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How to Plan a Rehearsal Dinner

Last year we hosted the rehearsal dinner from my son Andrew and his bride Charlotte. It was the most incredible evening and today I am going to share my tips on how to plan a Rehearsal Dinner.

How to Plan a Rehearsal Dinner

One of the side effects of redoing my blog was that I found a few things I had forgotten to post about. I found lots of drafts of blog posts that I had started but never finished. You can only imagine my reaction when I realized that I never finished the blog post on how to plan a Rehearsal Dinner. I learned so much when we hosted the Rehearsal Dinner for our son’s wedding last year.

And that is crazy because the location and setting were spectacular. And the dinner was so much better than I had ever imagined. And, I made over 100 paper flowers and made all of the flower arrangements, menu cards, and place cards myself.

So better late than ever, here is one of my favorite parties ever! 

Isn’t this barrel room at Merryvale Vineyards in Napa just incredible? It was the perfect setting for my son’s Rehearsal Dinner.

How to Plan Rehearsal Dinner

Before I get into the details, let’s take a step back to the Engagement Party.

The Engagement Party

You may remember when we hosted an Engagement Party for Andrew and his bride-to-be Charlotte. It was held in our backyard and I have posted about the Engagement Party many times. It was such a special evening and I went all out. Of course, this meant I had to create something more spectacular for the Rehearsal Dinner.

Engagement Party in Back Yard

I do have to say, the Engagement Party was an amazing party. I built the outdoor dining room frame (with help from my boys), made the table cloths, flower arrangements, and place cards.

Dining at the Engagement Party

Needless to say, the pressure was on.

How We Found the Venue for the Rehearsal Dinner

The bride-to-be Charlotte and I spent some time in Napa looking for Rehearsal Dinner venues. I knew I wanted to visit Merryvale Vineyards and see the Barrel Room. My brother married my best friend over thirty years ago. Their wedding was in Napa and their rehearsal dinner was at Merryvale. I had fond memories of the barrel room and hoped it was as great as I had remembered. Of course, the minute we saw it, we both loved it.

And we booked it.

table in the barrel room

I started planning the event and came up with all of the decor items we needed to plan a Rehearsal Dinner. I chose the linens, selected the candelabras, and decided I would make the centerpieces, place cards, and menu cards.

I spent some time looking at flower centerpieces for the tables. I decided I wanted to make all of the flowers for the floral arrangements. I know what you are thinking. Why not just call a florist? I certainly conisdered it, but I wanted to pour my heart into this evening. I decided the labor and love it would take to make over 100 paper flowers was the next best thing!

Here is a sampling of the flowers I made from crepe paper. Aren’t these beautiful? They are all homemade and just some of the flowers I made for the centerpieces. There were more!

paper flowers for the rehearsal dinner

In the photo above there are peonies, gerbera daisies, carnations, poppies, hydrangeas, ranunculus, and more. Do you think they look like they were made from paper?

How I Made the Paper Flowers

First off, I never would have been able to make over 100 paper flowers without my Cricut Maker Machine. This specific Cricut machine cuts crepe paper. And it made my life so much easier.

How to Make Paper Flowers

I used patterns and “cut files” from the very talented Lia Griffith. I have been a member of her monthly subscription for a year. The subscription is about $8 per month and it gives me access to every cut flower pattern for every flower she has ever made. I just uploaded the cut files to my computer and the Cricut Maker Machine did the rest.

How to use a Cricut Maker Machine to Make Paper Flowers

Here are many of the items I used to make my crepe paper flowers. Lia Griffith even has a template to make a rose or peony flower if you don’t have a Cricut machine. 

This is what the petals look like after they are cut on the Cricut. I can’t even imagine trying to cut out all of these hydrangea petals by hand! And each hydrangea flower takes like forty petals.

Hydrangea Petals Cut on the Cricut Machine

It is so easy to cut these petals and then just pull them off the cutting mat.

cricut cut flowers

cut paper petals

I cut flower petals and leaves on and off for about a week. I put all of the flowers in zip lock bags to keep the many parts of each flower separate from the others.

Cutting Petals for Paper Flowers

Next, I started assembling the flowers.

How cool is this?

Making Crepe Paper Flowers

This is the center of the gerbera daisy.

floral for table arrangements

And this is the beginning of a Lace Hydrangea flower.

Hydrangea Petals for Crepe Paper Flowers

The lace hydrangea petals are assembled like this.

making hydrangea flowers

And when they are done they look like this.

Don’t these look amazing?

paper flowers for rehearsal dinner

I can’t even guess how many hours it took me to make all of these (over 100) paper flowers. I cut flowers for a week and then made all of them over a three week period. But it was so worth it.

I also took a trip to the Los Angeles Flower Mart and found these gorgeous vases on sale.

selecting vases

I did decide to add fresh greenery to my flower arrangements. On the way to Napa, I stopped at the flower mart and bought tons of fresh greens (mostly eucalyptus) to add to the vases.

Fresh Eucalyptus at the Flower Mart

My son Matt helped me finish the printed items for dinner. You can see the menu cards and place cards on the table below.

Rehearsal Dinner Table at a Winery

And I love my wine-themed idea for the place cards. Matt and Michael cut a slit in all of the corks to make room for the place cards. 

Aren’t these place cards fun? We just gently slid in the place cards into each cork. It worked perfectly.

Wine themed Place Cards

This is how I made the table assignment signs.

Table assignments for wedding

On the morning of the Rehearsal Dinner, I assembled the flower arrangements in our hotel. It took me less than two hours and I loved doing it. Each flower meant so much to me!

I started with floral oasis in each vase. And added the flowers and greens. I did put water in the vases since the greens needed to stay fresh.

building the floral arrangements

And here are the completed vases in our hotel room at Silverado Resort in Napa.

Floral Arrangements for the Rehearsal Dinner

I love how the flowers looked on the tables that evening.

Crepe Paper Floral Arrangements for the Rehearsal Dinner

floral arrangement on table

It was such an amazing Rehearsal Dinner.

Rehearsal Dinner with Friends

Every single person in the room held such a special place in my heart.

Especially these guys.

family at the rerhearsal dinnerr

It couldn’t’ have been more perfect.

How to Plan the Perfect Rehearsal Dinner

Now it’s your turn to plan a rehearsal dinner. 

Pin the images below to your Weddings or Entertaining boards on Pinterest (just click the Pin button in the top left corner). You can also follow along with me on Pinterest!

How to Plan a Rehearsal Dinner

How I Made 100 Paperr Flowers for My Son's Rehearsal Dinner

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11 Responses

  1. OH I’m so glad you posted this! I actually looked all over your website for pictures of this dinner to use for my Favorite Blogs post the other day! 😉 This is my very favorite of the favorites! I know your son and his bride – and everyone there – felt all your love! Creating beauty for someone is the ultimate gift! 💗

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this special moment. I love my cricket maker. I do a lot of cuts for quilting with it but I haven’t tried paper flowers. Absolutely beautiful center pieces !!

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I'm Leslie,
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