Unique Rehearsal Dinner Ideas

The night prior to your wedding is the time where your wedding party comes from far and wide to kick off the celebration.  You may not have seen your wedding party members in a long time.  Some of them may have never even met.  Therefore, a traditional rehearsal dinner may not be for you.  At Castle Farms, your wedding rehearsal will always be the day prior to your wedding.  Following rehearsal there is almost always some kind of lunch or dinner planned by either the couple or the parents.  Why not think outside the box and plan something a little more unique to go along with your rehearsal dinner?

Invite Your Guests for Drinks at Your Rehearsal Dinner Location

Rehearsal dinners are only intended for the wedding party, and sometimes other specific groups like immediate family, parents, or out of town guests.  What some couples choose to do is reserve the dinner space for an extended amount of time, keep the bar open, and extend the invitation for drinks to all wedding guests.  That way, guests have the opportunity to mingle and catch up prior to your wedding.  Sometimes, that can be nice for guests so that they can focus on celebrating the couple the day of the wedding.

Photo: Paxton Photography

Go Bowling, Mini Golfing, or Play Lawn Games

What better way for unfamiliar guests to get to know each other than over a game of bowling or mini golf?  There are great local spots for your wedding party to gather after rehearsal.  Order takeout and a growler from Petoskey Brewing or Beard’s Brewery after a trip to Pirate’s Cove for a picnic or share a pizza at BC Lanes.  Getting your competitive juices flowing and having some fun are great ways to break the ice between wedding party members who may be meeting for the first time.

Photo: Killer Creations Photography

Have a Bonfire

If you’re having a summer or fall northern Michigan wedding, what more appropriate gathering can you have than a bonfire?  Surrounding a fire with your close friends and family allows the opportunity to swap stories, congratulate the couple, and offer well wishes for the future in a more intimate setting before their wedding day.  Having a bonfire is a great way to close out a long day of rehearsals and travel, and wind down before the big day to follow.  Just be sure not to wear anything you’ll be wearing at the wedding so you don’t carry the smoky scent with you down the aisle.

Photo: Lux Light Photography

Go Brewery Hopping or Wine Tasting

Here in northern Michigan, there is no shortage of local breweries or wineries to visit.  If you’re looking for a local activity that also relaxes some nerves, spend an evening venturing out to enjoy some local brews or wine.  Petoskey, Boyne, and Charlevoix all have endless options for pitstops along the way.  If you’ve booked a rehearsal dinner in the Queen’s Tavern, look no further than 1918 Cellars to kick off the night!

Photo: Paxton Photography

Play Trivia

Whether you’re out at an establishment that offers trivia, and you’re looking for the bridesmaids to go head-to-head with the groomsmen or are planning something private with wedding couple-specific questions, trivia is always a crowd pleaser.  The wedding party can either reserve a table at a bar or restaurant or set up their own game in the living room or back deck of wherever you’re staying.  Either way, you’re in for a fun-filled night!

Photo: The Weber Photographers

Go to the Beach

Depending how late your rehearsal is scheduled, plan an evening at the beach with those closest to you!  Lake Michigan Beach is right around the corner from downtown Charlevoix, and Petoskey State Park is just short drive from the Castle!  Pack a picnic, a change of clothes, some games, and enjoy a relaxing, fun night at the beach with your wedding party!  Perfect for a summer night.

Photo: Captured by Grace Photography

Regardless of what you choose, be sure to not drink too much and to turn in early, so that you wake up rested and refreshed for the big day!

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