Everything You Need to Know About Rehearsal Dinner Decorations

See inspiring ideas and shop for your rehearsal dinner decor.
shelby wax headshot
Shelby Wax
shelby wax headshot
Shelby Wax
The Knot Contributor
  • Shelby is a contributing writer for The Knot covering all things weddings.
  • Shelby is a freelance writer for publications including Vogue, Over the Moon and Allure. She previously served as Senior Editor at Brides and Editor at Lonny Magazine.
  • Shelby graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from Scripps College.
Updated Nov 08, 2023
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Ahead of their wedding day, most couples will have their closest friends and family join them for a rehearsal dinner to kick off the celebration, toast to the new marriage, and introduce guests to one another before the main event. One of the first things to consider when beginning to plan the rehearsal dinner is what you want your rehearsal dinner decorations to look like. While a rehearsal dinner can be as simple or as grand as you want, there are a few essential components you will need when decorating the event.

First, you need to decide what your rehearsal dinner table decorations will look like. Along with the arrangement of your tables, you should choose what kind of linens, dinnerware, and centerpieces you will have on display to set the tone of the party. You also should consider investing in additional decorations for your event space like welcome signs, bar decor, and anything else you want to include to enhance the event.

Want a breakdown of everything you should know about rehearsal dinner decorations as well as rehearsal dinner ideas to inspire your own party? Read ahead to get a start on planning.

Rehearsal Dinner Decoration Ideas in This Story: What You Need | Decoration Ideas | FAQs

Rehearsal Dinner Decorations: What You Need

If you're hosting a rehearsal dinner and need to bring in the majority of the decor to the space, it's important to start with essentials. Ahead, we share some of the rehearsal dinner decorations you need, as well as chic shoppable options you can easily add to your cart.

Pretty Dinner Party Plates

Bitossi Vintage-Inspired Floral Dinnerware rehearsal dinner decorations
Photo: Food52

Lay the foundation of your rehearsal dinner decorations with your dinnerware. Choose plates with unique patterns to add some style to your spread.

Tablecloths to Treasure

Colorful floral tablecloth rehearsal dinner decor
Photo: Food52

You also should consider whether or not you want to have bare tables or cover them with a decorative linen. A floral pattern is perfect for a spring celebration.

Colorful Cloth Napkins

Colorful cotton cloth napkins rehearsal dinner decor
Photo: Food52

Step up your tablescape by offering guests cloth napkins at your rehearsal dinner. Coordinate the shade with your event's palette to enhance the aesthetic of your event.

Silverware That Makes a Statement

Stainless Steel Black Viggo Silverware
Photo: Target

Don't forget to stock up on silverware for your guests. While you can get classic forks and knives, consider choosing a set in matte black or gilded gold.

Keep It Classic With Your Wine Glasses

Bistro Red Wine Glasses rehearsal dinner decor
Photo: Sur La Table

Whether you're serving wine, mixed drinks, or mocktails, a wine glass is always a helpful vessel to have at your table. Make sure you have one to two glasses prepared for each guest at your rehearsal.

Prepare With Plentiful Placemats

Round Braided Placemats rehearsal dinner decor
Photo: Amazon

Pull your tablescape together with chic, textured placemats. Designs in woven rattan can blend in with plenty of decor styles.

Design a Drink Station

Glass Modern Beverage Dispenser rehearsal dinner decor
Photo: Target

Need a place to make water or other beverages easily accessible? Create a drink station with these classic dispensers.

Fluted Water Pitcher for Perfect Pours

Glass Beverage Pitcher rehearsal dinner decor
Photo: Target

While guests are seated at the tables, allow them to easily serve themselves more water with a pitcher on the table. This classic fluted style will add an elegant touch to your arrangement.

Personalized Napkin Rings to Double as Place Cards

Personalized Napkin Rings rehearsal dinner decor
Photo: rustic raleigh nc

Help your guests find their seating assignments with custom napkin rings. These simple wood styles are a great alternative to classic place cards.

Chic Bud Vases for Your Florals

Glass flower vases rehearsal dinner decor
Photo: Amazon

Need a selection of vessels for your rehearsal dinner florals? Get a set of bud vases to house petite arrangements of blooms.

Decorate With a Dessert Display

Ribbed Large Clear Glass Cake Stand rehearsal dinner decor
Photo: Target

Serving up a cake or other sweet treats at your rehearsal dinner? Create a dessert table with elevated selections of nibbles to enjoy later in the evening.

