Pre-wedding Parties

Bowling rehearsal dinner ideas

Hi all,

Looking for a little brainstorming help around our rehearsal dinner. We'll be having it at a local restaurant that also has bowling, so we will be going for a fairly casual vibe (buffet of pizza, salads, chicken fingers, etc. with pitchers of beer / soft drinks). We'll have a function room (with a nice waterside view) reserved for a couple hours, and then 4-5 lanes of bowling for folks who want to stick around and bowl. 

Things I'm still trying to figure out:

-What to wear. I like dressing up, so was hoping to wear a dress, but not sure if that might seem weird for pizza & bowling. Maybe something a little longer length / retro vibe? Will it seem weird if I wear a dress?

-Any fun ways we can decorate in line with the theme, but without making things too cheesy (trying to avoid the "7 year old's bowling birthday party vibe"). I'm thinking of doing some centerpieces in the function room, but not sure what would make sense? I'm wondering if real flowers may seem too fancy, but I also don't want anything too birthday party-ish. (And I know centerpieces aren't needed, but I like crafty projects and see this as something fun). 

-Dessert - we can bring our own dessert to the event, but not sure if there's something that would go well with the overall vibe/feel of the event? I don't really want to do cake, since we'll be having that the next day.

Any suggestions appreciated!


PS. Yes, I know I may break a nail bowling the day before my wedding. If that happens, I'll manage.

Re: Bowling rehearsal dinner ideas

  • This sounds like an awesome rehearsal dinner! 

    As far as what to wear, I think a dress would be fine. (as long as it's not super short because trying not to flash your guests could interfere with your bowling form... haha) 

    Decor-wise, I'm not a big DIY-er so I'm not much help there, but I don't think flowers would be too fancy. Giant arrangements would be out of place, but small vase on each table with few hydrangeas or something would probably look nice. 

    For dessert, could you do some sort of make-your-own ice cream sundae bar? Something like that would go well with the relaxed, fun vibe of your rehearsal dinner.

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Your plans sound really cool. As long as your butt is covered when you bend over to bowl, you should be ok with a dress.  I don't think small arrangements of flowers would be too fancy.  As for dessert, the make-your-own sundae the PP mentions sounds good, or maybe something like apple pie (or another flavor) would work. Or maybe brownies.
  • Remember you'll have to wear socks to accommodate the bowling shoes, but IMO there's nothing wrong with wearing a dress.
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I agree with PPs. Also dessert is always acceptable! Maybe cookies, brownies etc would work if you don't want to do a cake.
  • lnixon8lnixon8 member
    500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 500 Comments Name Dropper
    Your plan sounds great!

    Do you live by a trader joes? They have really nice, inexpensive flowers (imo better other grocery stores) you could do mismatched vases or jelly/mason jars for centerpieces. As for other decor maybe a few fabric tablecloths? Nothing expensive- just not the cheap noisy plastic ones.

    I think ice cream sounds like more work for you. Then again, I've never heard of a waterfront bowling alley so maybe yours has better service than I'm imagining.  I wouldn't side eye or think anything of cake two days in a row.

  • For dessert what about brownie or cheesecake bites? Easy to eat so if people are hanging around waiting to bowl they can just grab some?

    On decor I second PPs and say say flowers and tablecloths sound good. I think just shooting for casual not try to have a theme would work best. 

    Also rock a dress!
  • lnixon8lnixon8 member
    500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 500 Comments Name Dropper
    Also want to add: bring clorox wipes for the bowling balls you have for your 4 lanes and hand sanitzers (bath and body works?). If nothing else it would remind me to actually go wash my hands with soap and water after sticking my fingers inside a bowling ball.

  • The problem I see with ice cream is, will the place be willing to keep it frozen for you while you all eat dinner?  Otherwise it would be all melty by the time you get to it.  I think cupcakes would do well at a bowling alley, but I understand if you don't want cake 2 days in a row--you could always do a different kind of cake/cupcake than you'll have at the wedding.  So, if your wedding cake is red velvet, have lemon-blueberry cupcakes the night before (or whatever you like).  There's really no wrong answer when it comes to dessert, at least for me!  Brownie/cheesecake bites would be fun, but again you'll want to ask the facility to refrigerate the cheesecake while you eat, unless you want to keep it in a big cooler.  
    If you want to do something crafty for a centerpiece (other than flowers, which would look fine), you could always get framed pictures of you and FI from either your time together or when you were both little.  We actually did that for our table numbers at our wedding, but I figure it's something easy and simple that doesn't scream "kids' party," and your guests might get a kick out of seeing what you guys used to be like.
  • lc07lc07 Sunny Southern California member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Your rehearsal sounds super fun! If it fits your style and the dress you choose, you could wear full length or calf length leggings under your dress for the bowling part and no-show socks. I think brownies or cupcakes is the easiest dessert option. I don't care much about centerpieces so I would say nix it but anything simple you wanted to craft would be lovely. 
  • Sounds like a lot of fun. I think it's fine to wear a dress as long as it's not too fancy. For dessert, I'd go with something along the lines of cupcakes, brownies, or cookies (or ideally, some combination thereof!). 

    As for decor, I really like @missfrodo's picture idea. It probably wouldn't be too difficult and would keep with the fun, casual vibe of your rehearsal dinner without being too cutesy.

  • Thank you everyone, for all the awesome ideas!! This was exactly what I was looking for! :)  

    And yes, great point about socks!

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