The Wedding Journey: The Rehearsal Dinner


wedding journey inspiration

When it came time to planning the Rehearsal Dinner, we went the traditional route.  My daughter’s then-fiancé’s family lives out-of-state, and his mother sadly had passed away several years ago.  However, in spite of that, his dad didn’t hesitate to step up and host the Rehearsal Dinner.

His father came into town a couple of times, and the three of them (my daughter, her then-fiancé, and his dad) researched and visited several possible venues for the Rehearsal Dinner.  They decided on The Signature Room at the 95th, and secured the date with them.  The “Signature Room at the 95th” is known for its fine dining and spectacular views of the city.

Beautiful view of Chicago from the "Signature Room at the 95th" Photo source: The Signature Room at the 95th

Beautiful view of Chicago from the “Signature Room at the 95th”
Photo source: The Signature Room at the 95th


Invitations to the Rehearsal Dinner were mailed out.  The engaged couple decided to keep with their previous “Save the Date” theme of the Chicago skyline invitation.

Chicago skyline wedding invitation


Due to a small ‘perfect storm’ of miscommunication about what the venue would provide & general wedding pandemonium and craziness less than 2 weeks before the Big Day, I offered to do a few things that I thought would add some extra ambience and fun to the evening with minimal time, cost, and effort.  With the Rehearsal Dinner being at such an incredible venue, I wanted the evening to be as nice as possible.

NoteDue to the fact, I had very limited time to actually set up some things for the Rehearsal Dinner and get to the Church Rehearsal on time, I took very few photos.


I figured even simple flowers on each table was better than no flowers at all…I went to the Dollar Tree Store and bought vases for the tables, and purchased several bunches of roses at the grocery store.

I told guests to take the flowers with them at the end of the night to enjoy in their hotel rooms.

IIRehearsal Dinner table ideas


Many guests that would be attending the Rehearsal Dinner had never been to Chicago before, so I thought it would be fun to use Chicago landmarks/famous sights to use as the table names (instead of numbers).

I decided on Chicago landmarks such as the Art Institute, Sears (Willis) Tower, Marshall Field State Street, Millennium Park, Wrigley Field, and Soldier Field.

wedding place cards

I tried to use an unusual or interesting photo from each landmark to make it more fun/difficult for the out-of-towners to figure out which table was theirs.  I used photos like the historic clock for Marshall Fields and the glass viewing ledge for the Sears Tower.  Photos were then glued on to both sides of a white tented card.

fun rehearsal dinner ideas for place cards

I printed up a sign “Where in the Windy City are You Sitting?” for the Place Card Table

fun rehearsal dinner ideas

I purchased floating candles, blue beads (wedding color), and glass cylinder vases from the Dollar Tree Store. 

 I put framed photos of the soon-to-be married couple as adults and kids, & wedding photos of their parents/grandparents on the table also.  I planned on using the photos and my vintage spoons (that I used at my daughter’s bridal shower) at the wedding reception, so I figured I’d use them that night too.

rehearsal dinner ideas for downtown Chicago


Getting involved with some of the details of the evening also gave me the opportunity to have a candy bar which I was not able to do at the wedding reception.

I purchased cellophane candy bags at Hobby Lobby, and had stickers printed up copying the “Eat, Drink, and Then Get Married” from the invitation.

candy bag ideas for a wedding

Printed up a sign for the candy bar

candy bar ideas for a wedding

I kept the candy bar fairly simple…

candy bar ideas for a wedding

The evening turned out perfect – a clear Chicago night with great visibility, and the food was excellent too!

Photo source: The Signature Room at the 95th

Photo source: The Signature Room at the 95th

Next up in A Wedding Journey:  Wedding Day Details

A Wedding Journey blog

Photo source: bing images

A Wedding Journey is dedicated to my lovely daughter.  It was so much fun to be able to share this incredible time in your life,  I hope you always choose to dance.
And forever twirl in your dress!

About inspirationaldetails

Passionate about: Entertaining Tablescapes Decorating, and a love of Books!! I find inspiration in the details of life...
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