Friday, October 9, 2009

And now for the second wedding bill...

Just as you thought you had your wedding budget together, you realized that you forgot about the rehearsal dinner... oh yea, that little extra thing. The rehearsal dinner is not typically wrapped into the wedding budget because it is usually hosted by the groom's family. However, families these days are doing things much differently and throwing the traditional rules and etiquette out the window.

If you (the couple) and your families are working out some kind of 3-way split for the wedding costs, it's probably going to be on you to figure out the rehearsal dinner. The rehearsal dinner dilemma can be quite a nightmare if you have a lot of out-of-town guests. At an average of $40 per head without including alcohol, you could be looking at another $2,000 or more if you invite 50 guests to the dinner!

Ok, before you have a heart attack, there are options to make this an affordable event. First, you are not required to host a rehearsal dinner for everyone. You could make it an intimate event for just your immediate relatives (parents, grandparents, siblings) and wedding party. That should cut your list down to less than 20 people.

If you are set on inviting all of the out-of-town guests, why not host a very informal cocktail type of event in someone's home or back yard. Make a bunch of appetizer/finger foods that don't require heating or cooking and let people wander around talking to each other. For example, put out a platter of lunch meats, cheeses and rolls, some pasta and/or potato salad, a cold spinach dip with crackers, vegetable crudites and a fruit tray. This should not cost you more than $10 per person and it doesn't involve an oven or stove at all! If you feel obligated to provide alcohol, consider a signature drink such as sangria. This is a very budget friendly option because it is not all alcohol- it's a mix of about 3/4 wine and 1/4 club soda (and some sugar) with fruit slices floating in it (lemons, limes and oranges).

Has anyone done this type of rehearsal dinner? How did it go?

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