Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Get the Look: Tropical Themed Rehearsal Dinner

When starting to think about how we wanted our rehearsal dinner to look and feel, I knew that I wanted it to be very different than our wedding. So while our wedding had more of a soft and neutral color palette when it came to the decor, I also love color, so our rehearsal dinner was the perfect opportunity to go bold and have a little fun.

Enter: Josh & Lu's rehearsal FIESTA! Tropical-inspired decor and colors are some of my favorites right now, so I thought why not do something unexpected and bring some of the tropics to coastal New England. I started by choosing our invitations and creating a Pinterest board to get some inspiration and set the theme (inspiration photos above), and then enlisted some bridesmaids to help me bring Palm Beach to Westport, MA. And once josh had booked a small tent and the food (wood-fired pizzas!) for 60 people, we were left with a tight budget for decor, so were forced to get crafty when bringing these ideas to life. So here's how we made it happen and how to get the look (on a budget)!

First, I always start with an design board. This is super helpful in seeing how everything will look together. Here was mine.
Next, it was time to do some shopping! Here's everything that went into the night.
1. Monstera leaf place-mats. I absolutely love these huge leaves! We ended up getting them from a local florist, but you can also get them from a wholesale florist online or just buy faux ones here.
2. Gold Chargers. One of my best friends and bridesmaids Emily used these at her wedding, so she kindly lent them to us! You can find them online here.
3. Hot Pink Napkins. We were going to just buy paper dinner napkins, but then we found these ones that were a bit nicer and such a steal.
4. Banana Leaf Table Runners. These were so perfect to fill the space in the center of our round tables. We found them here.
5. Spray Painted Pineapples. My bridesmaids helped DIY these for me! They bought 8 pineapples, one for each table, and then sprayed painted the pineapple portion gold, leaving the leaves their natural green. So stinking cute.
6. Pineapple Centerpieces. We had a local florist make one of these bright arrangements for each table, with hollowed out pineapples instead of vases!
7. Hanging Succulents. This was another element that took a little creativity and a lot of spray paint. When browsing Michaels for rehearsal dinner inspiration, we found these cute gold stands (pictured below) and thought that they would be a great way to hang little potted succulents on each table. However, the only hanging vessels we could find were bright blue (which wasn't really working with our gold, pink and green color palette), so we spray painted those gold as well before planting a baby succulent in each one. And I am happy to say that all of those succulents are still alive and well in our apartment!
8. Colorblock Cork Coasters. The DIYing continued with these oversized cork coasters, which I found at Michaels (similar here) and then used painters tape and craft paint to create pink and gold stripes. These were a fun addition to each table and were perfect to rest the water pitchers on!
9. Printed Placecards. I had so much fun creating these on Minted not only because of how pretty the style of calligraphy was, but because I got to customize each card for each person. Instead of using real names for these, we used all our closest family and friends' nicknames, or names that were inside jokes. It made for lots of smiles and some good laughs when everyone was looking for their seats! And the placecards came out so well and were such good quality that we ended up ordering our wedding programs from Minted as well!
10. Vodka Favors. They had these mini Shady Fruit vodkas on sale at Westport's local liquor store, and they not only looked adorable, but also just happened to match our rehearsal dinner color palette perfectly. So, we scooped up around 60 to add to the place setting at each table. And they came in very handy for one of our dinner toasts!
11. Hammock. Nothing screams "tropical" to me like a swaying hammock. And josh and I have been wanting a hammock forever, so we decided that this was the perfect opportunity to take the plunge and buy the one we'd been eyeing, so that we could use it this summer down in Westport before transporting it back to Boston. And I must say, the hammock got a lot of love that night and certainly added to the tropical vibe!
12. Palm Leaf Pillows. Josh and I sewed these from some tropical fabric we found at JoAnns and then added them to the hammock! You can buy similar pillows here.
13. Lawn Flamingos. It's not a party without these guys! The Paquachuck Inn, where we had our rehearsal dinner, is already known for their kooky decor, so we thought why not add to it. :)

14. Flamingo Cocktail Napkins. We found these at Zazzle and are obsessed with them!

15. Standing Frames. To add a personal touch to our rehearsal dinner, we framed some of our favorite engagement photos to put throughout the space, as well as some of these funny "You're the Pineapple of my Eye" prints, which we simply printed from a computer.
16. Faux Leaves. Michaels has the best faux leaf and flower section, so my bridesmaids and I picked out the most tropical ones we could find to spice up the bar at the Inn a bit. They arranged them in some large glass votives and they looked great!
And there you have it! A wonderfully tropical August night in Westport, MA. For the wedding, we left most of the DIYing up to the pros so it was fun essentially pulling this dinner together ourselves at getting creative in the process. And I am a firm believer that the ambiance of a space really sets the mood, so I think the tropical vibes did contribute to how much fun we had with all of our favorite people in the world that night. From the delicious pizzas to the heartfelt speeches to all the hugs, it was such a cozy, special night that really set the the tone for the whole wedding weekend and made us that much more excited for what was to come the next day. Thanks again to josh's parents, my parents, the Gilded Tomato for the delicious pizzas, my bridesmaids for their DIY skills, and all those that schlepped pineapples, banana leaves, and a massive hammock back and forth from the Inn! It was a night that josh (the pineapple of my eye) and I will never forget. xx


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