Help me brainstorm about the theme for the rehearsal dinner for my DD's wedding
Post ReplyPost New TopicPosted 1/31/2013 by Knotlazy in NSBR Board
 

Knotlazy
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Posted: 1/31/2013 5:28:21 PM
My Dd is getting married next fall. A good friend of ours owns a Cafe in town, they serve breakfast & lunch, then are available for rental and catering in the evenings. We want to have the rehearsal dinner there. It's not a large dining room, but room enough. There are windows on two sides, and my friend will have a white curtain to block the view of the kitchen & all that goes on behind the counter. One wall has a low wall that delegates where people stand in line for ordering. It's a pretty standard lunch cafe type place...with wooden chairs so I'll want to pretty them up someway.

They usually use a "U" shaped set up with the tables for an event like this. Pretty standard.

I was thinking....since the restaurant is called "So-n-Sos Cafe" it brings to my mind a French Sidewalk Cafe....We can decorate any way we want to...white table clothes, candles & flowers on the tables..I think they use white dishes but I can get chargers & colored napkins....place setting cards...the dinner will be buffet style probably...what kind of food goes with that kind of theme? Anyone have any great decorating ideas?

Please brainstorm and help me put together a beautiful party for my baby girl and her lovely young man (I know the parent's of the groom is supposed to do this...but they won't participate so I'll make it beautiful).

Any ideas are welcome and appreciated...even something different from the "Sidewalk Cafe" theme....that's just what popped into my head first. I know the Peas are creative thinkers.

I will be searching Pinterest and google...I hope to buy supplies early to avoid a huge expense all at once.

Knotlazy
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Posted: 1/31/2013 5:31:33 PM
Oh, and if you are wondering about the "theme/style" of the wedding, it will be held outdoors in front of a small lake with a barn/horses in the background, then the reception will be held in a beautiful "barn". She is using burlap & lace & mostly white flowers. So I think the R dinner needs to be a little different from the reception....

When my son got married last year, they had a traditional Catholic wedding and a reception at a facility that reminded me of a night club with lights and a large dance floor....The "feel" was very formal. My DD wants a more "casual" feel to her wedding/reception.

sunny 5
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Posted: 1/31/2013 6:00:57 PM
personally..I would just go with white table clothes and some nice low flower arrangements on the tables. keep it simple!! you will have plenty of other stuff to worry about--not every thing needs a theme...

but this is just me. the party will be great due to the occasion...and the people, not the theme.

basketdiva
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Posted: 1/31/2013 6:04:44 PM
I agree with Sunny5-keep it simple-maybe use flowers in the wedding colors if possible. You have enough to deal with the wedding. No need to for more stress or activity.

twinks
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Posted: 1/31/2013 6:10:34 PM
Fun idea that I helped with the rehersal dinner for a friend of mine, actually her son was the groom. It was held at a pizza type restaurant that was the bride and groom's favorite place. We had a side room reserved for parties and rehersal dinners. They also wanted things to be very casual. We used red and white table cloths and as centerpieces had large glass jars of differing shapes and sizes full of different candy. Some jars tied with ribbon and some not. At each place setting was a small paper bag (red and white striped). The place cards were held up with a large gumdrop. We used stripped colored straws for the soft drinks that were provided. Wine was provided for the toasts. I got the straws and bags at orsongygi.com. We also had an ice cream bar for dessert that we brought the fixings for. That was set up at a side table, the restaurant provided the ice cream. At the end of the dinner, we put large spoons in each jar and the guests were invited to fill their bags up with the different candies to take home. We provided ribbon to tie the bags shut.

Since the restaurant was opened for their regular business, we didn't have a lot of time to set up. I was doing this long distance and ordered the paper goods, etc. online to be sent to my friend. I flew in an hour before the rehersal at the Church, attended that and left just a few minutes ahead of time and got things set up before the wedding party arrived at the restaurant. Simple and casual.

wezee812
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Posted: 1/31/2013 6:16:44 PM
When we hosted Our son and DDIL dinner we choose an Italian theme. (We had it at a trendy Italian restaurant) The centerpieces were stucco planters of different sizes filled with sunflowers surrounded by ,candles,tomato,oregano & basil plants.
Sounds meh, but they really were beautiful. The owner even asked if I could provide them for his restaurant. Food was served family style.

