How to Plan a Beach BBQ Rehearsal Dinner

After a fun-filled weekend of grilling out, patriotic celebrations, and family gatherings, we are inspired by one of the top wedding trends in 2016: beach barbeques! Gone are the days of formal rehearsal dinners, now couples are attracted to laid-back dinners that focus more on flexible, relaxed fun rather than stuffy restaurants that call for more seating charts and budgeting. Think of your rehearsal dinner as a kick off to your wedding celebration. How often do you have all of the people that are the most important to you in one place, at one time? We have a list of ways to plan a one-of-a-kind beach barbeque rehearsal dinner that all of your family and friends will love.

1. Who’s Invited?

There are many ways to handle the guest list, and it typically depends on your budget and style. Some couples invite wedding party members and close family only and others decide to include the entire wedding guest list. For our destination wedding couples, we recommend hosting an intimate rehearsal dinner with all family members, friends, and wedding party members to enjoy your guests of honor before the big day and show how grateful you are for their presence.

     Wedding Paper Divas

2. Who’s Hosting?

Traditionally the groom’s parents host the rehearsal dinner, but like all other elements of a wedding in the twenty-first century, couples are doing things differently than the honored and respected traditions that once were. Open and honest communication upfront with all parties involved in the planning, budgeting, and coordination of the event is the best way to make everyone feel comfortable.

Alison Epps Photography

3. When Should It Take Place?

Stateside weddings call for a rehearsal dinner the evening before the wedding directly following the ceremony rehearsal. Since destination weddings most commonly do not need a dress rehearsal, you have more flexibility on when to host the dinner. The most popular trends we see with our couples is coordinating a rehearsal/welcome dinner on a day or two prior to the wedding when all guests will be able to attend.

Kasturi Saikia

4. Evite

Make life easier on yourself and create an electronic invitation through It’s a money and time-saver, which is music to any bride and groom’s ears.

Mylyn Wood Photography

5. “I Do BBQ”

Choose a low-key dinner menu for your beach barbeque; you can serve up anything from ribs, grilled chicken, to corn on the cob! Guests will appreciate the laid back feel and the ability to spend quality time with you before you exchange your vows.

Neely’s Wet BBQ Ribs

6. Cocktails

Customize and feature a cocktail, favorite wine or beer for your guests, but do not feel obligated to open up the bar for the entire night. You will be happier putting the additional costs toward favors or wedding party gifts than additional drinks.

Rustic Wedding Chic

 7. Open Up the Mic

If you dare to give your friends and family open mic for speeches, the rehearsal dinner night is the night to do it. What better way to hear stories from your loved ones than on a beach with a breeze and a glass of champagne in hand?

Mylyn Wood Photography

8. Keep It Casual

Rehearsal dinners were made for your closest friends and family (from both sides) to mix and mingle. This is the time to make introductions you may not have time to make on the wedding day. Make it light-hearted and fun and everyone will be happy!

Leslee Mitchell

Brittany is a Weddings by Funjet concierge, who’s currently planning her own wedding! She likes to think of herself as a “bride-chilla,” an expert in managing wedding planning stress. Email her and ask her how she does it or visit

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