9 Alternative Rehearsal Dinner Ideas for Couples Who Love Food

A rehearsal dinner is generally a laid-back affair, which makes it the perfect opportunity to let your personality shine and introduce guests to some of your favorite flavors.

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Any food lover knows that if you want fresh, flavorful ingredients, the best place to find them is right on the farm. While you can certainly treat your family and friends to a standout dinner at a local farm-to-table joint, why not up the ante and bring the party right to the source — the farm itself? 

Progressive Dinner Parties

This is the food connoisseur’s version of pub-crawling: Each course takes place at a different location, typically the couple’s favorite restaurants. At the first stop everyone indulges in appetizers, dinner is at the second stop and finally dessert is at the third stop. 

Food Trucks

Those pintsize kitchens pump out big-time flavor that rivals even the most-esteemed stationary establishments. Whether you’re planning a casual backyard affair or an evening where your partner popped the question, bringing in a fleet of food trucks is sure to blow guests away.

Locally Minded Fare

Local ingredients are a great way to give guests a taste of the area. A lobster feast or clambake with all the fixings is a must for couples tying the knot in New England, while a classy pizza party is fun way to show off a little Chicago pride.

Brewery, Distillery and Vineyard Tours

Whether you consider yourself a craft beer aficionado or an amateur sommelier, lead guests off the beaten restaurant path and into a local brewery, vineyard or distillery. Treat everyone to a tour, then enjoy a low-key reception where food and drink pairings reign supreme.

Cooking Classes

Share your passion for food with your closest family members and friends with a private cooking class where you prepare a meal together, then sit down to share it along with good conversation and wine. The occasion allows everyone to get better acquainted — and develop a culinary skill or two.

Interactive Stations

Going with a traditional, seated format for your reception dinner? Give guests a taste of something different for your rehearsal dinner with a station-style affair. Take the concept to the next level with a series of DIY stations that allow guests to customize their meals. 

Next-Level Barbecue

You won’t find any just-your-average burgers and dogs here. This get-together is all about true-blue barbecue with modern twists. We’re talking brisket that’s been smoked to perfection and sides with a gourmet vibe, like sauteed kale and homemade jalapeno biscuits.


If you have faith in the culinary capabilities of your close family members and friends, a potluck-style reception dinner is a fantastic way to bring people together and is extremely flexible. To keep things interesting, choose a theme for the event, like comfort foods or global cuisine.