• Dreamy Garden Rehearsal Dinner - Even in a Pandemic

June 09, 2020

My friend, Kathleen, is one of my most easy-going, laid back and fun friends, but when she called and said she had two weeks to plan a rehearsal dinner in her backyard for her son and his fiancé, I must admit, my heart took a little leap considering the pandemic our world was experiencing. Kathleen was taking it all in stride and carefully considering all the social distancing rules, wanting to make the evening super special and one that would knock the socks off the bride and groom!

This is a picture of the bride and groom when they arrived at their very special evening, the night before the day they would wed. But a lot of planning and creativity went into the evening, and it all began with the tables being put together to seat 10 immediate family members.

Earlier in the week, the tables didn't fit quite together perfectly, so to seamlessly cover the gaps in the middle, Kathleen taped several cardboard tri-folds together. Genius! It made for the perfect topper under the floor-length white tablecloths.

The next thing Kathleen wanted was twinkle lights on her back patio. We decided to use an idea from a blogger I follow, Leslie Saeta, @my100yearoldhome. She had erected columns and planted them in concrete buckets for her son's outdoor rehearsal dinner. Blessings were abounding when a neighbor told Kathleen, "I can do that!" 

And this column was even nicer looking as the neighbor actually copied the other columns on the patio attached to the house, and pea gravel was used to finish the look. It was perfect for hanging the twinkle lights, which would provide beautiful ambiance. This column looked like it had been there forever as part of the home!

One of the first things purchased was a large amount of tulle. Kathleen wasn't sure how it would be used, but we decided to use it to decorate the chairs of the bride and groom with added greenery.

Gold chairs were rented to complement the fine china with gold and green bands. The china was special to the groom as he had many memories of the family using it on special occasions over the years, and the colors were perfect for a garden wedding.

Artificial greenery and fine gold mesh ribbon was used around the table, encircling a beautiful garden-like arrangement sent to the family from close friends. It happened to be the perfect size and color for the center of the large table. Sometimes God just pours favor on a couple, and this was just one of many blessings that came out of thin air at the last minute!

Rustic gold candelabras were purchased from Nell Hills furniture store in Kansas City years ago, and signature tight and perfect florals in beautiful colors were arranged by The Little Flower Shop in Westwood Hills, Kan. using gold vases owned by the groom's family.

Perhaps the very most special part of the evening were the homemade Individual Party Cakes made by Kathleen. With a beautiful Gerber daisy coming out of the center, each cake sat on its own gold stand also made by the mother of the groom. This process deserves its own blog post, and in it you will have all the details for these mouth-watering works of art that can be made way ahead of any celebration.

Finally, the bar was covered in silver trays, wine and crystal decanters of special liquor. The Little Flower Shop created a special arrangement for the wooden garden dome owned by the groom's family, and this was the centerpiece. White balloons flanked the back of the bar, and bright-colored potted annuals filled the fireplace.

When the sun set, the candles were lit and the patio was glowing, not just from the twinkle lights and candelabras, but the beaming faces of a couple meant for each other and their families. They showed that love will find the way, even in a pandemic. It can be done! The bride even said it was more than she had even dreamed of. The couple married the next day at an intimate ceremony with a small number of family and friends and plan to celebrate at a larger reception in early Fall. 



1 Response

Donna PIrotte
Donna PIrotte

June 10, 2020

Thanks for the wonderful blog! Kathleen (and you) transformed chaos into such a special event for my sweet niece and her new hubby! :-)

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