rehearsal dinner balloon backdrop

Photo: Trevor Mark Photography

There’s always an opening act before the main show, and in the case of a wedding, that precursor is the rehearsal dinner. Use it as the chance to set the tone for the weekend — or as a way to freshen things up with the unexpected. When it comes to rehearsal dinner ideas, you don’t want to steal the limelight away from the reception, and this is one event you’ll want to save some money on. There’s no need to go overboard with flowers and décor — focus on one main aspect to make a statement while letting simplicity do the rest of the work. Keep things low-key, casual, and relaxed — you’re all there to have fun!

Take a cue from these rehearsal dinner ideas.

Colorful paper lanterns

Photo: Sanaz Photography

Colorful paper lanterns in shades of orange make for some fun statement wall décor, creating an informal, playful vibe.

outdoor tablescape

Photo: Jose Villa Photography

Al fresco dining is one of our favorite rehearsal dinner ideas — it’s casual and relaxed, but still beautiful. With a beige tablecloth and acrylic chairs, we love how this setting is subtle and understated, allowing the surrounding outdoors to shine.

seating assignments

Photo: W&E Photographie

Spread the love with your seating assignments by including an image of an iconic couple in the display.

purple balloon display

Photo: Luna Bear Studios

Bold balloons in vivid purple hues designed by Tremaine Ranch add a dose of play and whimsy! Arch them around a dessert station for a fun twist.

greenery table runner

Photo: Heidi Lau Photography

Keep the table décor clean and simple. A lush runner of greenery offers a minimalist rehearsal dinner idea with a wow-worthy effect.

modern white chairs

Photo: Magnolia Adam’s Photography

Replace boring restaurant chairs with unique seating from a rentals company for an unexpected element. We love the funky geometric design in these white chairs.

globe decor

Photo: Injoy Imagery

Do you and your future spouse have the travel bug? Use a globe for a personalized décor piece and mark all the places you’ve been to together.

rustic purple tablescape

Photo: Kamila Harris Photography

Centerpieces of bright greens and bold fuchsia blooms dress up a rustic wooden table with a colorful pop.

fruit citrus centerpiece

Photo: A Brit & A Blonde

The rehearsal dinner usually revolves around (unsurprisingly) food, so let that serve as a source of inspiration by incorporating fruit into your centerpieces.

modern sweetheart table

Photo: Kym Ventola Photography

A sweetheart table doesn’t have to be confined to your wedding reception — sans “Mr.” and “Mrs.” signs, it works great as a rehearsal dinner idea, too! This one refuses to go over the top with simple rustic elegance.

restaurant with artwork

Photo: Kevin Chin Photography

Hosting your rehearsal dinner at a restaurant? Let the restaurant’s artwork or décor inspire your color palette. This table setting picks up the greens and golds from the masterpiece above it.

self serve bar

Photo: Michelle Beller Photography

If your rehearsal dinner is outdoors, get creative with your bar area to make a statement — like a self serve station in the form of a mini caravan.

striped tablecloths tablescape

Photo: Jose Villa Photography

Now, this set-up is for one big rehearsal dinner! We love the bistro vibes of striped linens and industrial chairs — they wow while achieving simplicity.

balloon decor

Photo: Trevor Mark Photography

Dress up your interior space with a bubbly garland of sunny balloons to signify that the party is about to begin!