We had a make your own gelato/sundae bar. That was a BIG hit.
At the end of the evening everyone was given a gift basket that contained a cheese shaker, a ramekin, Italian almonds and a bottle of custom olive oil.

We still get compliments two years later.

I'd be happy to help you. What can you tell me about the happy couple?


Lizzy
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Oliquig
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Posted: 1/31/2013 6:26:40 PM
I have never been to a themed rehearsal dinner. Just normal restaurants or house gatherings depending on the formality of the wedding.


-Rachel

I just don't see why people think I'm too patronizing (that means I treat them as if they were stupid.)





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Knotlazy
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Posted: 1/31/2013 6:41:21 PM
twinks & wezee...your dinners sound lovely! And, yes, I'm probably biting off more than I can usually chew, but this is my baby and the last "event" I'll be hosting for a while, other than showers for friend's kids. Sunny & Basketdiva, I'll keep your advice for simple in mind.

We have been sucked in by Pinterest and since I'm a scrapbooker, I'm wanting to do all the cute paper crafts for the party....we are especially loving the chalkboards. I'm pretty sure I'm going to jump in and buy a Cameo to use for the wedding and can use it for the R dinner, too.

Wezee, they are 25 and nearly 25, college grads with good careers who met when they were in middle school and ran around in a large group of friends who mostly grew up together. But they didn't actually date until they were in college. They've struggled with finances & long distance relationship & family issues (his, not ours) and stayed the course. I'm very proud of them. They have saved a good amount of $$$ for wedding expenses in addition to what we are giving them. So, we have a budget, but being crafty, I want to add to the decorations to make it special.

Remember the Disney movie Lady and the Tramp? For some reason, the "spaghetti" scene is in my mind. Kind of fitting as my DD is my princess and her fiance had a less priviledged upbringing. (don't think I think any less of him...he's a great young man who has risen above his parent's issues...)

Anyway...I'm just rolling all this around in my head.

Oliquig, I guess I enjoy a "theme" to work with. My DS's R dinner was at a Mexican Food Restaurant...in their beautifully decorated back room...and we ordered dozens of brightly colored gerbera daisies and put them in mason jars...and bought decor from a Mexican Import company....it was BEAUTIFUL! My best friend and her DD did the decorating...they used childhood pictures of the bride & groom in the center of the tables on a "clothesline" made from Corona bottles and mini clothes pins....so cute!

momof1child
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Posted: 1/31/2013 7:27:16 PM
I don't "get" the idea of a theme for a rehersal dinner.

A lot of money is already being spent on the wedding/showers.

I always thought that the rehersal dinner was supposed be the time to "relax" while someone else prepares the food/venue. This is the time that the bride & groom give their personal thanks to their families, wedding party & out-of-town guests.

Why put more pressure on yourself by making this dinner "an event".

myshelly
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Posted: 1/31/2013 7:30:16 PM
Isn't the groom's family supposed to do the rehearsal dinner?

Knotlazy
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Posted: 1/31/2013 7:39:39 PM

Isn't the groom's family supposed to do the rehearsal dinner?


Yes, they are. But they divorced 7 years ago and it was an ugly divorce and my Dd's fiance was pretty much pushed aside. He was a HS Senior at the time and they pretty much ignore him. He was the baby of 3 kids and there must have been much stress when he was a kid....and there are nearly no pictures from his childhood. He's a good guy who has pulled himself up from no parental guidence, to finish college by working hard and is nearly finished paying off his school debt.

My DD tells me that his parents will pretty much just show up to the wedding....I am just trying to make the R dinner a fun party for the kids that all grew up together. In this area, R Dinners are a fun party just for the bridesmaids/groomsmen....is it not in your area?

Sometimes, you can't go by the book.


Knotlazy
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Posted: 1/31/2013 7:41:21 PM
Twinks...I'm loving the idea of some kind of dessert bar....I'll be thinking about that...

