A Wedding Story (from a Groom’s Mother): The Rehearsal Dinner

elegant rehearsal dinner ideas

It’s the eve of their Wedding Day, and the Rehearsal Dinner.


The wedding was held in Atlanta.  Our side of the wedding guest list all resided out-of-state.  About half or so of the bride-to-be’s guest list also lived outside of Georgia.

I told the bride-to-be and her mother that my husband and I would be happy to invite not only our side to the Rehearsal Dinner (in addition to the Bridal Party, of course), but anyone they wished to include from their guest list.  The bride’s mother said that was quite generous, but really not necessary.  We spoke at a later date again about it, and she said, go ahead and “knock your socks off” if that’s what we wanted to do.  I was absolutely thrilled at the opportunity to throw, if you will, a mini pre-wedding reception complete with a sit-down dinner and a band!

Since the Wedding Reception was really the Big Event (besides the ceremony), I waited until the bride-to-be and her mother made their decision about “a style” for the reception and a color palette, so the Rehearsal Dinner would be different.

They chose white and champagne colors along with various sizes & shapes of tables.  It was to be a Black Tie Event.

I chose all long rectangular tables with pink and white as my colors.  I was striving for a romantic look – beautiful flowers and lots of flickering candles.

This ended up to be My Inspiration Picture, and  Starting Point

Photo copied from DeJuan Stroud’s book, “Designing Life’s Celebrations”

Since I lived out-of-state, it made my planning and designing details a bit more difficult.  After interviewing a couple of event planners in the Atlanta area, I hired Tony Brewer & Company to work with.  More about Tony Brewer later…


{All photos credited to PICTURE THIS! Photography}


Stunning Floral Arrangements in Hallway

{All florals designed by Tony Brewer & Company}

wedding reception details flowers

gorgeous wedding floral arrangements

Entrance into Cocktail Hour

elegant wedding reception decor


Place Card Table

Each guest not only had an assigned table, but a specific seat at that table.  We decided to intermingle guests from both sides at each table.  So the same guests would not be seating together for both nights in a row.  My husband and I sat next to our future-in-laws doing the same thing as the guests, and also representing the beginning of the unification of our two families.

Place Card ideas

gorgeous place card floral

Passed Appetizers

Appetizers included Mini Beef Wellingtons, Truffle Macraroni & Cheese Bites, Tandoori Spiced Chicken Satay, Mini Hot Dogs, Short Rib Empanadas, Tuna Poke, and the two pictured below.

Hamachi Crudo with Jalapeño Emulsion, Concha, & Pickled Radish

Hamachi Crudo appetizer

Crisp Calamari, Pepperoncini, & Lemon Aioli

Crisy Calamari with pepperoncini and lemon aioli appetizer



After tweaking a trial run set-up of the dinner tables’ flowers and décor during one of my meetings with TB, they put my vision into reality!!

I fell in love with these Sterling Silver Candelabras at a walk through at their décor warehouse.

romantic wedding reception

Beautiful Flowers Too!

wedding flower inspiration romantic

Just as I requested, individual floral arrangements on the tables were tied up so family and friends could take a floral back to their hotel rooms or bring home to further enjoy.

gorgeous wedding florals

Bride & Groom-To-Be Chairs

bride & groom chair florals


During my trial “Table Set-Up, TB also set up a bar that they thought complemented my décor.  It was not only totally unexpected, but it blew me away.  I was immediately smitten by that bar.

One of our theme drinks (Georgia Peach Martini)  that we used at the Couples Shower made its reappearance at the Rehearsal Dinner.


beautiful bar ideas for wedding


Table Numbers

wedding table numbers ideas

Place Settings

wedding table decor ideas


beautiful wedding menu ideas


Guest Favors

wedding favor ideas

Kids’ Goodies

The wedding guest list was adults only.  The only exception was the bride-to-be’s nieces and nephews.  I made up a bag of edible goodies for each of them and some activity type books in case they got bored at the Rehearsal Dinner – they did not.  (They love to dance!!!)  The girls were a junior bridesmaid and a flower girl in the wedding party.

wedding details ideas


I wanted a different type band/musicians than the band selected for the wedding reception.  I was searching for a jazz band, and happened to come across Gentlemen of Swing.  This swing band also had the versatility of “kicking up” the music  (oldies, classics, rock, etc.) as the evening progressed.  I was also able to give Chris Corso (band leader and my contact) a request song list ahead of time which they accommodated.

