6 Cheap Alternatives To A Rehearsal Dinner

A wedding ceremony is more complicated than you think and everybody needs to do and say the right things at the right time for it to run smoothly. It’ll be a bit embarrassing if somebody messes up their lines. That’s why most people have a wedding rehearsal in the days leading up to the actual wedding. It’s a common custom to host a rehearsal dinner for all of your guests after the wedding rehearsal but if you’ve already started looking into the catering for your wedding, you’ll know that it’s going to be quite expensive to put on a full dinner. The cost of weddings these days is very high and a lot of people struggle to cover everything. The rehearsal dinner is another expense that you could probably do without and it’s not exactly the most important part of the day. But if your guests have taken the time to come to the rehearsal, it’s only polite to put something on for them. If you’re struggling to cover the costs of a full rehearsal dinner, here are some cheaper alternatives that everybody will enjoy.


If you’re having a summer wedding and the weather is nice, it’d be a shame to have everybody stuck indoors anyway so why not have a BBQ? It’s not that expensive to get a load of food for the BBQ so you can feed everybody for a fraction of the price of a full catered dinner. If you have the rehearsal in the morning, you can get everybody back to your house for some food in the afternoon. Hosting it at your own place means you won’t be paying for a venue for the evening either. A lot of people are even choosing to host their wedding reception at home for the same reasons. If you’re really struggling to cover the costs, you could even host a bit of a pot luck and ask people to bring some food along with them.

Cocktail Party

If you still want to have an elegant evening affair for your guests after the rehearsal but you can’t cover the cost of a full sit down meal, why not have a cocktail party instead? You can hire some professional bar staff to make drinks for your guests and get a cocktail party catering company to do some canapes for people to eat. Everybody still gets something to eat and drink and you can have a nice evening with your wedding party but you’re not spending anywhere near as much as you would if you paid for a meal for everybody.

Pizza Party

Having a BBQ at your house is a great way to save money but it doesn’t really work in the winter and it’s also a lot of work to do as well, unless you hire people to cook the food which defeats the point of doing it in the first place. A good winter alternative is to have a pizza party instead. There shouldn’t be too many of you there so you won’t need to buy that many pizzas to feed everybody. Just get a few drinks in and you’ve got a great low key alternative to a formal wedding rehearsal dinner.


If you’re having the rehearsal in the morning, you should be done in time to make it for brunch. You can still go to a nice restaurant to eat but breakfast food is going to be quite a bit cheaper than a full evening meal. You can also have some nice brunch cocktails to make it extra special. Getting the rehearsal done in the morning and then having brunch afterwards leaves the rest of the afternoon and evening free as well so you can make preparations for the actual wedding. That’s a big help if you’re having the wedding rehearsal the day before the wedding itself.

Cook Your Own Food

Buying pizza or having a big BBQ is a lot cheaper than a traditional rehearsal dinner but if you want to do it even cheaper, you should consider inviting people back to yours and cooking up some of your own food. It doesn’t have to be anything too fancy, you can do large one pot meals and get everybody to help themselves. Buy some cheap drinks in for everybody and you’ve got a party. Cooking fresh food on a large scale is so much cheaper than buying it in. If you’re too busy on the day sorting everything else out for the rehearsal you could ask a family member if they can help out.

Beer Or Wine Tasting

A beer or wine tasting makes for a fun change from the normal rehearsal dinner. You’re all going to be sitting down for dinner together at the wedding anyway so there’s no reason why you can’t skip the rehearsal dinner altogether and do something else. Organizing a fun activity for your wedding party is a great way to say thank you for all of their hard work in the lead up to the big day. Most local breweries will offer a beer tasting day, they’re not usually that expensive, somewhere in the region of $10-$20 per person. Compared to the cost of a rehearsal dinner, that’s a bit more manageable. You could make it even cheaper by hosting your own at home. If you get everybody together for a tasting afternoon you could then go out for some food afterwards as an optional extra, just make it clear that you aren’t going to be paying for that. A lot of your friends will be happy to come and pay for their own meal considering you covered the cost of the afternoon activities so you can still enjoy a nice meal together.

You’re going to have a traditional sit down meal at the wedding anyway so there’s no need to have one after the rehearsal as well. There are plenty of cheaper options that will be just as fun for everybody. Just make sure that you think carefully about your guests and what they would like so you can pick an option that works for everybody.  

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