Wedding Rehearsal Table Decor

Help friends and family relax with the right decorations

By Jen Whitten

Aerial View of Wedding Table with Flowers
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The rehearsal dinner is the time when everyone involved in the wedding can relax and forget about all the planning details from the previous months for an evening. It is gives friends and family the opportunity to get to know one another, while the bride and groom share their heartfelt thanks with everyone that made the wedding possible despite all the stress, responsibility and activity. At such a time it's easy to forget that even the rehearsal table decor is part of the wedding planning. Seemingly trivial, the wedding rehearsal table decor actually plays a large part in the evening's success, because too-tall or distracting centerpieces can hinder conversation.

  • What You Need to Know
  • The restaurant or venue may be able to handle decorations for you with advance notice.
  • Do not duplicate the wedding's theme; do something different with decorations.
Choosing table decor

Step 1:

Review the guest list. You must know the approximate number of people attending before you can finalize decor for the wedding rehearsal. The way you would decorate for a small, intimate gathering of 10 is different from a formal affair for 50 guests.

Step 2:

Consider your location. If the rehearsal dinner takes place at a restaurant or hotel banquet room, they may restrict what you can use on the table. Always double-check with the location's contact to ensure you don't end up with beautiful centerpieces you cannot use.

Step 3:

Create your theme. Instead, develop your own way to tie in all your elements for the dinner.

Step 4:

Remember your food. Decorating for rehearsal dinners is no different than decorating the table at any event. Guests experience decor through all their senses, so avoid candle scents that compete with the natural aromas of the food.

Step 5:

Design decor to fit the table. One lonely candle in the middle of a round table seating 20 is not sufficient to fill the space. Larger tables require larger centerpieces. The shape is also a factor because what works well for round tables, looks awkward on rectangular tables.

Step 6:

Set the table to set the tone. Chargers and other pieces of dinnerware differ based on the formality of the event. Choose mismatched, coordinating pieces for casual gatherings and sets rimmed in gold or silver for formal dinners.

Step 7:

Resist the urge to fill all empty space on the table. Rehearsal dinner decor is meant to enhance the table, not take over. Remember that serving dishes and bread often requires space at the table, and plan for it accordingly.

Step 8:

Combine flower arrangements and candles. Although other options are available, candles and flowers are classic ways to set the tone for any meal.

  • Tips & Warnings
  • Keep centerpieces low so that guests do not have to peer around them as they talk to one another.
  • Be aware of candle placement. Open flames near breadbaskets, gifts or napkins can start fires or set off sprinkler systems.

About the Author

Jen Whitten is a freelance writer and worked in the event and wedding planning fields.

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