1.) Plan a couples' shower.
Double the fun of a pre-wedding shower and invite the guys along. Fabulous couples' themes come in all shapes and sizes: a culinary shower where you sample gourmet dishes and shower the bride and groom with kitchen tools or a traveler's shower, where you present them with travel-size treats or books on their favorite destinations.
2.) Carry out a theme.
Did you two meet in Cancun? Or maybe you fell in love closer to home over burritos and sangria? Plan a festive rehearsal dinner that evokes memories of how your love story began. Plan the menu, decorations, music and entertainment (salsa dancing, anyone?) accordingly.
3.) Take shopping a step further.
Plan a girls-only shopping day for you and your bridesmaids, complete with the usual manicures, pedicures and shop-til-you-drop agenda, but make the day extra special by inviting a photographer along to capture the moments. Perhaps your wedding photographer has an assistant who could step in, or secure the services of your professional photographer for a couple of hours. (Remember framed photos of you and your attendants make priceless gifts down the road!)
4.) Dinner with a Twist.
Schedule the bachelor's dinner, bridesmaids' luncheon/dinner or simply a night out for you and your attendants to be a progressive dinner. An especially good idea if your attendants are local, each person claims a course: cocktails and appetizers at one house, main course somewhere else, dessert at still another house and after party still elsewhere.
5.) Show off your hometown.
If your attendants are all out-of-towners, invite them to get to know your hometown a little better by hosting them for brunch or dinner at a local historical setting. Many historic homes are rentable for special occasions, and offer an ambiance all their own. Rent a van, trolley or bus to taxi the wedding party around town, narrating your own brief mini-tour of where you two grew up.
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