Lumo
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Posted: 1/31/2013 8:09:31 PM
Another not familiar with a themed rehearsal dinner. We had the rehearsal, then went to a local brewery and had a great meal in their private room. And DH had his grooms' cake there. That was it


---
Kelly

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Knotlazy
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Posted: 1/31/2013 8:14:55 PM
Hmmm. Maybe "themed" is not the right term.

I was just trying to think about decorations...for the tables mostly...and the invitations. And what kind of food to serve.

It will be a party with a bunch of adults who all grew up together and still keep in touch. I just want to make it special and cute with decorations.

(I swear I don't know why I come here with questions like this..)

redboots
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Posted: 1/31/2013 8:22:53 PM
I'm all about simplicity, too, and it sounds like that might be your daughter's preference based on what you've said about the wedding. Simple can be really beautiful, IMO.

Beautiful, simple wildflower arrangements in mason jars would be lovely. Maybe use burlap or another rustic fabric for table runners. You could also hang a clothesline in one area with photos of your daughter and her fiance along one wall.

My friends and I handled the flowers for my wedding. I chose varying sizes of vases and receptacles and then filled each vase with a bunch of the same flower. Table A had all white flowers, for example - white roses in one vase, tulips in another, lilies in a third, etc. I only used two colors of flowers, white and yellow, and it really looked lovely.

Pinterest is such a great source of inspiration for party decor and invitations. Your daughter is very lucky to have a mom who is so excited to help make their big day special!

myshelly
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Posted: 1/31/2013 8:23:15 PM

Yes, they are. But they divorced 7 years ago and it was an ugly divorce and my Dd's fiance was pretty much pushed aside. He was a HS Senior at the time and they pretty much ignore him





That's so sad.



Legacy Girl
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Posted: 1/31/2013 8:24:11 PM
What about a Parisian cafe theme? You could serve savory crepes (chicken and mushroom?), French green beans, baguette or French rolls, and do a dessert of chocolate mousse and other French-inspired desserts. There's so much available right now in the Parisian theme. Could be beautiful and memorable! Enjoy the planning and the festivities!


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Knotlazy
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Posted: 1/31/2013 8:29:00 PM
Thanks, redboots! Your description sounds lovely. And, yes, my DD is a pretty simple girl. I am just trying to think of something a little different...since the "cafe" is pretty simple, I want to dress it up a little.

Because the restaurant we chose for the R dinner when my DS got married was already pretty much decorative, we just decorated the tables and it was all so beautiful....

But because my DD's fiance's parents have so few pictures of him as a child, I can't do that....but I can gather pics from their high school years and of course college when they started dating. I will have a clothesline of pics.

I'm just trying to pull a decor together in my mind... since the venue is pretty plain.

Knotlazy
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Posted: 1/31/2013 8:32:24 PM

Yes, they are. But they divorced 7 years ago and it was an ugly divorce and my Dd's fiance was pretty much pushed aside. He was a HS Senior at the time and they pretty much ignore him
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------






That's so sad.



It is. He is like the "left over child". But he has pulled himself up and he adores my DD. So, I want their wedding to be special...even if his parents don't participate, WE will and show him how proud we are of them.

Can you believe they didn't even recognise his college graduation? I was shocked.

Knotlazy
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Posted: 1/31/2013 8:37:39 PM

What about a Parisian cafe theme? You could serve savory crepes (chicken and mushroom?), French green beans, baguette or French rolls, and do a dessert of chocolate mousse and other French-inspired desserts. There's so much available right now in the Parisian theme. Could be beautiful and memorable! Enjoy the planning and the festivities!


Crepes!!!

Thanks, Legacy Girl! That is kinda what I was thinking...I'm sure my friend can do that kind of dinner...She is like a 2nd mother to my girl and will do anything for her.

See! That's the theme I'm looking for. Now just to research further for table decor....

Really, it shouldn't be so hard....yes it will be the day before, but I'm a SAHW and can do what I need to in advance.

I love all these kids who grew up together and I want to throw a party they will remember..

