Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Hi everyone!  In my last post DIY Burlap Pumpkin, I told you that I've been making a lot of projects using burlap since the rehearsal dinner we did back in June for our son and daughter-in-law. I know this post is long over due, but I thought I'd share it today as people have been asking about it.  My plan is to feature posts once again in my

Wedding Wednesday Series

Today I'll start with....

 DIY  -  How to have a rehearsal dinner on a limited budget

We gained some experience decorating and hosting dinners on a small budget with our two daughters' weddings. ( If you've been reading this blog for a while, you will remember that they were married within a month of each.)  You can read all about how we did  the weddings on a budget: just click on Wedding Wednesday in the side bar or on the photo DIY Weddings on a budget . The rehearsal dinner for 45 guests seemed relatively small  compared to wedding guests numbering 200 and 300 people.  If you're planning on doing your own rehearsal dinner, you may be comforted to know that even though there is work involved, it's also a lot of fun preparing and decorating for the happy occasion.

Our rehearsal dinner all started because
these two people fell in love (our son and now daughter-in-law) and were getting married 6/21/2013.

photo source - Angela Joy Photography

You may ask - how do I even begin?  Everyone may have their own ideas about that, but I started by selecting a theme for the decorating and picked a menu for the event.

For our son and daughter-in-law's rehearsal dinner, I chose burlap as the thematic base for decorating and incorporated the colors from their wedding which where ivory and a deep purple.

If you're on a limited budget, planning for the event in advance is to your advantage.  You can start watching for items on sale, use coupons, buy in thrift stores and garage sales.   You can also use items you already have in your home or borrow from friends or family members to help keep costs down.  Making items also helps reduce the costs greatly.   I did all of the above to help keep cost to a minimum.

I made all the table runners, a banner, burlap flowers, and a burlap cake.   I borrowed glass bowls for the center pieces.  I used my own chargers and crystal glasses along with some borrowed from my sister.  My brother-in-law was very gracious to provide the table linens for the evening. (If you don't have linens to use or borrow, I found discounted table linens on line to use for our daughters wedding.)

Here are the photos of the rehearsal dinner.  In my next few Wedding Wednesday  posts, I'll share how I made the invitation, burlap table runners, burlap flowers, votive candle holders, banner, bride and groom signs, center pieces and a faux cake.  I'll also include a rundown of the menu.

Let's begin our tour with the food table which was a L shape for easy serving.

A piece of burlap was placed on top of the table linens.  The wooden (garage sale) LOVE sign was added along with a burlap flower and faux hydrangea. The faux flowers were bought at Hobby Lobby's  50 % off sale.  The buns were placed in a wicker basket that was lined with a purple napkin.

At the corner of the L on the tables, I placed faux lilies and floating candles in water arranging them on a napkin with a few votive's and faux diamonds.  The glass vases and votive's were left over from our daughters' weddings, and the lilies, faux diamonds and floating candles were bought at Hobby Lobby 50 % off sale.

Corner of the table decor:

Near the window, I added  fresh flowers purchased @ Wal Mart placed in a vase I already owned along with a lighted cube with the couples photo.  I used a glass cube from my Christmas decor featuring a photo printed on velum paper.  I simply taped it to the cube and added a few Christmas lights to illumine the photo.

On the punch bowl table, I placed one of the burlap table runners I made, along with votive's (left over from our daughter's weddings - but redone with new embellishments.)   At the base of the punch bowl, I used left over tulle from the weddings adding a string of beads I already had in my house.  To add just a little more bling, a few faux diamonds were sprinkled around everything.

I strung a burlap banner from the ceiling bearing the happy couple's names.

For the guests of honor, I made a Bride and Groom signs to hang on their chairs.

On each of the guests dinner table, I place one of my diy burlap table runners.  As a center piece, I used borrowed glass crimp topped bowls from my sister.  In each bowl, I placed scrunched up saran wrap and water along with a faux peony (Peony purchased at Hobby Lobby 50 % off sale).  The scrunched up plastic wrap makes it look like ice or crystals in the water giving the bowls a pretty sparkle or shimmer in candle light.  I then added votive candle holders (left over from the weddings) dressed up with a piece of burlap, ribbon and a rhinestone embellishment.  I also sprinkled faux diamonds on the burlap.  All of this was done for little cost and yet looked very elegant in the candle light.

The dessert table had to look pretty as well.  For this table, I once again ran a burlap runner down the center of the table along with faux diamonds.  Love is Sweet signs were placed in the middle of the table with burlap flowers positioned at the base of each sign.

A faux cake was placed on the far right of the table made from boxes, burlap and lace.

I was so busy with our guests that I didn't get any photos with the desserts on the table, but it looked very pretty with the decorated heart cookies, cheese cake, and cream puffs on purple plates.

Here's the invitation I made and sent out to our guests. (sorry for the scribbled out names done for id safety reasons, but you can see the majority of the invitation.)

A huge thank you to my sisters and their husbands for helping in the kitchen the night of the dinner.  We wouldn't have been able to do it without them!!!  Their help was tremendous, and helped us keep our cost low by doing prep work, serving and cleaning up.

Photo source - Paintless Photography

photo source - Angela Joy Photography

The happy couple - the guests of honor.

Join me the next few weeks on Wedding Wednesday where I'll give you tutorials for items at the Rehearsal Dinner along with a menu done on a budget.


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