Personalize the Cocktail Napkins

Personalized cocktail napkins rehearsal dinner decor
Photo: Hello Mello Co

Make cocktail hour extra special with napkins showcasing you and your spouse-to-be's initials. This design from Etsy allows you to customize colors of the napkins as well as the ink.

Create a Warm Welcome With Signage

The Night Before Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Welcome Sign
Photo: Unmeasured Event

Don't forget decor for the rest of the room. Welcome guests with a stylish sign complete with all the special details of the day.

Rehearsal Dinner Decoration Ideas

Want to get some ideas for your rehearsal dinner decorations? Take a peek at some stunning decor moments from real events to inspire your own prewedding event.

Seat Guests at One Long Table

There are plenty of ways to arrange your tables for your rehearsal dinner. While many couples have multiple tables around a space, consider seating guests along one long banquet table to make a dramatic statement.

Customize Your Cocktail Napkins With a Furry Friend

Want to take your customized cocktail napkins to the next level? Incorporate your pet into your rehearsal dinner decorations with a sweet illustration.

Start the Conversation With Your Napkins

Another fun idea? Create ice breakers for rehearsal dinner guests on your cocktail napkins with fun facts or trivia about the nearlyweds.

Offer Welcome Gifts to Guests

If you plan to give your guests welcome bags, the rehearsal dinner is the perfect opportunity to pass them out. Personalize the design of the gifts with a custom sticker or a nod to your wedding's locale.

Set the Tone With a Welcome Sign

Highlight the theme and color palette of your rehearsal dinner decorations from the moment your guests walk in with a welcome sign. This pretty design gave a preview of the lemon-inspired decor at the event.

Step Up the Bar Design

Don't limit your rehearsal dinner decorations to just the tables. If you have a bar at your pre-wedding celebration, make sure to enhance the space with floral arrangements, lighting, and other design-forward additions.

Create a Bar Menu

Another fun rehearsal dinner decor idea is to create a custom bar menu. Inform guests of your specialty cocktails with a sign that mirrors the other paper goods at your celebration.

Arrange a Lounge Area

Give guests a spot to stop and chat during cocktail hour with a cozy lounge area. A few comfortable seats, a table to rest drinks on, and a beautiful floral arrangement are the perfect recipe for a stylish setup.

Game On

Games are also a great idea to break the ice for guests who might not yet know each other. Set up a spot for an easy group activity like horseshoes or giant Jenga along with a sign explaining rules and encouraging guests to have fun.

Place Florals Everywhere

You never can have too many florals at your wedding events. Find different spots to enhance the ambiance with beautiful blooms. At this rehearsal dinner, low arrangements created a special area for the live musicians to perform.

Design the Tables On Palette

The easiest way to make your rehearsal dinner decorations feel cohesive is to set a palette for the event. Tie together the florals and dinnerware in similar shades to create a balanced aesthetic.

Dress Up the Dinnerware

While your rehearsal dinner table decorations don't have to be very elaborate, it's always a nice touch to curate a well-designed tablescape. Pick out pretty plates, unique silverware, and elegant napkins so every guest can enjoy a beautiful ambiance along with their meal.

Decorate the Dessert Table

The dessert table should be a visual treat as well as a tasty one. Include floral arrangements and beautiful serveware to display your post-dinner delights in style.

Decorating for a Rehearsal Dinner: Frequently Asked Questions

While you may already be saving these rehearsal dinner decoration ideas to Pinterest, there may be some lingering questions to address about planning for this prewedding event. We answered some of these pressing inquiries ahead.

Do You Decorate for a Rehearsal Dinner?

It is absolutely a good idea to decorate for a rehearsal dinner. While your venue may already have some built-in decor, it's often a good idea to enhance the space with florals and additional dinnerware as well.

What Kind of Decorations Do You Need for a Rehearsal Dinner?

Rehearsal dinner decorations can vary for every couple but should include a few essentials. You should have plates, silverware, drinking vessels, napkins, and vases for the dinner table along with additional decor like welcome signs.

How Do You Personalize a Rehearsal Dinner?

If you want to personalize a rehearsal dinner, incorporate elements that highlight the couple. Custom cocktail napkins, signs, and other paper goods are a great way to get started.

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