top of page

Non-Traditional Rehearsal Dinner Ideas | Austin Wedding Planners

Rehearsal dinners have been taking place for about as long as weddings have been happening, but who says they have to take place at a restaurant? And who says they have be to be during dinner time? Your wedding weekend should be all about the two of you, your favorite people, your favorite activities, and your favorite foods + drinks. "Rehearsal dinners" are for meeting both families, making new friends, letting your mother-in-law do her thing, wearing a cocktail dress, getting the toasts or roasts out of the way, and hopefully calming some nerves before the big day. Here are some non-traditional, non-restaurant rehearsal dinner ideas that have our brides thinking outside of the box! CHOOSE A THEME ​There’s a variety of themed rehearsal dinner ideas you can host and it creates a unique and fun party for you and your guests. Host a Hawaiian luau and order a pig roast and some summer cocktails. It's easy to find some awesome floral button ups accompanied with cheap leis! How about a good old Hoe Down with some line-dancing, fake mustaches, cowboy hats, brisket, potatoes and moonshine? Yes, please!

DINER EN BLANC We all know it’s frowned upon to wear white to a wedding, but how about encouraging all of your guests to wear white to your rehearsal dinner? It’s a unique way to bring everyone together and the photos turn out gorgeous. You can feel free to wear white as well, or change it up and show up in a different color to stand out! If everyone is wearing white, be a little more careful on what you offer on the food & beverage menu - you won’t want to wear red wine or tomato sauce. It will be a great practice run for the next day!

SING THE NIGHT AWAY Do you consider you and your significant other to be more musically inclined than others? Or do you just want to test out your vocal cords? Consider a karaoke night; either at a karaoke bar, or at home! Rent a table at a piano bar and sing your heart out! Nothing brings new friends together and reunites family members than some throwback songs to Celine Dion or Backstreet Boys. This will surely create some memories and stories for years to come... plus it may help keep the microphone out of people's hands on the day of!


When was the last time you grabbed a blanket, some cheese & crackers and a bottle or two of wine and headed to a local park for a classic picnic? Keep it classy and simple by bringing a childhood memory back to life by racing down some slides, pushing each other on some swings, or grabbing some loaves of bread and feeding some ducks. This classic activity is perfect for all ages and most every season here in Texas. ​ The best part about this is that you can include the kids in wedding activities, without having to invite them to the actual wedding day. Don't forget to bring your photographer to capture some beautiful memories as the sun sets!

SHOW OFF YOUR CITY Texas is a hot spot for destination weddings, so why not treat your friends and families to a tour of the city? Whether its an Austin inspired scavenger hunt, a miniature bar crawl, museum tours, or floating down the river - there’s plenty of activities right here for everyone to participate in! You can have your lunch or dinner on a chartered boat on the lake, go on the infamous duck adventures, or space out at Zilker Park - with dogs invited, of course!


Whether it’s brunch for dinner or hosting a rehearsal day brunch early in the day, who doesn’t love some chicken & waffles? Not to mention the biscuits & gravy, bottomless mimosas, bloody mary’s and coffee! Brunch is a well-rounded meal that can accommodate any size group, any age group range and will bring your guests together to meet & celebrate you two over everyone's favorite meal of the day. PICK A LOCATION WITH A STORY We all have those friends and family members that want to be involved in every aspect of your lives. We suggest you pick a rehearsal dinner location that has a story - whether it’s where you two met (at a college football game), or where you had your first date (paddle boarding at Lady Bird Lake) or where you got engaged (at a winery in Fredericksburg). Your wedding day will be filled with memories, but you can still relive those first memories and stories the day before your happily ever after.​ GAME NIGHT Are you and your significant other more on the competitive side? Hosting a game night rehearsal dinner could let you both release some stress and anxiety. Keep it casual by ordering some take out and sit around the table playing your favorite board games. You can bring both of your families together quicker by pairing everyone up for some awesome games like charades, pictionary or heads up. Whether you win or lose at the games, your rehearsal guests will love laughing and learning more about the couple before you say I do.

COSTUME PARTY A creative rehearsal dinner idea would be to host your own costume party. Let’s be honest, most people have some sort of costume in the back of their closet that needs to be shown off again. Keeping with the wedding theme, you could encourage all of your guests to come with their plus one as a character couple - make it competitive and have a few prizes for the best dressed! Christmas in July or a costume party around Halloween time is always a fun excuse to do something different and let your hair loose that way! CREATE A KEEPSAKE Give your guests a memory that they can take with them - such as a cooking class, cigar rolling class, or get everyone together to make their own pizzas. Activities give friends and strangers a task to perform, and naturally small talk and relationships grow. At the end of their project, you can have some food to eat and some cigars to smoke or a keepsake from the activity you choose to celebrate your big wedding day eve!

All photographs courtesy of Moodyography


bottom of page