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20 Best Rehearsal Dinner Decoration Ideas

Aug 11, 2023Aug 11, 2023

There's no wrong way to design this pre-wedding party.

Molly Allen is a previous bakery owner with expertise in wedding orders, as well as a former event planner. She is now a freelance writer focused on lifestyle, travel, and food and beverage.

Photo by Katherine Marchand

While you've likely put a great deal of thought into the décor for your wedding ceremony and reception, there's a good chance you've paid little (if any) attention to the aesthetic of your rehearsal dinner. Though it can be tempting to leave the design for this pre-wedding event up to the party's hosts, ensuring your rehearsal dinner speaks to the theme for the rest of your wedding weekend is one of the best ways to create an immersive, cohesive experience for guests. Plus, because this pre-nuptial event is a special time to welcome wedding party members, family, and close friends to your wedding locale, why wouldn't you want to begin the celebration on a high note? Whether you're kicking the weekend off with casual event or something more intricately planned, carefully choosing the rehearsal dinner's décor is always a good idea.

Ultimately, just like the decorative elements for the rest of your wedding weekend, the décor for your rehearsal dinner is an opportunity for you and your soon-to-be spouse to share your personalities, interests, and preferred aesthetic with your guests. You can also use the décor at this pre-wedding event to introduce loved ones to the place where you're saying "I do." Ultimately, the options are as endless as your imagination.

Whether you're hoping to plan a rehearsal dinner that speaks to the rest of your wedding's aesthetic or begin the weekend in its own unique way, it's important to pay attention to this party's details. Here, we're sharing a variety of different rehearsal dinner decoration ideas to help you get inspired.

photo by Beatrice Howell

Planning a tropical- or bohemian-themed pre-wedding dinner? Forgo classic floral centerpieces and top tables with an array of fauna instead. Verdant potted plants or tropical greens are just as eye-catching as traditional floral arrangements, but they'll lend a more relaxed, laid-back feel to your pre-wedding party. Plus, because they're live plants instead of cut arrangements, you can reuse them during the wedding or post-nuptial brunch.

Photo by Rachel Pearlman Photography

You're spending a lot of money on the wedding itself; if you want to keep things a bit more casual for the rehearsal dinner, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. In fact, DIY décor can be just as beautiful and works quite well for this more casual pre-wedding event. At this backyard rehearsal dinner, handwritten place cards indicated where guests should sit. Napkins were sourced by the bride and her mother on Amazon and the duo hand-tied each themselves ahead of the event.

photo by Beatrice Howell

String lights immediately enhance the look of any space, and that's especially true if you're dining al fresco with your friends and family. Choose to incorporate a simple strand or two for both beauty and functionality.

photo by Belathée Photography

Get creative with your place settings by switching up the menu style. We love the idea of incorporating your dinner bread into a paper sleeve with the menu printed on it for a unique display.

Photo by Oliver Fly

If you're on a tight budget or else want to spend most of your funds on the big day itself, know that just a few simple decorative details can go a long way. Simple signage, like the fabric welcome message used at this French rehearsal dinner, can help brand your party and make it a little more special; adding greenery is a great way to ensure everything pops.

Photo by Jose Villa

Planning a wedding inspired by your favorite vacations? Introduce guests to the theme with the décor at your rehearsal dinner—it's the perfect way to kick off a weekend of events all tied to the same overarching vision! At this Italian-inspired rehearsal dinner, blue-and-white linens and lemon escort cards pulled double-duty: They served as stunning décor while also nodding to the couple's love of travel.

Photo by Joel Serrato

If you're planning to design a rehearsal dinner that's just as statement-making as the wedding itself, invest in the type of details that guests will really remember. At this rehearsal dinner in Montecito, California, the couple commissioned monogrammed napkins for each place setting and topped tables with lush, overgrown floral centerpieces.

photo by Gideon Photography

Your rehearsal dinner allows you to get creative in so many ways. Switch things up by incorporating a number of pretty patterns in matching hues into your tablescape design.

photo by Hana Gonzalez Photography

No boring bar here! For a tropical pre-wedding event, consider setting up a special drink shelf. Display custom branded coconuts and fill them with cocktails or coconut water for a sip that's as refreshing as it is eye-catching. Best of all, creative cocktails like these double as décor.

photo by Jacob Van Rozelaar

Flowers have the power to dress up any space, and that's true whether you're hosting your rehearsal dinner at your wedding venue or utilizing a restaurant's event space. Bring in plenty of bold blooms to make a colorful statement. This is an especially fun idea if you're planning to go more muted with the floral palette for your actual wedding.

Photo by Oliver Fly

Restaurants are extremely popular rehearsal dinner locations, so if your party will be held in one, take a look at the design details already in place. At this French restaurant, green and white chairs provided tons of visual interest; a few simple floral arrangements in complementary hues were all that was needed to make the venue extra special.

photo by Jake Anderson

Rehearsal dinner décor allows you to embrace ideas you may not want to incorporate into your full wedding. We love the look of this patterned tablecloth with brown leather chairs for a ranch-inspired wedding weekend.

photo by jessica mangia

If you have access to an outdoor space (and good weather!), make use of it. Set up smaller tables so everyone can embrace a beautiful view. It'll be the perfect way to welcome them to your wedding spot, especially for a destination wedding. Plus, the scenery acts as natural décor, a boon for anyone who is looking to save a little money on this pre-nuptial party.

photo by lauren fair

You may choose to have a more subtle color palette for your wedding reception décor, but why not go all out for your rehearsal dinner? Bring in colored glassware instead of plain crystal to make a punchy statement.

photo by Belathée Photography

No interest in a large floral centerpieces on the table? Choose to utilize bud vases for an elevated-meets-casual look. This design showcased plenty of roses, dahlias, and zinnias for a pop of color.

photo by Lisa Poggi

Sometimes the simplest decorations are the best. Consider dressing up your place settings with a simple sprig of fresh rosemary tied with twine for a lovely look.

photo by KT Merry

We love the idea of keeping a neutral color palette for a rehearsal dinner, but with a pop of personality. This set up embraced whites and tans, but the touch of pink completed the look.

photo by Lucy Cuneo

For a garden-inspired rehearsal dinner, bring in plenty of textured blooms. The addition of blue and white hydrangeas in multiple lengths certainly completed the look of this table.

photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

Rehearsal dinners are a great opportunity for friends and family to mingle! Give them a spot to visit or meet for the first time—it's functional and looks great. To ensure your space looks beautiful and cohesive, match your lounge furniture to the rest of the rehearsal dinner's color palette.

photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

If you're looking for a theme for your rehearsal dinner, consider planning a garden-inspired party. A vibrant color palette, patterned tablecloth, garlands of greenery, and small arrangements of stunning blooms make for a lovely set up.