Post # 1
We are probably not having a bridal party so I’m not sure what to do about the rehearsal dinner! I would like to do something to kick off the wedding weekend and get all of our friends together as the out-of-towners arrive. Some options I’m kicking around…
Have something that is essentially the same as a rehearsal dinner, with the people who would have been in the bridal party if it existed – best friends, immediate family.
Host an informal shin-dig that everyone is invited to stop by as they arrive (need ideas for this though – how would I do this without breaking the bank?)
Forgo doing anything ‘official’ and tell people who want to meet and socialize to stop by a particular restaurant or bar to hang out, everyone pays their own way.
Has anyone else done a ‘welcome to town’ event? What did you do? Thanks for any input!
Post # 3
We didn’t have a bridal party, either, but still had a rehearsal dinner. Close family was invited to a local Italian restaurant, and we all had a great time! I’m not sure why we still called it a rehearsal dinner, though, considering our actual church rehearsal was a couple days before… It was basically the same thing as a “welcome dinner” or “welcome party,” we just used the traditional term, I guess.
Post # 4
I’m sure if i thought long and hard I could come up with some fun stuff, but i also know that traveling to a wedding wears people out. We had a rehearsal dinner, but that was just us.
for a ‘wedding weekend idea’, what about just a fun, informal bbq with your closest people in your backyard? Grill up some brats, serve some beer, and just make it a relaxed thing? Then, it’s not expensive, it’s not fancy, and if anybody else happens to show up, it’s not too expensive. you could have some games–cornhole, hillbilly golf, washers, etc (yeah i know i sound hoosier suddenly) or some ice breaker fun games just to put everybody in a fun mood?
Post # 5
We had a destination wedding, so our situation is probably a little different than yours, but we had BOTH a “Welcome Cocktail Party” (Thursday night) and a “Rehearsal Dinner” (Friday night), and every single guest was invited to both! It was a really great way for everyone to meet each other and get to catch up with everyone before the wedding.
The Welcome Cocktail Party was hosted by a friend’s parents – they had offered to host a shower or engagement party for us, but since my BMs were already planning one, we asked if they’d be interested in hosting this little happy hour. Just a few passed appetizers, beer and wine, for about two hours. People stopped by if they wanted, stayed the whole time (or for just a few minutes), and it was incredibly casual. Then everyone split up and went out to dinner/dancing afterwards, on their own. And my in-laws paid for the rehearsal dinner (for all 60 guests), which we did on a budget with a simple Western BBQ with domestic beer and wine. Most people had a chance to meet the night before, so everyone was really social and comfortable with each other.
No matter which option you pick, I highly recommend doing something! It’s a great way for your guests to get to chat with you and meet some new friends before the wedding.
Post # 6
After the rehearsal dinner, my BMs and I will be chilling in the hotel hot tub with a bottle of champagne! (Well, at least hopefully.)
Post # 7
A wedding I attended had a welcome dinner … it was a destination wedding though.
Post # 8
I think if you’re not having a Wedding Party and you think you don’t need to do the traditional Rehearsal dinner, it might be fun to get all of the out of towners together. You could do some sort of a welcome dinner or BBQ or something. We did a Rehearsal Dinner, but I think it’s not necessary if you’re not having a traditional rehearsal.
Post # 9
We are having a combination rehersal dinner/cookout for anyone in the area that wants to come hang out. We’ll probably play corn hole and have a fire. Just relax before the big day!
Post # 10
We’re having a wedding weekend-type event, so we’re hosting an informal BBQ the night before. Early arrivals are all welcome. His parents are cooking up burgers and drinks and our local friends are bringing potluck salads and desserts. There will also be outdoor games like horseshoes. I’m excited, I think it will kick our party off to the perfect start!
Post # 11
I don’t have much of a bridal party and we can’t really have a rehearsal. My fiance’s family is coming from “Across the Pond” so we will have a Thank You/Welcome gathering. I’d prefer to keep it rather informal but we’ll see how things pan out.
Do something, informal or formal but some sort of welcoming is probably appreciated by your immediate family.
Post # 12
We had a weekend wedding, so it was really important for us to set the mood with a BBQ and mingling event. We had our caterers drop off the rentals on Friday night, and were able to utilize our tables and chairs. We had a very simple but very delicious BBQ. 100 of our guests showed up, so it was a really fun party.
What I didn’t expect was that people took Friday night as an opportunity to get totally hammered before the wedding. We went through an entire keg of beer!
Post # 13
Friday is my calm down, relax, I’m getting married the next day- day. We are having a morning wedding so our rehearsal and dinner are going to be on Thursday. I want to hopefully get plenty of rest on Friday and didn’t want to worry about the rehearsal.
Post # 14
Thanks all! I really love the barbeque idea, unfortunately with logistics I’m thinking I couldn’t do that. I’m in the DC area which is super spread out and super trafficky…odds are good that the ceremony/reception site will not be within a 40 minute drive to my house!
I may look into restaurants or bars that could host something for less expense. If there’s a place that would let us bring our own alcohol that would really help. Or maybe we could do the barbeque thing at one of the parks, there are a million around here!
Post # 15
@Circus Peanut, since it’s not the wedding, you could always just rent out a room for the night and provide appetizers to the guests and then if anybody wants to drink they can buy their own (unless you find a place to bring your own)
A friend of mine is having her Rehearsal Dinner at a park near my house. Her FI’s mom is having it catered, I’m making the 2 desserts, and I’m trying to talk her into infused lemonades and ice teas or flavored waters for something fun but not alcoholic. Park fees are like $50 or something really cheap. And catering can easily be paper plates and stuff, no big deal at all! I’m actually really excited about it and it’ll be a lot of fun. Everyone’s invited to bring their pets =]
Post # 16
Wedding party/family flip cup after a rehearsal dinner bbq?