Your rehearsal dinner is a chance to do something totally different from your wedding day. It is a chance to go crazy! There are so many great restaurants and fun things to do in the Washington DC area, so with that in mind I put together a few unique, out-of-the-box type of ideas for your rehearsal dinner. I even had a bit of help from a few wedding planners who gave me some great ideas during  rehearsal dinner week.


Photo Credit:  Deb Lindsey Photography from Liz & Matt’s rehearsal dinner in DC

Typically, a rehearsal dinner is on a smaller scale than your wedding and you aren’t inviting as many guests, thus you might be able to afford to do more on a lot less. I know you aren’t supposed to “upstage” your wedding with your rehearsal dinner. But, doing something unique doesn’t necessarily mean it will overshadow your wedding. It might be a chance to plan a fun evening that will get you guests mixing and mingling in a good way. Let ’em meet and greet the night before, so come your wedding day, it is a chance for everyone to celebrate!

Here are a few ideas for planning a unique rehearsal dinner in the DC area that will leave your guests talking the next day at your wedding!

Make Your Own Dinner
This gem came from Jodi, owner of EVOKE event planning and design. She suggested going to a cooking school like CulinAerie for an inter-active rehearsal dinner experience. This type of alternative rehearsal dinner would be a chance for your guests to meet and mix while making their own dinner. Who knows, they might also learn a few cooking and wine pairing tips too!

Another inter-active rehearsal dinner idea was suggested by Kawania, owner of Howerton + Wooten Events.  “The rehearsal dinners at Lucky Strike were hits for our couples. So many of our local couples are transplants, so it is more than likely that their families have never met. An activity like bowling forces everyone to interact with each other. Plus, it allows everyone to relax and let their hair down! My only recommendation is that bowling chips nails.  So, the ladies should wait until the wedding day to get a manicure.”

Food Trucks
Food trucks are like modern day picnics! You know we are lovers of all things food truck in DC, but what about one (or two or three) for your rehearsal dinner? Food trucks can be casual and fun and will definitely get your guests talking! You could have a rehearsal dinner spot staked out in a local park with plenty of food truck parking. It seems like every week brings a few food truck to the DC area, so try this Twitter food truck list from the Washington Post or check out our post on food trucks at DC area weddings for some food fare ideas.

Go Touristy
I’m not talking Duck Tours or anything overly touristy! However, keep in mind that lots of guests of Washington, DC area weddings aren’t from here. This is likely a destination spot for them, so a boat ride through the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, or a trip down the Potomac River in the U.S.S. Sequoia might be a nice treat for them. Even a late night trolley tour of the monuments might be a fun experience. Their visit to DC will be filled with your wedding events, so allowing them to see some of the hot spots during your rehearsal dinner would be great for them!

Wine Tasting
The DC suburbs are full of vineyards for your tasting pleasure. We did a post last week on ideas for vineyard weddings in Virginia and Maryland as a start. What about chartering a bus and hitting a few vineyards for some wine sipping along the way and ending the evening with a casual dinner. The options are endless and you could make the afternoon of it, but make sure that you can have your actual rehearsal practice at your ceremony spot in the morning.

What are your ideas for unique rehearsal dinner spots in the DC area? Leave a comment and let me know and I’m sure other couples planning rehearsal dinners would love to know too! And, if you need help planning your rehearsal dinner in the DC area, have a look around – we have lot of planning advice for ya!



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