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Tips for a Frugal Rehearsal Dinner

The days of the traditional rehearsal dinner are gone. Nowadays, you can find people who host rehearsal dinners at their house or who take their in-laws to a local ethnic restaurant.

If you're trying to find unique, yet frugal ideas for a fun rehearsal dinner, read below to see our recommendations.

tips for a frugal rehearsal dinner

Food Trucks

Many food trucks can be a frugal alternative to a traditional restaurant. You can find a huge variety of what they offer and many are happy to feed a group of 30+ people. Plus, it'll be one way to show off part of your city to your out-of-town guests.

You can design a menu featuring your favorite items or even ask them to create something special for the two of you. You can also choose a newer food truck instead of one more established in the area to save money. If you can get them to come to your house, then you've saved on renting a venue as well.

Breweries

As more and more microbreweries sprout up, they can also offer a unique space for your rehearsal dinner. If you've got a favorite brew, it can be a great idea to serve that up to all your guests.

Many breweries have a large open space that they rent out to people. You can also see if they have any food trucks or restaurants they partner with, if they don't have their own kitchen on site. You can offer hearty appetizers to save money or order bulk carry out.

Pizza

A friend of mine went to a rehearsal dinner at friend's house where they served pizza and beer. Honestly, who doesn't like pizza and beer? After seeing how much it would cost to have a catered meal, she decided to go with a low-key option.

If you're having a traditional wedding reception, people will get a nice meal at your wedding. There's no requirement that you have to treat them to a restaurant meal the day before as well.

Get catering from your local pizzeria. Include salads and garlic bread and buy alcohol from Costco. Mamma mia! You'll have a fun, unique rehearsal dinner that will allow people to veg out and mingle.

Learn from my Example

For my rehearsal dinner, we chose a small local restaurant in a fun part of the city. The manager was happy to work with us to create a custom buffet menu. He even let us order items that aren't part of their traditional menu. They stuck within our budget, provided great service and let us reserve half the restaurant for no extra charge.

Not all restaurants will be this frugal or happy to accommodate whatever requests you have. If you're looking at restaurants that have $30 entrees, don't be surprised when they quote you $2,000 for a rehearsal dinner for 15 people. Think about the casual places you like to go to and if they have enough space for your party. Ask friends for their favorite low-key spots.

What are your ideas for a frugal rehearsal dinner?


Zina Kumok

writes about paying off $28,000 worth of student loans in three years at Debt Free After Three. She has been featured in DailyWorth, LifeHacker and Time.