6 Tips for Saving Money on Your Rehearsal Dinner

It is no secret that weddings are expensive.  It is so common to see couples add just one extra detail at every point because it doesn’t seem like but but as time goes on those little extras add up and even the best planned budgets are blown.  I get it, your wedding day will be one of the most important days of your life but at the same time, no one wants to start out their lives together as a couple, in debt from their wedding.

Your rehearsal dinner is one of those areas where it’s easy to get carried away but don’t.  Yesterday I talked about 7 tips for planning the perfect rehearsal dinner.  Remember I said, it should be a laid-back, comfortable affair.  That doesn’t mean it has to be casual, just make sure it fits your personality and have fun.  Regardless of what your perfect rehearsal dinner looks like, below of a few of my favorite tips on saving money on your rehearsal dinner.

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Stick to a Strict Guest List

Many couples now choose to invite their out-of-town guests to the rehearsal dinner  as well as an extra way to say thank you for making the trip.  While this is a great gesture, it can really add up the costs.  If you want to make them feel welcome, plan your rehearsal for a little earlier in the day, have just immediate family and the wedding party at the rehearsal dinner and then plan for everyone to meet up afterwards at your favorite bar following dinner for drinks and visiting.

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Skip the Open Bar

While it may be tempting to offer an open bar at your rehearsal, leave it for the reception instead.  People tend to drink more when they aren’t paying which can lead to over drinking and skyrocketing the bill at the end of the night.  Save some money by paying only for dinner and let your guests buy their own drinks.

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Consider a Different Time for the Rehearsal Dinner

Most rehearsals are scheduled for the day before the wedding but they don’t have to be.  Venues can be more expensive on the weekends so consider having your rehearsal dinner on a weeknight or even earlier in the day if possible.  Consider a morning rehearsal and a brunch instead.  

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Keep it Simple

Venues can be pricey and so can sit-down dinners.  Just about everyone loves pizza so why not grab a few pizzas from your favorite spot, grab a case of beer or your favorite adult beverage and gather your guests at at home for a more casual, relaxed dinner.  Other great options would be a backyard bar-b-q or even a pot luck dinner.  Remember, this is the time for relaxing and enjoying your company.

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Skip the Sit down for Heavy Appetizers

A couple years ago, a couple I worked with had their rehearsal dinner at a local inn.  The caterer brought in appetizers and dessert, most people’s favorites.  The appetizers kept everyone mingling all evening instead of sitting down and talking to just those around them and it was  a great way to have a more formal dinner without the added cost of a plated dinner.

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Don’t Go Crazy with Your Outfit

I’ve noticed in more recent years, couples buying special outfits to be worn for their rehearsal and dinner to follow.  While I can see wanting to have something special and nice to wear for the rehearsal because of pictures and for the simple importance of it, don’t go crazy.  Spruce up an outfit you already have with some new jewelry or shoes if you must but don’t feel the need to go over-the-top for your rehearsal.

Your rehearsal dinner should be fun, relaxed and the time for you to spend quality time with the people you love most in the world before the main event.  Whether you want a more formal dinner or a more casual gathering, I hope these tips help you see ways you can save money on your own rehearsal dinner.  Weddings are expensive and you don’t want your rehearsal dinner to be one more thing that pushes you farther over your budget.

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