Let's face it, when it comes to wedding planning fun, often the groom's family gets the short end of the stick. In the best of situations, both families work together well to put on the event. But in the worst of situations, and shamefully too frequently, it ends up being the groom's mother left out in the cold. Of course, if the groom's family is paying for the wedding rehearsal dinner, that can be her domain. When hosting the rehearsal dinner the groom's family is bound by few rules: the rehearsal dinner must be a reasonable distance from the venue or lodging, it cannot be more lavish or formal than the wedding, and it must be a party intended for everyone to enjoy. Traditionally, a rehearsal dinner is held at a restaurant or banquet facility, but here are a few other fun suggestions:

  1. Local arcade or amusement park. Many of these facilities have private event spaces that they use for birthday parties. Have a quick dinner, do the well-wishes and toasts, and then everyone can go play games, go on roller coasters, and relax with their friends and family.
  2. State park. Depending upon your budget, it could be a BBQ or a BBQ-themed catered event. Pack in a bunch of Frisbees, and don't forget the all-important bonfire for s'mores.
  3. Quirky event spaces. Many unexpected places have small event spaces available for rent. Ask around at the couple's favorite bookstores, museums, local landmarks, coffee shops, and pubs. These types of spaces, that the couple is already connected to, can instantly create a personal and more intimate atmosphere.