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Rehearsal dinner cook-out?

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Lil0818

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Many friends and family will be traveling from far away to attend my and FI''s August wedding, so we are planning on including everyone at the rehearsal dinner. In order to accommodate a larger crowd, we are thinking about having a cook-out style buffet dinner complete with burgers, bbq chicken, and smores. The place we have reserved for the dinner is a restaurant that opens up onto a large deck that is pretty close to a wooded, secluded area. We''ll have the place to ourselves. Does a cook-out seem too informal for a rehearsal dinner? Has anyone hosted an event like this - what kind of decorations, etc. would be appropriate?

Any thoughts/ideas appreciated! Thanks!
 

zoebartlett

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I think that sounds perfect! A few years ago, my friends got married in Ireland (the husband is originally from there and his family still lives there). They hosted the rehearsal dinner at home and it was a cookout. It was so nice be included -- they invited a lot of OOT guests and the wedding party, of course. It was a nice relaxing time, especially for those who had just arrrived from overseas.
 

Jaders731

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Lil...

I think it sounds wonderful!! My hubby and I just got married and had bbq catered in to one of the big cottages we rented for family.. we invited EVERYONE on the guest list.. it was perfect.. informal, but totally fun.. very laid back.. it was one of my fave times of the week!!! We had quite the spread of southern bbq: bbq chicken, pulled pork, sweet potato souffle, brunswick stew, coleslaw and baked beans... with sweet tea, peach cobbler and banana pudding... totally southern!!!

We didnt do decorations either.. as the house was quite interesting to begin with!! We got married in Seaside FL. I dont really think you would need to do decorations.. just my opinion! No one is really going to be looking at how the place is decorated.. your smiling faces is all that is needed!
 

akw94

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I don''t think that''s too informal at all. One of my best friends had something similiar and it was a lot of fun. We will probably also have something low-key, maybe a dinner at our house the night before. We''ll also include pretty much everyone.
 

lovelylulu

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Lil0818: My husband and I did exactly what you are planning. We got married last summer in Vermont and nearly all of our guest were OOT. We, too, wanted to include everyone in the festivities: 1) to show our appreciation for the journey; and 2) so they wouldn''t have to sort out their own dinner plans. We decided that a BBQ was the perfect option. We found a lovely location, a patio covered by a tent that opened out onto an amazing view of the green mountains. honestly, we didn''t need many decorations -- the view was the centerpiece! The tent had small lightbulb-ish lights that went on after sunset and we had some simple flowers on the tables. we had chicken, ribs, hamburgers and hotdogs. salad, pasta salad, some grilled veggies. and apple pie and ice cream for dessert - though smores sound delicious! people loved it. It turned out to be a perfectly casual, fun, special, memorable evening. and to me, an ideal contrast to our more formal wedding. i''d do it again for sure.

this was our location:
 

FireGoddess

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A friend of ours had her rehearsal dinner as a catered bbq in a local park. Dress was very casual, and it was so much fun!!
 

mainemomof2

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That sounds fun! When my brother got married 2 years ago, his rehersal dinner was held at my aunts house on a lake. We had a chicken and lobster BBQ, swam in their pool, laughed and had a great time.

Danielle
 

dcsvnnhpeach

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It sounds great. We did a cookout and because it was so casual, everyone got to relax and let loose. We gave our gifts at that time to our bridesmaids and groomsmen. Everyone kind of sat in groups around the house so it was easy to give our gifts out without putting anyone on the spot.
 

Lil0818

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Yay!!! I feel much more reassured about the cook-out rehearsal dinner. Our wedding is pretty formal, so I think it will be really nice to have a laid-back and relaxing way to welcome everyone to the wedding weekend. Here''s what I am thinking in the way of decorations:
1. simple flowers on the tables (maybe gerber daisies?) with a few votives
2. tikki torches on the outskirts of the deck area (nice? or tacky?)
3. there is a huge tree that comes up through the middle the deck that I''d like to wrap with little white lights (like Christmas lights).

thoughts?

Most of the evening will take place outside at night, so I''d like to do a little something to create some ambiance. I''m hoping the torches and lights will help with that. Also, the deck area is very plain (literally - tables and chairs and that''s it). It''s kind of fun to have a blank slate that I can do what I want with, but also a little intimidating!!

lovelylulu -what a beautiful spot for an event! the pic reminds me a lot of western MA (the Berkshires) where we are getting married! I''m sure it was a lovely event!
 

starryeyed

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Lil, those decorations sound simple and nice! I love Gerber daisies! And maybe some citronella tikki torches would help with any bugs. Do you think you'd want to get a few cans of bug spray? I'm not sure what you can expect in terms of insects.

My only concern is that you not stress yourself out decorating the place. Promise?
 

Selkie

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Sounds great! My brother and SIL are hosting our rehearsal dinner at their new house, and it will be an informal cookout too. I think simple table decorations like votives or pretty hurricane lanterns would be really nice...maybe some bowls with floating flowers or candles. I really don''t think you''re going to have to worry too much about the atmosphere beyond that.

I read in another thread you''re getting married in the Berkshires, which is where I went to college. I miss it so much out there...sounds wonderful. Do you mind my asking where?
 

diamondfan

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I think it sounds great!

You could do fun paper lanterns and citronella candles in terracotta pots, and have potted plants on the tables...

It could be just awesome! And hopefully less stressful for you!
 

aljdewey

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Date: 4/18/2007 1:46:45 PM
Author:Lil0818
Many friends and family will be traveling from far away to attend my and FI''s August wedding, so we are planning on including everyone at the rehearsal dinner. In order to accommodate a larger crowd, we are thinking about having a cook-out style buffet dinner complete with burgers, bbq chicken, and smores. The place we have reserved for the dinner is a restaurant that opens up onto a large deck that is pretty close to a wooded, secluded area. We''ll have the place to ourselves. Does a cook-out seem too informal for a rehearsal dinner? Has anyone hosted an event like this - what kind of decorations, etc. would be appropriate?

Any thoughts/ideas appreciated! Thanks!
I did the same thing.....although not at a restaurant. Our wedding was really small, and everyone was invited to the rehearsal dinner the night before. We did a cookout at a friend''s backyard patio. People LOVED it - it was more laid back, casual, and folks felt comfortable.
 

Linda W

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Sounds like fun to me. I think it would be less stressful too. Everyone could just relax and have a good time.


Linda
 

Lil0818

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So many great ideas!
diamondfan - I love idea of paper lanterns and potted plants on the tables - that way we can give the plants away at the end of the night, too!

Selkie - we''re getting married in Lenox, MA just down the road from Tanglewood. Where did you go to college?




 

lovelylulu

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I honestly wouldn''t too much about the decorations. Keep it simple, for your own sanity
 

diamondfan

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I think you want to set a festive mood, even in a casual event, make it pretty with some easy and not too expensive things...easily done if you are a bit creative...
 
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