Fun Ideas for an Alternative Rehearsal Dinner

friends standing outside around a table holding sparklers
Photo Courtesy of iStock

Traditional rehearsal dinners can be really boring. This is not a hot take! We feel like many people would rather do something more exciting (and inexpensive) to kick off the wedding weekend! Rehearsal dinners are typically a way for your family members and wedding party to get a chance to mingle, but it’s kind of hard to do that when everyone’s seated at a table and can only talk to those around them. Ditch the traditional way of doing things and entertain these fun alternative rehearsal dinner ideas!


backyard BBQ

friends sitting around a table in a backyard
Photo courtesy of kkgas/Stocksy

Set up some yard games, ask a family member to be the designated grill master, and make it a BYOB type of event! Weddings can be so formal, so why not make things a little more casual with a backyard barbecue? It’s inexpensive and everyone will have a chance to talk with everyone!



adults cheering in bowling alley

Who doesn’t love bowling and a little competition? Take your guests to a bowling alley where there’s already food, drinks, and an activity for everyone to do! Split your guests into two or three teams depending on how many people are there, and make a competition of it. First team to get a strike gets free drinks or appetizers!


Cocktail hour

cocktails in a tower for cocktail hour

If you aren’t having a cocktail hour at your wedding, try doing it after your rehearsal instead! This is definitely less expensive than having a multiple course dinner, and this will make it so it’s easier for guests to mingle.


have a picnic brunch

wedding food truck parked outside with welcome sign in front and plants decorating the truck
Photo Courtesy of Unsplash

Opt for brunch instead of dinner. It’s possible that you, the couple getting married, doesn’t want many late nights leading up to the big day! Throwing an outdoor brunch is the perfect way to still have that inclusive dinner type of setting, while not staying up super late. Consider renting a food truck and setting up yard games for a bit of extra fun!


Always remember that your wedding does not have to follow tradition! It’s okay to switch things up, even if you have push back from family members. At the end of the day, this is all about you and your partner, and you should plan everything how you both see fit! So, save a little money and try out one of these alternative rehearsal dinner ideas!



FREE Wedding Checklist

When you join our mailing list

Receive an instant download of our Wedding Planning Checklist!