While your wedding may not be the right occasion for an extravagant themed party, the rehearsal dinner is the perfect time to host a fun, themed celebration. With a smaller number of guests, you can get more creative with décor and food choices – think how easy it will be to serve your favorite local treats to a group of 30, instead of 300! Since you'll only be celebrating with your closest friends and family, you can allow yourself to indulge in crazy motifs that really represent you, like your love of the 4th of July or your favorite video games. And with nerves starting to set in, you'll be relieved to spend the night before the wedding at a relaxed, informal party filled with festive fun!
Discover five unique themed rehearsal dinners that are guaranteed to put a smile on your face before the big day, below. Grab your wedding party and indulge in a Mexican fiesta, elegant garden party, or even a New England-style lobster bake. Go all out and plan a menu that complements the details of the décor. This is your last night before the biggest day of your life, so make the most of it!
Gather loved ones at a single long table under a trellis covered in greenery and string lights. Top the table with a floral tablecloth and gold-rimmed glass chargers. Place votive candleholders and small glass vases filled with fresh flowers down the center of the table. Cloth napkins, sprigs of rosemary, and a menu of light Italian fare complete the fresh, natural scene. Photos by Elizabeth Messina
Nautical Clam Bake
Choose a wood-beamed event space and arrange tables topped with blue linens. Cluster ocean-inspired trinkets, like seashells and glass ball buoys, in the center of tables. Give each guest a lobster bib and a whimsical shellfish cracker, and serve plenty of lobster with all the fixings. Photos by Justine Ungaro
It's an explosion of color at a Moroccan-themed rehearsal dinner! Flood the room with jewel-toned spotlights and uplighting, and utilize lush sequined linens and gold chairs. Mix and match silver lanterns and candlesticks with vibrant flowers to create eye-catching centerpieces. Play traditional music to play up the Moroccan atmosphere! Photos by Gruber Photographers
Hang colorful streamers across a Spanish-style courtyard and top tables with bright bunches of paper flowers and printed tablecloths in coordinating colors. Keep plenty of tequila on hand, and serve authentic Mexican delicacies like mole and rajas con crema. Don't forget to include a performance by a mariachi band! Photos by Gertrude & Mabel Photography
Adorn a single long table with simple linens in shades of grey and blue. Use wooden benches for seating, and offer pillows for those who want to relax on the sand. On the menu: fresh seafood and chips and salsa. Tiki torches and lanterns provide flickering light after the sun goes down! Photos by Corbin Gurkin
For more rehearsal dinner inspiration, see real rehearsal dinners planned by other couples on our weddings page! If you have a rehearsal dinner that you'd like to submit for online publication, we'd love to see it. Share your story here.