Can you tell I'm so excited about all the wedding stuff?

redboots
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Posted: 1/31/2013 8:40:46 PM
You could always go for a more sophisticated look and keep it simple. Maybe use black and a really bright color to offset the white table settings.

I worked on a New Year's Eve wedding that had a fairly small budget for decor. The venue offered all white settings and linens. We used simple clear vases which we wrapped in 4" wide bands of black paper with a strip of 3" turquoise paper in varying patterns. The flowers were white. Place cards were black with white calligraphy and also accented with a strip of turquoise paper.

I think any color would be lovely to offset the black and white. And, since you sadly don't have many photos of your daughter's fiance, you could also help them add to their collection by setting up a small "photo booth" area in one corner. We did this by hanging some white sheets and setting up a camera on a tripod.

Knotlazy
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Posted: 1/31/2013 8:47:49 PM
I like the black & white color scheme, redboots...

It would be different from the wedding colors, but I could include grey & plum that they are using for the wedding...

My friend who owns the restaurant, has a dd who is studying photography in college, so I think I'll negotiate with her to be the "photographer" at the R Dinner....take lots o candid pics and I can make a Shutterfly book of the event...

I'm kinda surprised that some of you think the R Dinner is just a dinner....

I've been thinking it was a close personal party for the best friends of the bride & groom to express their best wishes for the new couple.

At least, that's how it will be for my DD. There will be speeches & toasts and lots of laughter and "remember whens"..

This reminds me...I need to make a list and see how many will actually be invited..

Legacy Girl
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Posted: 1/31/2013 8:53:30 PM
I just realized you said French theme in your original post. SO sorry! Between DH, DD and dear dog, this place is crazy tonight. You could use the fleur de lis on invites, place cards, etc. Oooh! Just found a Pinterest board with some cute images that would give you great ideas. Hope it's helpful! Also, type in "Parisian" on Pinterest and see what comes up. SUCH cute ideas.

French themes


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Knotlazy
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Posted: 1/31/2013 9:04:52 PM
Thanks so much, Legacy Girl! You totally get what Im thinking....

The link will be helpful!

You have given me a start...mostly with the menu! Crepes! Why could I not think of that...and of course chocolate for dessert...

Still would appreciate any other ideas....

(now thinking poodles on the placecards.....and candles in winebottles.....

now gotta go to itunes to download parisian background music....

So Much Fun!

Gosh...this is the best reward for working hard raising this child.....

Lumo
Carolina dorkburger

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Posted: 1/31/2013 9:18:31 PM
I'm kinda surprised that some of you think the R Dinner is just a dinner....

I've been thinking it was a close personal party for the best friends of the bride & groom to express their best wishes for the new couple.

---------

See, that was our wedding


---
Kelly

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angievp
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Posted: 1/31/2013 9:43:36 PM
Why do you need a theme? I think simple and elegant is the way to go.


redboots
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Posted: 1/31/2013 9:50:08 PM
When we got married, several people asked me what the theme of our wedding was. They'd look at me quizzically when I'd answer with, "marriage."

Knotlazy
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Posted: 1/31/2013 10:21:20 PM
Again, maybe "theme" is the wrong word. I don't know what to say.

But there has to be a color scheme...or color coordination.....other than white table cloths...

The dinner should be a celebration, no? And there should be a certain coordination of the food and table decor....

So what would you call it other than a "theme"?


Knotlazy
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Posted: 1/31/2013 10:21:22 PM
oops...double post...

redboots
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Posted: 1/31/2013 10:44:18 PM
Oh, I wasn't trying to be judgmental, Knotlazy.

I work in the wedding/event industry and understand people's desires differ from my own.

The Parisian theme you're thinking of sounds lovely, though I might avoid the poodles and stick to more sophisticated imagery like the Eiffel Tower, Fleur de Lis, etc.

Also, I'm not sure how much you want to spend, but I worked on a lovely French themed bridal shower and used a lot of this really gorgeous black and white toile fabric I ordered from fabric.com. We used the toile for table runners and other small accents.

pennyring
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Posted: 1/31/2013 10:55:11 PM
When I think French cafe, I think Steak and Pomme Frites (french fries) with wine, and chocolate mousse for dessert.

