We all know how much planning goes into a wedding. Not only do you need to organize your guest list, book your venues & determine logistics, but you also need to define the theme & style of the day. It takes a lot of time & energy (& Pinteresting!) to choose colors, flowers, dresses and the little extra adorable details. And, after 10 years of hosting special events at Blue Plate, we’re surprised how often couples ditch their theme when it comes to the Wedding Rehearsal Dinner. It’s silly to plan so extensively for your life-changing event, yet not follow through with every aspect.
Luckily, it’s fairly simple to keep up with your theme at your rehearsal dinner. Here are 7 Easy Ways to Decorate Your Rehearsal Dinner at a Restaurant! (Be sure you check out #6! It’s my favorite 😉 )
1. Special Menus
Menus are very important for your rehearsal dinner. They give the meal structure, letting guests know what to expect and showing the options to choose from for each course. So, why not make them pretty?
Special printed menus can make a great keepsake from your special day, especially if they include the details of your event (date, bride & groom’s names, etc) and fit your theme. At Blue Plate, we include custom menus for every special event, but every restaurant has a different policy so make sure you discuss this ahead of time. It’s also important to discuss any specific details you would like included on your menus (such as the event details or colors).
2. Floral Arrangements
Yes, fresh flowers can be fairly expensive, but they are a great way to bring life & vibrancy to a party (and keep up with the colors of your big day!). And, they don’t necessarily need to be too pricey. You probably already have a florist to make the arrangements for your wedding, but make sure you check with your restaurant host before booking flowers for the rehearsal dinner. Many restaurants, such as Blue Plate, will add flowers & other decorations to the cost of the event for less money than a florist.
3. Chalkboard Signs
If you’re planning a wedding, there’s no way in hell you haven’t seen those adorable chalk board signs every bride seems to have. Not only do they make great photo ops, but handwritten signs are a great way to give guests direction with a personal touch. We love them for rehearsal dinners at Blue Plate because they can give guests instruction, show the schedule of events (i.e. cocktail hour, toasts, gift-giving, etc.), and they just look so pretty.
But, are ALL those brides that damn crafty? The answer is, simply, no. Sure, some may have an artsy aunt to help them, but many of them hire someone to help. (Don’t worry, we’ve included the contact info of our own beloved chalkboard artist & graphic designer at the end of this post.)
4. Special Table Settings
One of the BEST ways to incorporate the colors & theme of your wedding is to rent special table settings for the occasion. In the past, we’ve rented colorful cloth napkins, table clothes & runners, as well as special plates & silverware (they were GOLD & fabulous – we wanted to keep them 😉 ). At Blue Plate, we help find these special settings through our food & bev connections, so make sure you chat with your restaurant host before finding them on your own.
5. Candles & Lighting
One of the greatest mood-determining factors of an event is its lighting. It’s important to discuss this aspect with your restaurant host before the event. For example, you may check out the space during the daytime (with awesome natural lighting), then come back for your evening dinner & be blinded by fluorescent bulbs. Luckily all of our lighting is on dimmers at Blue Plate, so determining the mood is easy, but not all restaurants have this capability.
Furthermore, candles (if allowed in the restaurant) are the way to go! It’s one of the most simple (& cheapest) ways to give your event extra glamour & flair. Be aware: if children are attending the dinner, it may be a good idea to designate a specific “kids’ table” without candles (and other breakable items). We have our own candles we can break out for special events at Blue Plate, so check with your restaurant host before buying out Target’s supply.
6. Stylish Cocktails
“His & Hers” colorful cocktails may be my FAVORITE way to insert the theme of your wedding into your rehearsal dinner. Offering your guests beautiful beverages (such as our deep purple Blackberry Old Fashioned or a glass of our Pink Sangria) is an adorable & memorable way to start the festivities. It also makes for fabulous photos. We personally love working with couples to develop colorful cocktails or other drinks that fit the theme of their wedding, but not every restaurant will work with you in this aspect.
7. Name Cards, Programs & Fun Extras
Apart from special menus, additional custom printed items are easy ways to make your wedding rehearsal dinner beautiful, fun & functional! You can style the name cards for the seating arrangement (or name tags for your guests) to fit your theme. It can also be a great idea to print a pretty schedule of the night’s events to make things run more smoothly. And then, there’s the fun extras, like this adorable “5 Things Her Side Should Know About Him” card that we saw on Pinterest & would LOVE to see at one of our dinners.
If you need help designing any printed goods (or special event chalkboard signs!), our graphic designer Kinsey Ellissa does a fantastic job with special products for special occasions. You can contact her here.
Well, we hope your enjoyed our tips for decorating your wedding rehearsal dinner! Be sure to check out our other post for 5 TIPS to Run Your Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Smoothly…In a Restaurant!
And if you’re interested in hosting your Wedding Rehearsal Dinner at Blue Plate in Avon, Colorado, click here for more info!