Top Tips for a Relaxed Rehearsal Dinner

As our family had the privilege of recently hosting our own rehearsal dinner,  I want to share some thoughts while they are still fresh in my mind.  Traditionally, the rehearsal dinner is held the night before the wedding and hosted by the groom’s family.  It’s the vehicle to gather the close family, attendants, officiant and bridal couple together, break bread, and fellowship together, and kick off the Big Event with food and merriment.

Take a look at these top tips for a successful, relaxed rehearsal dinner ~

1. Choose a style that is distinctly different from the wedding.

Not wanting to compete with the black tie optional wedding, we went the other way – a pizza truck!  Here we used black and white gingham tablecloths from steve mckenzie’s, pulled up a wood-fired pizza oven food truck, and served ice tea, beer and wine.  Father of the groom, Atlanta interior designer Steve McKenzie created the lush winter floral arrangements.  Festive color-coordinated napkins from Dot and Army completed the table.  More about their easy napkin rental program soon…

The wedding is the main event, so offering a different experience to the wedding party gives them a more complete weekend.


textiles, gingham, dot and army napkins, floral
Black and white gingham fabric anchors the tables in the window-filled venue. Floral by Steve McKenzie

2. Consistent Details

Any well done event, especially a wedding, follows a curated path of carefully chosen details.  From the save the date to the invitation to the floral, consistent colors, fonts and written tone set the stage for your special day.  The groom’s love of outdoors and hunting were celebrated with custom stadium cups, monogrammed napkins and photo booth props.

Custom monogram by Sequins and Lipstick
hunting, Etsy, lips
Photo props by Captivating Creations
Carter McKenzie, Jill McKenzie, The Homestead_GA
Groom + Jill aka Mom

3. Choose the Rehearsal Dinner Menu Secondly to Wedding Menu

The wedding menu plays a starring role in the event, and the budget.  Tastings are held, serving pieces are surveyed, table-cloth colors are coordinated, all these details culminating in this once in a lifetime event.  The rehearsal dinner should coordinate with this evening, not compete with it.  Southern Crust Catering food truck provided this complement to the sit-down dinner on Saturday night.

rehearsal dinner, Plaza Towers, Atlanta GA
Bride + Groom
Atlanta GA, Serenbe , green Chevy truck
Southern Crust Catering
Southern Crust Catering, rehearsal dinner
Hot pizza on a cold night!
roses, winter, floral
Floral by Steve McKenzie
A moonlit magical rehearsal dinner!
 Cheers to your next celebration!  Hopefully these tips lay the groundwork for many special evenings for you and yours. All photos by Christina Wedge Photography




The BEST Holiday Classes & Book Signing

Holiday Calendar & Madcap Cottage

Book Signing

First up –

Effortless Holiday Decorating with Shelly Dozier-McKee

Get out your calendar, call a friend and grab your spots at this class on Saturday, November 4th from 10am – 11am.  You’ll go home full of holiday inspiration and sparkly ideas!  Click here to purchase your ticket.

Be sure to join us on November 3rd and 4th for our annual Holiday Open House with specials, treats, giveaways, and all the best gifts and holiday decor. 

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Next, explore your inner artist with Madcap Cottage gent, John Loecke and Atlanta artist, Steve McKenzie on Saturday, November 18th from 10am – 11:30am.  Get your ticket here.

On Saturday, you can also get your copy of their new book, “Prints Charming: Create Absolutely Beautiful Interiors with Prints & Patterns”, signed by the Madcap Cottage gents, Jason Oliver Nixon and John Loecke from 11am – 3pm.

PrintsCharming book cover 26644JStay tuned to steve mckenzie’s social media and newsletters for more upcoming Holiday hoopla!  Hint, hint – another class with ConfettiStyle perhaps…details on November 1st…

Follow us on Instagram at @stevemckenzies for more inspiration!