What can you do to relax and enjoy the night before your wedding?

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2012298900 6cccb8e7d0 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
Maybe you want to have a camp-out slumber party, like the good ol' days? By: glenngould
Can we talk about the night before your wedding?

I rented a hotel room for me, my mom, and my maid of honor.

I think it would be nice to go out for dinner, and maybe catch a drink in town? I don't want to do anything too crazy the night before but I want to honor the night somehow.

What would YOU do?

…Or, what DID you do?

We've heard of all sorts of things: old-fashion slumber parties with attendants, watching dumb movies, campfires with s'mores … down to just hanging out quietly with your future-spouse at home. One thing we know: don't drink too much. You want to be well-rested!

But we'd love to know what y'all did… how did you make the night before your wedding feel special, without being overwhelming or exhausting?

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Comments on What can you do to relax and enjoy the night before your wedding?

  1. We basically did what you described! I had a hotel room for my maid of honor and my two sisters, so we went out and got pizza and some beers and just had a relaxed night. It was great!

  2. I watched the Tony Awards with my “Lady-in-Waiting” while she worked on some very last-minute artwork for our table numbers (pics soon, promise!). I know not everyone can watch the Tonys the night before their wedding, but it was lovely to have a low-key evening watching something we both enjoyed and I got a great night’s sleep!

  3. The night before my wedding, my matron of honor got all the bridesmaids and I a hotel room. That night we had some drinks at the bar. After the bar, we went to back to the room, did each other’s nails and toe nails watched absurd tv programs that made us die laughing and practiced makeup techniques for the day of since my make up artist backed out 2 days before the wedding. We sipped champagne and for the bridesmaids that had gone through the wedding process, they talked to me about things that they loved about their wedding day. They made it their top priority to make sure we all had a good time and just relaxed before the craziness of the wedding day.

  4. We went to the rehearsal dinner, came home, had a drink or two with out of town friends, they left around 11pm. We (yes, Writer Boy and I spent the night together before the wedding) went to bed, had sex, went to sleep by midnight. I would have not done a thing differently.

  5. My husband and I spent the night together. I took a bubble bath with a glass of wine while he wrote out instructions for our cat sitter. So I had a super relaxing time and he… didn’t.

  6. Two good friends were staying with me and my husband, and they cooked a meal for us. We watched a movie while getting things set for the morning, and I spent the time while watching the movie also writing cards I’d bought for the guests (there were only 7 people at our wedding, so I did a personalized message for each one) and putting a skeleton key from our collection in each envelope, while my husband was finishing his vows. It was cozy. 🙂

  7. We have our venue from the Friday to the Sunday. So after decorating the venue we will probably have a take away dinner and a couple of drinks and a game of skittles. 🙂 Can’t wait. So glad we’ve managed to stretch our day out over the weekend.

  8. Since the vast majority of our guests were from out of town, we had a fun Welcome Dinner. We were self catering the whole weekend in a huge gorgeous “cabin” (8 bedroom, 9 bathroom vacation home with a HUGE dining room, livingroom and kitchen). BUT I can imagine doing it as a potluck picnic, pizza night, bowling night, at a park with mini-golf…

    That may not seem relaxing, but since it gave everybody a chance to meet and hang out before the wedding day, it actually made things much more relaxed for us (our families had never had the opportunity to meet before). Also, it was more time we could spend with our guests. No organized activities were necessary – our guests were having so much fun getting to know each other that the fun went on much longer than we actually intended.

    I’ll echo the low alcohol policy. We had wine and beer around, but we had it set up so you really had to intentionally get up and walk out of your way to get it (while other beverages were everywhere) – we didn’t want a party full of exhausted, hung over guests!

  9. We rented a house for the weekend and had a night of board games and pizza for the wedding party and their partners. Everyone had to play at least one game (we had two tables running, first round was Bang! and Settlers of Catan) and then we had a more involved game (Mansions of Madness) for those still interested in playing. The wedding was small (the 10 people of the wedding party/partners made up more than 25% of the total wedding attendees) and we used the night to get to know one another. It worked really well and was pretty low key.

  10. I was staying at my parents house because my husband and I wanted to do the whole traditional “don’t see each other until I walk down the aisle” thing. There was a rehearsal dinner at my parent’s place. My mom did a meat and cheese spread with baguettes and some tarts for dessert. We gave our wedding party their gifts and basically chatted until the party ended. My husband then headed back to our condo, while I stayed with my family.

