Sunday, February 21

Our Casual Rehearsal Dinner: The "I Do" BBQ

One of the things I love most about planning a wedding in the 21st century is the ability to put your own personality into everything and bend the “traditional” wedding rules. What used to include a very strict church ceremony coupled with fancy-script invitations and a reception hall decorated in all-white, weddings have since involved into a party-like atmosphere with free reign to truly personalize. Nowadays couples are holding ceremonies outside of churches, moving receptions in backyards, and even scaling down the entire event into a simple, casual celebration. Not only does this make a wedding more unique, but it also sometimes just makes sense for smaller budgets. 
Joe and I had been planning from the very beginning to contribute as much as we possibly could to the expense of our wedding. Being the oldest and first daughter to get married, my parents have been more than gracious in paying for the venue, flowers, my gown, and the food/liquor. That contribution has been tremendously helpful, and we wouldn’t be planning for such a gorgeous event if it wasn’t for their help. By the same token, we’ve been trying to get the very best deals possible on everything from the flowers to DJ, from the videography to the photography. With this, we’ve decided to also scale back the typical “rehearsal dinner” and are opting to make it a more casual barbecue, where the wedding party will truly get an opportunity to become acquainted and have a good time together. 
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I’d be fibbing if I said I wasn’t a bit skeptical of this idea at first. Any rehearsal dinner I’ve ever been to involved a reputable restaurant with fancy linens and a delicious plated meal. It included low lighting and upscale dress and formal toasts. But in time, I became more comfortable with the idea of making the rehearsal dinner conform to our personal style. Why did I feel so obligated to have a rehearsal dinner just like everyone else’s? There was no rule book. No one would be offended they weren’t required to dress up in fancy attire or wouldn’t be feasting a $30 plate of food. As far as I’m concerned, my friends and family actually prefer a more casual atmosphere with barbecued American food, a pool table, and a nicely stocked bar. Besides, isn’t the point of a rehearsal dinner to allow everyone in the wedding to mingle before the wedding day? Seems to me it would be much easier for everyone to relax and get to know one another if they don’t feel confined to sitting at their assigned table at a fancy dinner. (Don’t get me wrong – I had a fabulous time at every upscale rehearsal dinner I’ve attended. I have nothing against them, if they are suitable for your guests and you can afford it!)  So Joe and I ultimately decided to save our checkbook and instead, make our own rehearsal dinner tradition. After the ceremony rehearsal takes place, everyone is invited back to my grandparent’s house for some ice cold drinks, fresh burgers, fun games, and wonderful memories. And in all honesty… I couldn’t be more excited!! 
Anyone else having an unusual Rehearsal Dinner? In what unique ways are you changing tradition in order to save money?

1 comment:

  1. Couple of days ago went to my friend’s rehearsal dinner party at one of Seattle venues. It was awesome and all my friends were available there. Best thing was delicious food as many new dishes were there. Really enjoyed a lot.