Rehearsal Dinner Fiesta

29 September 2010

I’ve talked about this before, but I normally won’t do event planning for anyone other than myself.  From time to time, I’ll point close friends or family in the right direction with ideas and leave them to it.  I’ve helped hands on with a few large projects here and there when I am personally invested in the recipient of the event, like the fundraiser for Annabelle, or my cousin John’s wedding. 

So, my first instinct when Ruth {who happens to also be Annabelle’s grandma} called me and asked for some help with her youngest son’s rehearsal dinner, was to say no.   Especially since I knew she was capable of magnificence all on her own… for Jon + Nikki’s rehearsal she hand dipped and painstakingly decorated something like 60 caramel apples, arranged in rows down long tables.  Their wedding was in late fall so they held the rehearsal in a stone lodge in a park right on the river, and every last detail was gorgeous.   I’ve been to a lot of events and that sticks out in my mind as show stopping even 6 years later.   She’s crafty and she’s talented and she was asking if I would make an exception to the rule and help her with a few planning pieces for the rehearsal dinner.  So I did.

If all ‘clients’ were like Ruth, I would do this for a living.

Chris and Niki are going to Mexico for their honeymoon, love margaritas + Mexican food, so Ruth {and Ken too} had the idea of having a Rehearsal Dinner Fiesta to celebrate.  They had decided the location, one of their favorite Mexican restaurants, she just wanted a little help with the details.

We looked at several invitation ideas.  I thought maybe something like this boxed invitation only using margarita salt containers, but that would get expensive to ship.  We looked at simple invitations that we could download free, print and send.  We looked at invitations that would be easy to design, assemble, and to print. 

But nothing seemed to be perfect, until these.  The tutorial and the inspiration were from Denise Mieko Cherry for Once Wed.  Mini picado amor banners that you pull out and the invitation is strung along.  Gorgeous.  The complete tutorial is on the Once Wed link, I encourage you to go over there for the info.   Here is a peek at our version:


They wanted lots of color, so we put them in bright envelopes and did a quick envelope wrap with Day of the Dead  sugar skull images behind the address.



The restaurant took care of most of the decor with brightly colored plates and sombreros and awesome brightly painted barstools.  Ruth added these fun parasol topiaries inspired by those found at Hostess Blog.  They were weighted down with pinto beans and she also made a few mini topiaries as well as the large.  She wanted to bring in more color with the bright yellow tablecloths and contrasting bright red napkins.

chris  niki rehearsal 010 chris  niki rehearsal 020

And the favors!  This is my favorite part.  Ruth created layers of Mexican cocoa in handled mason jars.  They are beautiful and will be awesome for the cooler weather that is settling in here in Ohio.  She went down to the Mexican market to get bricks of authentic chocolate and did all the chocolate shaving for these.  Some brightly colored labels with the directions printed and a spoon attached with raffia tied everything together.

As if the Mexican cocoa wasn’t enough.  They also had a baker make two sugar cookies for each guest, a square with Chris + Niki and wedding date, plus a round with a margarita glass.

chris  niki rehearsal 015 chris  niki rehearsal 013

chris  niki rehearsal 021

And finally, the menu.  Ruth worked out the choices with the restaurant which were served buffet style.  I created these menus, backed with all of the bright colors we used for the decor and had one at each place.  They also {of course!} margaritas and a selection of Mexican beers.

chris  niki rehearsal 023

Ruth and Ken, you did an amazing job.  You can be on my {very short} client list whenever you’d like.  It was an absolute joy working with you both.

Chris and Niki, I am so happy to have helped just a tiny bit with the day before your special day.  You throw one hell of a party and I hope to remain on the guest list for many many years to come.  Congratulations!

niki   chris' wedding 048


MommyLisa said...

I really love love love the invitation.

belles♥mom said...

You guys did SUCH an amazing job! It was such a wonderful party and it all came together so beautifully. We all know it wouldn't have been quite the same if you had not agreed to help! PS the restaurant owner even commented on how amazing everything looked, I think they were quite impressed as well! Great job!

Missy said...

How Fun!!! Love all of these ideas!
Beautiful couple!

Just A Normal Mom said...

Wow! Beautiful, fun, meaningful - in every detail! Awesome.


MollyinMinn said...

That is such a great idea! And so well executed (cause you know if it weren't suddenly the idea wouldn't have looked as great ;)

Love it!

Alexis said...

Muy bien!! those are mucho awesome...great party.

Tracy said...

Everything turned out wonderfully.

@JessEsco said...

I want all of that. STAT.

AnnMarie said...

Please oh Please oh Please oh Please if I EVER get married someday be my awesomeness boss of creativity!!!

Courtney Dirks said...

Michelle - I dropped by because I've been having a ROUGH day and you always make me smile! Too funny because I came across this post and it hit with such great timing. My best friend is getting married this Saturday and her rehearsal dinner Friday night is at a Mexican restaurant. I freakin' love the parasol topiaries and if I have time before then I might have to surprise the bride to be with some helpful decorations (not her thing at all)! I also absolutely love Mexican hot chocolate more than life, so that was a super cute touch, I only wish my BF liked chocolate or I'd have to "borrow" that idea too... Thanks for cheering me up as usual!

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