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Winter Rehearsal Dinner on a Budget: 10 Practical Tips!

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10 Tips for Planning a Winter Rehearsal Dinner on a Budget

Let’s face it. Every couple welcomes a chance to save on wedding costs. And your rehearsal dinner offers you one such chance. Since it’s normally a casual gathering of the bridal party and close relatives and friends, you can actually keep things simple…and budget friendly. With a little wise planning as shown in our tips below, you can save here and there—and come up with an enjoyable gathering that gets the key people ready for your Big Day!

How to Save on Your Rehearsal Dinner Costs

Tip #1: Make your own rehearsal dinner invitations. There are many printing kits available in places like Michaels. See our post on DIY-ing your Invitations.

Tip #2: Choose a venue that costs little or nothing. Examples include at home, at a restaurant where costs already include the meal, or at a community center. You may want to check out our post on Themes for Hosting a Casual Rehearsal Dinner at Home.

Tip #3: Consider a menu of home-cooked dishes. Or hire a caterer who can give you a good deal. A mix of catered and home cooked dishes can also be done. Other low budget options: ordering a meal set for pizza, submarine sandwiches, Mexican food, hot dogs, burgers, pasta, and fried chicken. You can also hire a food truck!

Holly, pine cones, and berries inspiration board.

Tip #4: For decorations, go with what basic elements are already at the venue, whether at home or at a restaurant. Then, just add DIY table centerpieces using in-season materials like holly, pine cones, and berries.

Assemble your own self-serve hot cocoa bar.

Tip #5: Have a simple self-serve drinks table. Set up your own winter cocktails and hot cocoa bar for guests. Since the rehearsal is normally the evening before the wedding day, you have a reason not to serve alcohol (which can get pricey).

Tip #6: Have a dessert table offering an assortment of treats for guests to choose from. This way, you get to save on a cake. See our post on a beautiful winter dessert table for inspiration on setting up your own dessert spread.

Rustic tablescapes for rehearsal dinners in the winter.

Tip #7: For the guest tables, you can do away with meticulous details like place settings if you opt to have a buffet setup. See some examples of  rustic tablescapes perfect for buffet receptions.

DIY hot cocoa favors.

Tip #8: Give home-baked or handcrafted favors that you can make ahead, then package prettily for giving at the dinner. Think sweet with toffee, hot cocoa, and peppermint candy.

Tip #9: The main focus of the dinner will, of course, be the run-through of the wedding ceremony. But plan on one ice-breaker activity or game to get bridal party members on a friendly basis.

Classic holiday outfit.

Tip #10: Keep your attire for the rehearsal dinner simple and comfortable (and nothing too costly). Reserve your getting “dressed to the nines” for the actual ceremony and reception! See our simple yet classic holiday outfit post.


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