    Before bed, my dad had put together a slideshow of me when I was little. From when my mom was pregnant with me until I was about 5 or 6. My dad used to own a film camera and would get some of the film developed into those old film slides for those old film projectors. My dad kept all of the slides and the old projector just for this type of occasion. He did it for my older sister’s night-before too, and I imagine he’ll do it for my younger sister as well.

    It was really nice sitting down with my family looking at old pictures projected onto the wall (with that reminiscent clicking/shuffling of the old projector), and laughing/awww-ing at the memories.

  11. We invited over another couple (bridesmaid and groomsman) and had a nice supper my dude cooked, sat around for a bit while they worked on their toasts, then worked on our toasts and relaxed. It was nice to not worry and not be around a ton of people since my dude has social anxiety and I knew the next day would be stressful and wonderful but also high energy.

    A friend had a come-and-go bbq at their house which was fun. Just eating burgers, chatting, hanging out. No pressure.

    I think going out for drinks with a couple people would be nice. Or staying in for drinks, ordering room service, and chilling.

  12. My mom hosted a dinner for out of town folks, so I went there. My husband showed up at some point, but we had our Shomrim (gaurds) with us, so didn’t really interact with eachother (we were avoiding contact from the end of Shabbat until the wedding). Then I left and went to the mikvah (ritual bath). After the mikvah, three of my out-of-town girlfriends came back to my house and we painted our nails. Then I slept in my own bed (my husband slept elsewhere). Low key but fun. The out of town gals were the ones I really wanted to spend time with and was worried I wouldn’t the next day.

  13. I was staying at my parents’ and my Mum made dinner for both families and some of the wedding party (about 20 people). There was a walk up to the moor to collect heather for our aisle decorations, and my aunt showed us how to make up the posies for the table decorations. Both of these were unintentionally hilarious, as the heather mission ended up in the dark due to poor planning and my head bridesmaid’s little girl was pretending to be a robot with her headtorch, then we realised after spending hundreds of pounds on gorgeous flowers that we had no idea how to turn them into an actual display. Then my dad, uncle and I stayed up after everyone else had left and shared some whisky, which was lovely. The only mistake I made was wanting to relax with my family a bit too much and putting off certain jobs that then made the wedding day more stressful.

  14. Oh I can’t wait for this! We are getting a hotel room for two nights…the night before we will be doing girly things and getting our nails done. It will be me and my two girls and my bestie (man) who probably isn’t staying (but only because he has a little one at home). I super amped to spend the night talking about all the silly bachelorette items I might get and possibly watching Princess Bride or Ever After. I have a feeling there will be some organic fruit beer involved as well. But not too much. Just enough to put my ADD ass to sleep.

  15. My parents are doing a dinner for our out-of-town family and his parents are doing the same for theirs, so after we’re done setting up our venue, we’ll split up for a few hours. Then we’re meeting back at the hotel to relax and go to bed early.

  16. We had our “rehearsal” dinner at a local restaurant, where we invited the wedding party, family and out of town guests. It was a nice way to hang out w/ everyone that came out of town since you get so little time to spend with people at the actual wedding. It felt special and it only went until around 11 p.m. Just the right amount of fun and relaxation 🙂

  17. We had two groups of out-of-town guests go to dinner with us. After dinner, we went back to our house and had a small fire in the backyard firepit. We spent most of the time chatting and catching up. One group of guests had rented hotel rooms. They had small children and had been on a long car trip, so they left early. The other group stayed at our house, but we still turned in at a decent hour.

    I had managed to finish decorating the cake just before everyone arrived that night, so I was able to focus on relaxing and socializing. It was perfect.

  18. The day before the wedding, my best girlfriend, my hubby his two closest guy friends and myself went out to spend the day at Dollywood (a local theme park, similar to a Knotts or 6 Flags). We had a rule of absolutely no wedding talk and just spent the day having fun on the rides.

    After the theme park closed, we went to have dinner and then out to see a late night movie. Keeping busy and having fun with our closest friends definitely helped lower the stress level. =)

  19. My first time down the aisle:
    I spent the evening tearing up the house to try to find the rings which went missing. (I found them at 7a the next morning with a nice case of sleep deprivation.) He slept during it. (This was probably all an omen not to marry him.)

