a casual outdoor BBQ or an elegant cocktail party, there are plenty of fun and festive ideas to choose from. So, explore different options, pick the one that suits your style and taste, and make it a memorable night with your loved ones. With so many rehearsal dinner ideas to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect fit for your wedding celebration.

Rebecca Barnes is the publisher of Brides & Weddings, the trusted local wedding planning guide for more than 25 years. Rebecca is passionate about helping couples plan their dream weddings. Schedule a complimentary wedding planning consultation, call with Rebecca today. 


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