Very simple, very delicious.

If you're going to do table "rounds" I would give each a Parisian landmark theme: Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomph, Louvre, Notre Dame, etc.

The colors for the rehearsal don't have to be the same as the wedding. My wedding colors were bright pink and orange. My rehearsal colors were red, white and black (we had the dinner in an old fashioned soda shoppe). You can go any direction you/DD like.



AN
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Posted: 1/31/2013 11:09:13 PM
This isn't really the direction you were wanting to go, but we're doing a casual taco bar/fiesta type deal for our rehearsal dinner. It is TOTALLY different than the wedding. I thought it would be nice to have something much more casual and a totally different feel than the wedding itself.

Knotlazy
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Posted: 1/31/2013 11:33:58 PM
redboots, I didn't take your suggestions to be judgemental, I appreciate them.

I especially like the toile suggestion for fabric...

This event is a work in progress in my mind!

We will see how it turns out next Oct....

But I appreciate all suggestions...

(I'd go for tacos & margaritas myself....but it's not supposed to be about me!)

sunny 5
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Posted: 1/31/2013 11:54:04 PM
our rehearsal dinner was a dinner at the groom's parents house. made by his mom and aunt. just the two families, and minister. groomsmen and bridesmaids didn't come.

it was nice.. but just a salmon dinner with salad.

mlana
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Posted: 2/1/2013 12:00:26 AM
Hi,
You said the groom had no pics from childhood to use for table decorations. What about having your friend's daughter take some pics of them as a couple, some goofy, some sophisticated, maybe some with obviously photoshopped cartoon Parisian landmarks. If all of them were in black and white, they would go with toile. It could be fun to see how long it takes the guests to realize that the backdrops/landmarks are fake.

You could blow up a couple of pics, maybe with the fake backgrounds, and make them wall art. Maybe have the engaged couple sitting outside the cafe, like a Parisienne bistro, with their faces hidden away from the camera. It might be fun to have all the photos of them, but NOT obviously of them. Can you tell I love the cafe/bistro photos?

Have fun!
Marcy



Totallyscrappy
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Posted: 2/1/2013 12:02:13 AM
If you don't want to do the black/white/pink theme you could go with blues and yellows. Macaroons! Croissants! Creme brulee! Quiche! Make your own crepes (bar). Small, lace fans could be used in the centerpieces or as favors. How 'bout someone drawing portraits or hand drawn portraits as centerpieces. French wines? You could have a wine expert come and give a wine talk. Beret's! Baskets of flowers... Sounds like fun!! Enjoy!


Totallyscrappy!

azredhead34
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Posted: 2/1/2013 12:15:15 AM
I just did my cousins bridal shower at my house. It was fairly easy since her fiance is from Fiji. He played football for Hawaii. So theme wasn't so to hard but it was December. We did a deeret and hot chocolate bar. It was huge it.

Something else we did that they kept for the wedding receptions we did rocks in jar. It sounds weird but you could look it up on pintrest. We got stones of all different shapes and sizes and people could right names and a message on them. it was a huge hit as well and something they can use at home later.

We did a A LOT of burlap for the beach/fiji them. We layered the tables with her colors table cloths we did the nice cloth ones and then a layer of burlap it was really cool and mutes down the brighter colors.




Duchess of Stuff
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Posted: 2/1/2013 2:44:36 AM
Could you ask your soon-to-be SIL and DD what type of food their friend would prefer and take your hints from there. Friends my DD and SIL had when they were in their 20's would not have had a clue what a crepe was but steak or even fried chicken would have drawn "yums"

The same with the decor - French cafe would been over their heads

I am thinking more the guys than the girls but maybe times have changed.

If I wanted it to be more of a 'party' I think I would go with something like 'country cafe' and the whole chicken, fries, apple pie thing. I guess that is close to the wedding barn theme but it sound like something young people would find "comfortable".

Of course this is just one opinion and whatever you chose will be a gift to your young couple so I hope you have fun planning and crafting


~ "full price is a F-word" ~

angievp
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Posted: 2/1/2013 3:42:10 AM

Again, maybe "theme" is the wrong word. I don't know what to say.