    This time:
    Since our wedding is going to be on a Friday night and we don’t believe in the not seeing nonsense, the Thursday night before will be unwinding from work and probably having a small fire pit party in our yard.

  20. I got a hotel room for the night which I shared with one of my bridesmaids. I was in the same hotel as my out of town guests, so I was on hand to answer any questions (there was bad road construction between the hotel and the church!), and socialize the morning of the wedding. Plus, a hotel room was a clean and convenient space for myself and my bridesmaids to get ready before heading to the church.
    I love sleeping in hotel rooms, and I got GREAT sleep the night before my wedding.

  21. Sleepover! My sister (and only sibling) was my MOH and as teenagers we had a weekly “Chick flick and Nerds” night. So we resurrected it, watched a chick flick, ate nerds (and beer) at my house and woke up ready to walk over the next morning.

  22. We had the rehearsal dinner at a great little Italian place with our close family and friends. Afterwards my husband went home for his last night with his parents and I went to our new home by myself.

    It was great and so peaceful to be able to spend that time with myself. It was quiet and I was able to relax and sleep very well before all the festivities began.

  23. Being in roller derby means you can’t possibly invite all the people you’d want and still have room for friends and family, so after our rehearsal dinner, we’re borrowing a friend’s backyard and having a low key kegger for the whole league. I also want my Boston friends to get a taste of Texas Bonfire and hanging out in a space bigger than a rickety apartment patio. I’m going to buy a keg, order some pizzas, set up a photo booth with my ipad and some old giant sailor jerry paintings I did, and have some raunchy karaoke; the next day I’m going to send over a local cleaning and breakfast taco crew to take care of my friend’s yard. I hope people show!

  24. Well, the night before my wedding was *planned* as a quiet night at my parents house before I would drink tequila shots and go to bed. Husband-to-be was going to play boardgames with his friends and stay at our apartment. What actually *happened* is that my 15 year old dog had what we think may have been a minor stroke and my now-husband and I spent our evening at the pet er, while I sobbed my stressed-out heart into his shoulder. The dog is stable and okay now, but I really wish things had been calmer for all parties involved.

    • Aw 🙁 We also had to take our dog into the emergency vet right before the wedding. She was fine, but it wasn’t a stress-free time.

  25. We are planning on running the rehearsal the afternoon before the day of, so I am hoping there will be a nice dinner with the bridal party and miscellaneous other family members involved (There may be some complications to this, but … eh!). After this, I am hoping The Man and I will come back home and have mucho schmexy times so my brain will shut down… This may involve having our daughter stay at the Bride’s Attendant’s house for the evening… In fact, I would say definitely. Then, in the morning, inviting all the bridal party to our place for a semi-lazy breakfast, before the parties split up to do their various tasks of the day…

  26. We booked 2 nights at our hotel (before and after the wedding) and my husband and I stayed together both nights.
    The night before the wedding we had a meal with my family that were also staying in the hotel and had a reasonably early night.

    Nothing special but I knew I would sleep easier sharing a bed with him than being alone.

  27. I’m looking forward to spending the night alone! We’re having a rehearsal dinner, and then I’m going to go back to my place and take in my last night as a single, unattached lady who answers to no one in an empty, silent house. No friends or FH, just me, myself, and I.

  28. For my sister in law’s wedding, the wedding attendants and immediate families had a rehearsal dinner–which was Grandma’s lasagna and salad while we decorated the hall. Then my SIL’s attendants took her back to the bed and breakfast where the maid of honor was staying, and we skinny dipped in the hot tub drinking wine and eating a leftover takeout cheese platter. SIL & MOH stayed at the B&B, while Groom stayed at their apartment. The next morning, the bride only had to walk a couple blocks to get to the hair salon where we were doing mimosas for breakfast and getting our hair and nails done (some of us had gotten our nails done the day before, but the MOH didn’t get into town in time for that and the bride had been too busy). I have absolutely no idea what was supposed to be for breakfast or if we failed to plan that part, but I ended up calling on my way to the salon to see if anyone needed coffee, and picked up breakfast for the crew too.

