Rehearsal dinners can be expensive, but they don’t have to be. There are many ways to save money on your rehearsal dinner without sacrificing quality or style. Here are 10 tips for doing just that.
Serve a Buffet-Style Meal Instead of Individual Plates
One way to save money on this pre-wedding celebration is to serve a buffet instead of individual plates. At a buffet, guests can pick and choose their favorite dishes and control portion sizes. You could even have a fun theme for the dinner, such as a taco bar or build-your-own pizza station. A buffet-style meal also allows for a more casual atmosphere where guests can mingle and mix without assigned seating.
Limit the Number of Guests
Want an easy way to save some cash? Limit the guest list. It’s common courtesy to invite those who attended the rehearsal. But don’t feel like you need to invite every member of your extended family or people you’re not close to. Instead, consider hosting a more intimate gathering with primarily immediate family and close friends. This will save you money on catering and venue costs and make for a more meaningful and memorable evening.
Request That Guests RSVP as Soon as Possible
One way to save on costs for your rehearsal dinner is to request that guests RSVP as soon as possible. This allows you to get an accurate guest count and make reservations at a restaurant that can accommodate everyone. In addition, it also gives you a better understanding of how much food to order, preventing additional expenses from having too much left over.
Have a Potluck Rehearsal Dinner
Another option to save on expenses is to have a potluck rehearsal dinner. This brings down the cost of food and allows guests to show off their cooking skills and contribute to the festivities. It’s important to coordinate who will bring what dishes and to consider any dietary restrictions. Another option is to hold the potluck at a local park or indoor community space rather than at a restaurant or rented venue. This can provide a unique atmosphere for your guests to come together and enjoy each other’s company before the big day. It can also be less expensive than renting a traditional venue.
Ask Your Caterer About Discounts for Large Orders
Some caterers will have discounts for large orders, so don’t be afraid to ask about it! Chances are, they’ll want to keep your business and may offer you a deal on bulk items or group meals. It’s certainly an option worth investigating.
Shop Around for the Best Deals on Flowers and Centerpieces
An easy way to save money is by shopping around for the best deal on flowers and centerpieces. Don’t settle for the first option you come across—call multiple florists and ask for quotes, or even see if your local grocery store has any affordable options. Don’t forget about bargain websites like Groupon, which often offer discounts on floral arrangements.
Rent Table Linens and Chairs Instead of Purchasing Them
Here’s an idea: rent table linens and chairs instead of buying them. This can save you some serious cash. So why not take the stress out of your prep and leave it to the professionals? And if you do decide to rent, be sure to shop around and compare prices.
Choose a Venue That Offers Catering Services
One easy way to save money on catering is to choose a venue that offers in-house services. This will streamline the planning process. When selecting a venue, ask about their catering options and compare prices with other vendors in the area. You may be pleasantly surprised at how much you can save by going with an all-in-one option.
Order Dessert From a Local Bakery or Grocery Store
Instead of spending a pretty penny on hiring a fancy dessert chef or ordering complicated pastries, why not visit your local bakery or grocery store? They likely have a variety of tasty options that won’t break the bank. Plus, it’s a nice nod to your community and supports local businesses.
DIY Some Elements of the Rehearsal Dinner Decorations
Instead of hiring a professional decorations company, consider DIY-ing some elements yourself. It’s easier than you might think—take a trip to your local craft store and stock up on materials like ribbons, banners, and tablecloths in your wedding colors. Get creative with centerpieces by using flowers from your own garden or repurposing household items like vases and mason jars. Don’t forget about personal touches, like handwritten place cards or menus on cardstock. By taking on some of the decorations yourself, you’ll save money and add a unique and intimate touch to your rehearsal dinner celebration.
Though a rehearsal dinner can be pricey, you can easily save money if you know how. By following the tips in this article, you can host a fabulous and affordable rehearsal dinner for your friends and family.