If you’re someone who loves a good theme party but isn’t quite willing to commit to a theme for your actual wedding, having a themed rehearsal dinner is the perfect happy medium. These more low-key events usually don’t include quite as many guests and are a bit more casual, making them the perfect candidate to become a themed event. There are so many party ideas to choose from, though, that you may struggle to narrow it down. Below are just some of our top picks for a unique rehearsal dinner theme that will wow your guests.
If someone near your wedding venue is willing to let you host a pool party at their house (or if you have your own pool), go for it! Everyone loves a chance to splash around in the water, lounge by the pool, and enjoy a few cocktails. Pair this idea with a barbecue for some easy eats and you’ll have yourself a roaring time with your wedding party and close family members.
Wine and Cheese Night
If you’re a couple that enjoys an adult beverage or has a taste for vino, make your rehearsal dinner wine and cheese themed. You can even ask each guest to bring a bottle of their favorite wine so that everyone gets to try a wide variety. To add another element of fun, wrap each bottle in kraft paper and label it as what kind of wine it is (for instance, Chardonnay). From there, people can taste test and decide which they like best, and then brands can be revealed at the end of the night. If you’re not very into wine, opt to do the same idea but with beer or practically any beverage of choice. This is fun if you’re hosting a rehearsal at someone’s residence rather than a restaurant, also making it a more affordable option.
If you and your fiancé are big sports fans, this is the perfect opportunity to let your fandom show. Deck the rehearsal venue out in decor in support of your favorite team and serve food that is reminiscent of items you’d eat at one of those sports games. This could be hot dogs, nachos, pretzels—it’s really up to you!
If you’re looking for something with more of a fairy tale air to it for your rehearsal dinner, a garden party could be just the thing. Go all out with a flower wall—you can opt for real or paper—and you can even have flower crowns available for guests to wear. Serve refreshing tea, host the party outdoors (if possible) and use candles and twinkle lights to give this rehearsal dinner the magical vibe you had in mind.
Everyone loves a delicious taco, so why not go with this casual fiesta theme for the night before your big day? This can easily be hosted at someone’s home or at a Mexican restaurant. Serving is easy with buffet-style. Decor can be really fun for this theme with bright colors, piñatas, and sombreros. Finally, create fun signature cocktails to go along with this theme. Margaritas would be a guaranteed hit!
Take your rehearsal to the lanes! Allow your guests to get a little competitive the night before you exchange vows. You can even break into “team bride” and “team groom” cohorts. This is a very casual and relaxed way to kick off the weekend, but it’s a great way for guests to unwind and enjoy each other’s company by doing something different. Another great thing about a bowling party is that the venue can take care of everything for you, making it easy to coordinate.
Drinks and Dessert
If you’re looking to do something that’s not a full on sit-down dinner, drinks and dessert is still the perfect way to spend time with your guests. Serve simple drinks like wine by the glass and have a dessert buffet. This can include cookies, cupcakes, fruit tarts, donuts, mini pies—whatever your sweet tooth craves most! After all, everyone loves a little bit of indulgence.
Especially if you’re getting married in the summer or somewhere nautical, a clam bake is a fun way for guests to enjoy some coastal cuisine in a casual manner as they prepare to see you walk down the aisle. This theme is easy to coordinate and has a laid back vibe to it, allowing everyone to unwind before a busy day. Blue and white stripes, crabs and lobster motifs, and sailboats make for the perfect decor. As for beverages, keep it simple with refreshing beer and easy wines.
For couples that have a passion for board games and fun, a game night is the way to go when it comes to the rehearsal dinner. Round up your absolute favorites and set up different stations. to increase the competition, pre-select teams and create a bracket to see who gets the furthest. If you don’t necessarily want to invest in board games, there are so many games out there that you can even play on your smartphone and TV.
Rehearsal dinners are truly a blank canvas for you to work with when it comes to planning. Since these are usually a bit less formal than your actual wedding, you can feel free to take a theme and run with it in order to give guests something they’ll truly enjoy. These unique ideas are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to theme ideas—use them as inspiration to make your wedding rehearsal an unforgettable memory!