    The day of the wedding (and I know you didn’t ask this but I’ve already said half of it lol) all the pertinent people had an itinerary that showed where all the attendants needed to be and when, so it was simple to make sure that everyone got where they needed to be. A couple people ended up calling me to cart them around town between appointments, saving time and money on cab services when I was literally going to pass by them or going to the same place. The best thing was that I took a look at our itinerary and realized that there were some gaps but no time for MEALS, hence making sure everyone got breakfast with their mimosas and I picked up finger foods for the bridal suite where we were all getting ready at the church. A little protein (shrimp), a little fat (cheese) and a little sweet (strawberries) with no drippy sauces, which was a REALLY good thing because the day got loooooooong real quick. I knew we’d devour the shrimp right away, but the rest was selected to be able to sit so that we could snack as needed. The groomsmen however didn’t have such accommodations and they ended up stealing our leftovers when we’d slowed down on the noshing. Getting dressed at the venue was really nice, because it meant that we could get mostly dressed with makeup done and our underoos on, but leave the dresses until a few minutes before we went live. REALLY took the stress out of potentially damaging the dresses somehow before the ceremony.

    My mister and I have discussed, before our wedding, what we are going to do. Neither of us particularly subscribes to the tradition of not seeing each other before the wedding, although I find it cute and fun. But I sleep much better with him near, and the same for him, so I really think we will end up staying together that night. I like the thought of having a nice, quiet breakfast together with my anchor before a long, arduous, anxiety-filled day.

  29. As a group, we all piled in the back of a hearse for a ghost tour. Then we ate pie for Pi Day.

    I’m so glad we did the ghost hearse tour. It was a great way to get the focus off of us, relax, and enjoy doing something unique and fun. We booked the hearse for just our group, so we were our usual loud, Pagan, obnoxious selves and we had the best time.

    The pie was kind of a fail due to lack of preparing, but the point was we had pie on Pi Day. There’s no such thing as fail there.

  30. We had a rehearsal dinner at one of my bridesmaid’s houses for our very large out-of-town families and bridal party who were in for the wedding. It was a lot of fun to eat and play outside games with my favorite people! Then my husband went back to the hotel with his family and groomsmen (I’m honestly not sure who he roomed with) and I went home with my family. Once I got home, my little cousins helped me decorate all of our cakes! It’s actually one of my favorite memories of the weekend.

    The morning of my husband and I woke up early and snuck out of our respective rooms to meet at a coffee place. We really wanted some quiet time together before the busyness of the day started. Then we split up to go get ready. We’re pretty low key, so it was a great plan!

  31. Initially I wanted a low key anyone welcome dinner at our local pub, however this got messy as my older sister got pissy as her partner was not flying in till 7:30pm (would then be in my neck of thr woods around 8:30ish) and I wanted a early dinner to be home at a decent time with only the bridesmaids staying at my house, no one ‘dropping in for coffee’….
    So after decided it was time to do what I wanted not pandering to everyone else wishes, the 4 bridesmaids and I got take out Chinese, had a few beers and watched dirty dancing 🙂 it was perfect and note: the day before was quite stressful so chill out time with a handful of people was just what I needed 🙂

  32. We’re getting married at a B&B/inn in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. We booked a package with the inn that gives us each a complimentary spa service at the Aveda spa there, so I imagine we’ll be getting massages in the late afternoon, after we check in. Then we’re planning on having a “Last Supper” as an unmarried, living-in-sin couple with my MOH, her date, and another couple that is also staying over that night. We’re having dinner at a restaurant/brewery down the street from the inn. It’s where my fiance and I randomly stopped for lunch after looking at venues in the area. We later saw them featured on NH Chronicle – apparently they’re famous across the state! It’s pub-style food and AMAZING beer – very casual and fun. Then it will be time for some board games back at the inn. The rest of our guests are family, and they’re all coming up the day of the wedding. I’m really looking forward to some friends-only time.

  33. Love it! I did this with my bridesmaids — mani/pedi’s, dinner, and a movie (“Bridesmaids” was in the theaters when I got married), then hotel sleepover, and we got ready in the hotel the next day for the wedding. I would advise some fun movies and maybe a deck of cards, as well as champers (if you’re so inclined) and snacks! We had a blast, and I hope you do, too!

