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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
It is so easy to cut these petals and then just pull them off the cutting mat.
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.
Next, I started assembling the flowers.
How cool is this?
This is the center of the gerbera daisy.
And this is the beginning of a Lace Hydrangea flower.
The lace hydrangea petals are assembled like this.
And when they are done they look like this.
Don’t these look amazing?
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.
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.
My son Matt helped me finish the printed items for dinner. You can see the menu cards and place cards on the table below.
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.
This is how I made the table assignment signs.
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.
And here are the completed vases in our hotel room at Silverado Resort in Napa.
I love how the flowers looked on the tables that evening.
It was such an amazing Rehearsal Dinner.
Every single person in the room held such a special place in my heart.
Especially these guys.
It couldn’t’ have been more perfect.
Now it’s your turn to plan a rehearsal dinner.
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