Rehearsal Dinner Decorations and Ideas

Wedding season is almost here. Today I am sharing the rehearsal dinner decorations and ideas I created for my son Andrew and his bride Charlotte.

Rehearsal dinners (now also called welcome parties) are held the evening before the wedding. When we hosted my son Andrew’s rehearsal dinner, I wanted everyone at the dinner to know how much they meant to us in a place that welcomed everyone to the wine country.

How to Plan a Rehearsal Dinner

How We Found the Venue for the Rehearsal Dinner

How to Plan Rehearsal Dinner

The bride, 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 one of my best friends over thirty years ago. Their wedding was in Napa and their rehearsal dinner was at Merryvale. I had such fond memories of the barrel room and hoped it was as special as I had remembered. The minute we walked in, we both loved it and knew it was the perfect location for their rehearsal dinner.

So we booked it, right then and there.

Before I get into the rehearsal dinner details, let’s take a step back to Andrew and Charlotte’s Engagement Party.

The Engagement Party

You may remember when we hosted an Engagement Party for Andrew and 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 had so much fun planning and hosting this party. So of course, that meant that I had to create something even more spectacular for the Rehearsal Dinner.

Engagement Party in Back Yard
The Engagement Party

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

Dining at the Engagement Party
The Engagement Party

Needless to say, the pressure was on to create something even better for the rehearsal dinner.

Planning The Rehearsal Dinner Decorations

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.

It did take me some time to decide on the flower centerpieces for the tables. I knew 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 considered it, but I wanted to pour my heart into this evening. So, I decided that I would make paper flowers. It was a literal labor of love to make over 100 paper flowers and yet, I am so happy that I did!

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 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 by filling each wase with floral oasis. I added the flowers and greens and 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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  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 !!

  3. So beautiful! The flowers you made are stunning! Congratulations and best wishes to the bride and groom.

  4. Oh, my goodness! What gorgeous flowers! Fabulous job and I loved that you needed to create from the heart…stunning!

  5. What an awesome evening! Your daughter-in-law is joining an amazing family, and what a blessing she will be, I’m sure!! Praying for their bright future!!!

  6. GORGEOUS rehearsal dinner. You have set the bar quite high. This dinner was a beautiful as any wedding reception dinner!

  7. What a fabulous setting! So grand, yet so intimate. The flowers are so pretty. Would you be able to tell me more about the candelabras? I find them simply stunning.

  8. I remember that Barrel Room in Merryvale, absolutely perfect venue for a rehearsal dinner! Your flowers were more lovely than any florist could come up with, Bravo Leslie ❤️

  9. Leslie your arrangements are stunning. Such a beautiful family. I always try to copy your projects but I think this one is beyond even me. Maybe I can start with making the flowers. Thanks for sharing. I so enjoy your blog-you have such talent.

  10. Leslie! The flowers! Incredible! When I read you made them I had to double back to look at the photo again … and then reread to make sure I got it right. Unbelievable. I’m sure your guests were astounded … and in awe. A barrel room is such a lovely spot to hold a dinner like this … and Merryvale is a notch above. What a lovely evening. Can’t wait to hear about the wedding! xo

  11. Wow I am amazed. You must have a lot of patience. Everything looks amazing and put my rehearsal dinner very simple. Wish I had half of your creativity. Keep up the great job love seeing what you are up to!!!!

    1. Thank you so much Mary Anne! It was a very special set up, so loved doing it. Thanks so much for being here 🙏🥰

  12. I am so grateful to have seen this. You did a marvelous job. I am usually in awe of what you do and can’t imagine being able to pul it off myself, but your plan seemed doable even for someone like me. With 4 boys of my own, I hope to have the belessing of giving a gift like this to one of my sons some day. I wish you and your family well with these great events. All the best!

    1. Hi Josee! Oh these are such kind words, thank you so much! You can absolutely do this too 🤗🙏 Wishing you and yours all the best!

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