  34. My family and pre-college friends all came in from out of town and stayed at this great little historic hotel that had a ton of beautiful backyard space. I think we had the place to ourselves, it being the off-season, so the owners gave us the run of the yard. We had a cookout that was TONS of fun, and I totally did not observe the don’t-drink-to-much rule. The man and I went home and slept together, just as we’d been doing for the past two and a half years, and we parted around lunchtime to go get ready. The night before was almost as much fun as the wedding itself!

  35. The night before the wedding, we had a rehearsal dinner with our (tiny) wedding party, immediate family, and a few others, then stopped by a different restaurant where my husband’s parents had rented the party room so all of our guests could meet up, have drinks, eat dinner, etc. Then we went home to feed the cat and back to the hotel to sleep (a little over a mile each way but they gave us the room for free that night so we figured, what the heck!).

    What we did the night before THAT was attend a taping of Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, which is what we did on what we call our pre-first date. As something meaningful to us, it was the perfect way to relax and think about how far we’d come since then, and in general it was nice to make specific plans for two reasons: we knew we had to get everything finished before then so we couldn’t allow ourselves to procrastinate too much about last-minute details, and since it’s a sold-out ticketed event we guaranteed ourselves some ‘just the two of us’ time that we knew would be scarce over the next few days.

  36. Zonked out in our apartment (two blocks from the venue) together after a very low-key dinner out with the groom’s out of town fam. I’m pretty sure I had a bath and a lorazepam, hahaha. We had an evening wedding the following day, so there was more pampering in the run up. It was perfect.

  37. My maid of honor and I will be staying in a cabin that I rented. It’s really nice — fully furnished, two beds, two baths, full kitchen and patio with fire pit. My fiance will be going to a concert with his friends. I think it’s perfect and it will be totally relaxing for me.

  38. My mother in law (to-be, at the time) threw a family picnic at her house the night before our wedding. It was wonderful! We knew we wouldn’t have as much time as we wanted with our guests at the wedding, and that we would want to focus on each other, so the picnic served as a chance to get some relaxed, one-on-one time with our out-of-town loved ones.

  39. We rented the 3 bedroom guest house at our venue (a restaurant in middle-of-nowhere-NJ) for ourselves, our maid of honor and her girlfriend and our best man and his wife. After a rehearsal BBQ at my mom’s house, the six of us repaired to the guest house, had a beer while sitting outside, and went to bed (where Himself and I had our last unmarried sex – tee hee!) It was relaxing and friendly and low key.

  40. We had a destination wedding and had rented a house for our bridal party and their partners (10 plus one toddler) the week of the wedding. It would have been chaos the night before and the day of the wedding so I rented a gorgeous house right near the wedding venue, high up on the hill with beautiful views and a big deck, and my bridesmaids and I stayed there the night before. I invited some close girlfriends over for sunset champers on the deck and then when they left we cooked dinner, drank some more champagne, ate chocolate, watched Dirty Dancing and Muriel’s Wedding (love my ABBA) and had heaps of laughs. Hubby and I came back to the house on our wedding night and we’re hoping to stay there for our one year anniversary.

  41. We had only 18 guests at our wedding, and some of them had not yet met since we were born in two different countries and now live in a third.

    We invited folks to our home the night before for a BBQ so that everyone could get to know each other. It was a wonderful evening and meant that everyone was already connected and comfortable before our wedding day.

  42. I stayed at a hotel with my mom and sister the night before my sister’s wedding. We had a suite, so there was the bedroom and a living room, separated by a door. My mom and I booked a traveling massage therapist to come and give us each a massage that night. It was so perfect – she was able to set up in the living room, and whoever was not getting massaged could hang out in the bedroom. My sister LOVED it and fell fast asleep as soon as her massage was over.

  43. My side of the Bridal Force Action Squad (my Shield Maiden and Bridesman) and I watched Mean Girls, ate pizza, and had a sleepover at my mom’s house, where I was getting ready day of! It was a lot of fun and a great way to relax. Dear husband had a sleepover with his Goose (best man) at our house and they made bread pudding, breakfast for dinner, and had banana bread beer. We both tried to get to bed early but that didn’t happen because we kept texting.

  44. We did our rehersal early in the afternoon and had a lunch for family and wedding party. Then my side of the family and my bridal party went to Dave and Buster’s for some pre wedding fun. Seeing my 72 year old grandmother playing skee ball was a lot of fun! Then we went back to the hotel and just went to bed. I don’t think I would have wanted it any other way.

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