Every year, around two million couples decide to commit to each other for the rest of their lives by getting married. While the wedding itself is a fun and joyful event, planning for the big day is hugely stressful. 

Making decisions such as what food and drink to serve, whom to invite, and setting a budget, it’s enough to make anyone want to skip the drama and elope. But since you wouldn’t get to share one of the most important days of your life with friends and family, you’ll have to learn how to delegate and work together. 

One of the big events you’ll need to plan for is your rehearsal dinner. It’s a more intimate affair with just your closest loved ones in attendance. 

Which means you want to get it right. If you’re stuck coming up with great rehearsal dinner ideas, we can help.

We’re sharing seven great ideas to set the perfect mood for your wedding rehearsal dinner. 

1. Your Rehearsal Dinner Ideas Should Include BBQ

This is Atlanta. In Atlanta, we eat barbeque. 

BBQ is a great way for the locals to eat their favorites while you showcase some of the best food Atlanta has to offer to those visiting from out of town. You can service mac and cheese, hot dogs, and burgers. 

You can even get a little fancy and serve pulled-pork sliders and Caprese salad kabobs. 

Vegan BBQ Options

And if some of your guests aren’t meat eaters, that’s not a problem.

There are still plenty of tasty vegan BBQ dishes to serve such as cauliflower steak and even vegan barbeque ribs. 

2. A Sports Game Rehearsal Dinner

Atlanta has some great sports teams. Between the Braves, Hawks, Falcons, Thrashers, and even Atlanta United, you can choose your favorite sports venue to have your rehearsal dinner at. 

Then follow up the festivities by sticking around to watch the game. Most sports arenas offer group packages and you may even be able to have a congratulatory message written on the scoreboard. 

If not all your guests are as much of a die-hard sports fan as you are, try hosting a more formal dinner followed by heading to the game. 

3. Casino Night 

You can glitz up your rehearsal dinner by hosting a Monte Carlo-inspired casino night that offers guests the ability to play classic casino games like roulette and blackjack.  Send out your invitations on customized playing cards.

Decorate tables with edible poker chips. Hire a dealer to oversee games such as poker and other tables games. You can even offer guests the ability to play bingo and hand out raffle prizes. 

If you want to make it more intimate, start with a seated dinner or cocktail hour first before guests begin to mingle. And don’t forget to keep the champagne flowing. 

4. Wine or Beer Pairing

You can have a typical wedding rehearsal dinner but add a little twist to it. Hire a beer, wine or whiskey specialist to help create a menu that teaches your guests how to pair the perfect beverage with every course, including dessert. 

If you’re serving wine, stick with the same grape variety such as Malbec so guests can taste the difference. Pair each course with a great cheese. 

Decorating is easy once you choose which type of alcohol to focus on. Put flowers in beer bottles, grapes and cheese boards for wine, and whiskey barrels for tables. 

Don’t Let the Guests Get too Drunk

Just make sure to keep the water flowing more than the booze so no one is too hungover for the big day. 

5. Hold Your Rehearsal Dinner Outdoors

Atlanta has some beautiful weather so you might as well take advantage of it. You can even host a picnic for your rehearsal dinner. 

It’s low key and you can do it during the day or in the early evening. The menu should be traditional picnic foods such as sandwiches and fresh-squeezed lemonade or sweet tea. 

Go Beachy

You can also do a beach-themed outdoor dinner in your own backyard. Hang hammocks from trees and serve the meal buffet-style on long surfboards. 

Blend up island cocktails such as daiquiris or pina Coladas. 

6. Make it Family Style

The wedding rehearsal dinner may be the first time some of your new in-laws are meeting each other. One great way to break the ice and get everyone talking to one another is to serve your food family style. 

Sharing food is more intimate and forces people to talk to one another since everyone needs to pass around the food. It also helps prevent behaviors that can increase the possibility of arguments. 

You can choose among your favorites to serve or even choose a few family favorites from each side to help break the ice. 

7. Choose an Off-Beat Venue

Get imaginative and have fun with your rehearsal dinner by choosing an off-beat venue such as a bowling alley, heading to the driving range or even the aquarium. You don’t need to stick to traditional themes and getting everyone into a fun and festive atmosphere can help everyone, including you, relax. 

Some of these venues may even allow you to host a quick sit down meal first and then plan a fun event that everyone can participate in. Also, you won’t have to worry about decorating since an off-beat venue usually means participating in an activity. 

Hire Live Entertainment

When choosing which of these rehearsal dinner ideas is best for your big event, keep in mind that live entertainment is another way to set the perfect tone.

Whether it’s hiring a magician to wow your guests or getting everyone to shaky their booty by hiring a band or DJ, we’ve got you covered.

We can also help you plan your event. Let us take some of the stress away by creating a memorable event that fits your budget. Click here to get a quote