But there has to be a color scheme...or color coordination.....other than white table cloths...

The dinner should be a celebration, no? And there should be a certain coordination of the food and table decor....

So what would you call it other than a "theme"?


Simple white tablecloths can be stunning. My cousin got married about 3? years ago and his reception was at the Four Seasons down here in Miami. Table decorations? Just gorgeous flower arrangements. Simple white linen hemstitched table linens.

Engagement parties? Well, much of the same. Either formal or buffet style, we really don't do themes: the focus is on the bride and the groom, not the party.

janeinbama
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Posted: 2/1/2013 6:03:54 AM
Where did they get engaged? Any other places special to them as a couple? What about honeymoon destination? Our son in law's family did themed rehearsal dinners for their sons (4) and it was a surprise for the couple until they received their invitation. Our DD and SIL got engaged in NYC and that was the theme - glamour and glitzy a family friend came in and sang New York New York with a few changes in the lyrics. One was Italian dinner, Las Vegas gambling theme, beachy.

knit.pea
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Posted: 2/1/2013 7:24:29 AM
What is their style? Do they like cutesy stuff or classic?
Are they crepe or steak people?

The black and white photos of them sound awesome!!!

Given his family situation, you might want to keep things
"now" and "forward" as their own little family unit and
go easy or not at all on the childhood stuff.

Ours 20 years ago was just a basic dinner at a restaurant,
no theme, no chair dressing, no centerpieces, no favors.
Times have changed, I guess.

mom22reds
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Posted: 2/1/2013 8:00:10 AM
OP, although I've never heard of a themed rehearsal idea, I think the concept is lovely. You have to have food, and you have to have some sort of decor; they may as well coordinate somewhat, right? I totally get it!

My only caution is that you (and whoever you have helping you) not expend so much time, energy and money that you're wiped out for the wedding the next day.

It sounds like you have been given some great ideas to help get you started. Good luck, and have fun!!

Sonia


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Organize my entire house one drawer, cabinet, nook and cranny at a time!

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PeaNut 96,097
July 2003
Posts: 10,351
Layouts: 78
Loc: North Alabama

Posted: 2/1/2013 8:11:38 AM
What about using a black square table toppter and burlap runner like this one: Table Runner

Love the "theme" idea, sounds like so much fun!



Knotlazy
PeaFixture

PeaNut 266,627
June 2006
Posts: 3,358
Layouts: 1

Posted: 2/1/2013 10:36:21 AM
I like that table runner, schizo (and we have 3 doxies - love the pics of yours)

Y'all have given me a lot of great ideas...I especially like the idea of blowing up b&w photos...there are tons of them since they started dating so I'll focus on those years instead of childhood. And wouldn't it be fun if I could find an artist to sketch portraits of the bridal party...

My imagination went wild last night with ideas, but I do realize I'll need to keep it simple. I should be able to pull the decorations (except fresh flowers) together over the summer and have it all done. And I'll present some of the food ideas to the groom and let him chose his favorite.

Janeinbama, you are making me think about beach decor, too. They will honeymoon at a resort in the caribbean. I hadn't even thought about that. I have several large conch shells I could use on the tables....

Maybe I'll put together a couple of pinterest boards with these ideas and let the couple choose their favorite one.

It's been fun brainstorming....I knew y'all would have great ideas!

auntkelly
BOOMER SOONER!

PeaNut 142,266
April 2004
Posts: 9,026
Layouts: 0
Loc: Texas

Posted: 2/1/2013 10:56:20 AM
I think the French Cafe theme is cute. When I think of a French Cafe, I think of small tables (seating 2-4 persons each) and simple white tablecloths. I imagine a very simple centerpiece such as two or three beautiful fresh flowers in a small vase. I would have bottles of imported sparkling water on the tables. I would also have a bottle of wine at each table. I would put the tables very close together because that is how they usually are at a French cafe and also because it will make the gathering more intimate. You could have a menu at each place w/ the menu written in French and English.


Ginny
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