Our ‘I do’ BBQ: rehearsal dinner planning

Awhile ago, we shared five tips from planning our own wedding in light of the impending season upon us filled with dresses, décor, cake, cocktails and, of course, love!

Aside from the main event itself, significant time and effort goes into the preparation of a rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, too. Whether a low-key affair or a fancy soirée, rehearsals and rehearsal meals are so important to ensure the big day goes smoothly and to enjoy time with close family and friends before the nuptials begin.

We had a beautiful and relaxing ‘I Do’ BBQ held at a relative’s house close to the venue, which was perfect given the comfortable, meaningful setting and fun, low-key atmosphere. I planned the BBQ including e-vites, décor, set-up, drinks and we were lucky to have help with food from our generous family.
It can seem daunting to arrange this pre-wedding event in addition to the big day itself, so here are a few ways to keep it easy and enjoyable.

Keep it simple

  • A BBQ or even potluck, outdoors if possible, is a fun and easy way to entertain
  • Paper plates and utensils make clean-up quick
  • Store drinks in buckets or coolers instead of pouring individual glasses
  • Renting a room in a restaurant and ordering platters of food can also be a great option

Keep it affordable

  • Use the same colours as your wedding to decorate for the rehearsal dinner and use certain decorations for both, if it works (I re-used planters, lanterns and framed engagement photos for both occasions)
  • No need to hire your photographer that night; select a friend who’s already attending with a good eye and camera to shoot some shots
  • Email invitations as opposed to mailing hard copies

Keep it cozy

  • Inviting close family and the wedding party plus their significant others keeps the party manageable


Keep it classy

  • This goes without saying! It is a celebration in light of your wedding, after all, so put some effort and thought into it — white tent, chairs, banner, chalkboard, signage, lanterns, tea lights, tablecloths/napkins, outdoor lights
  • Schedule it early enough in the evening (if a dinner event) after your rehearsal so that it doesn’t end late into the night. Keep in mind the events of the next day and schedule enough sleep!
Tent, table and chairs
Tent, table and chairs

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