Gentlemen of Swing Band Atlanta


The venue offered us a menu tasting which the bride & groom-to-be, my husband, and I participated in.  I gave the venue ahead of time some food item ideas that we would be interested in tasting.  We’re all big seafood lovers.  The executive chef had recently been relocated from the islands and was excited to prepare some new seafood dishes.  Our food selections were tweaked after the tasting based on our feedback and specific requests for the Rehearsal Dinner.

All the food at the Rehearsal Dinner including appetizers was delicious!

Heirloom Tomato & Caramelized Apples Caprese Salad

We loved this unusual preparation of a caprese salad.

unusual idea for a caprese salad

Blackened Florida Grouper, Southern Style “Dirty” Risotto with Smoked Turkey, and Asparagus Bundle & Blistered Tomato

Blackened Grouper / Dirty Risotto with Smoked Turkey

Roasted Organic Chicken, Boursin Cheese Mashed Potato, Mushroom Croustillant, and Asparagus Bundle & Blistered Tomato

roast chicken with boursin cheese mashed potato


Our family are lifelong, die-hard Chicago Cubs fans.  Even though my son has lived in two other states during his adult life before Georgia (including living in St. Louis – home to our biggest rivals, the Cardinals), he has remained a loyal Cubs fan.  So it was an easy decision for him to choose a Cubs/Wrigley Field theme for the Groom’s Cake.

The groom-to-be had Some Touching Words written on the cake for his future wife!

Chicago Cubs / Wrigley Field grooms cake

Southern Style Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

{Cubs Colors!}

Red Velvet Cake

Ballpark Details

The Cubs/Baseball Park Theme in Other Details…

Mini Ballpark Franks Served as One of the Passed Appetizers

You may think of this as a sub-average category of a passed appetizer.  Ah, but you would be incorrect – they were absolutely scrumptious.  (I handmade all the Cubs Flag picks.)

baseball theme Rehearsal Dinner details inspiration

Bathroom Treats

Both the men’s and women’s restrooms had baskets of ballpark-themed treats, and stocked with pink monogrammed guest towels.

baseball theme Rehearsal Dinner



Tony Brewer & Company

My daughter and I were in TB & Company’s office one summer afternoon waiting to meet with (& interview) for the first time my contact there, Janet Dockery (Tony’s “Right Hand Design Assistant”).  A couple of months prior to this, it had only been by email or phone.  All of a sudden a back door of their office flies open, and a man rolls out an exquisite tea cart loaded up with various teas and goodies.  It was Tony Brewer himself.  Janet followed shortly.  Tony apologized that he wasn’t able to stay for our meeting, but he had a previously scheduled doctor’s appointment.  He also relayed we’d be in good hands with Janet.  He was correct!

Tony Brewer & Company puts on many major, grand, & very expensive events.  The Rehearsal Dinner I was planning was nothing even close to the many other extravagant affairs they work on.

However, never once did I get the feeling they ignored, nor short-changed the “importance” of my event.  They always paid attention to my details, gave me as much time as I needed whether in person or by phone, and were always happy to accommodate any changes I wanted to make.  I found Tony himself to be nothing short of a charming, a true southern gentleman, very talented, and always patient.  Tony, Janet, and the rest of their staff, in my opinion, did a magnificent job and I truly enjoyed working with each of them.

PICTURE THIS! Photography

The bride-to-be’s family photography package included taking photos at the Rehearsal Dinner (which I so appreciated!).  Greg (of the husband and wife team) was in charge of taking photos at the RD.  He contacted me a good month or so before the RD to chat about all the details I wanted to photograph.  Greg was a good listener.

Greg was delightful to work with, and also quite funny.  I felt he not only captured all the details I wanted photos of, but all the fun of the evening too.

Gentlemen of Swing

Also Highly Recommended


This Post is Dedicated to Valette!!! (HB:)

Next up in a Wedding Journey:  The Wedding Reception

a wedding journey highlights

Photo credit:



About inspirationaldetails

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