A {Vibrant} Rehearsal Dinner Fiesta

Back in May, I was honored to stand up in a dear friend’s Scottsdale, Arizona wedding. Jessica and Dave tied the knot in the most gorgeous of ways and on the night before their wedding hosted one blast of a Rehearsal Dinner Fiesta in her family’s backyard. The Mexican-style theme evolved from the fact that Cinco de Mayo was the night before, so it was a natural fit. I’m smitten with the mix of gorgeous gerbera daisies and potted cactus plants as centerpieces along with the vibrant pinks, oranges and yellows. The multi-color striped squares placed periodically along the tables gave the scene a huge splash of color that was just stunning. Jessica and her mom, Sally designed one truly beautiful soiree that ended up being mucho fun for all of the guests (especially the margerita machine – delicioso!)

Details, as told by Jessica:

{INSPIRATION} The theme of the rehearsal dinner was a backyard “Fiesta” party. It was a natural choice in Arizona especially because Cinco-de-Mayo was only the night before. I really wanted the guests to have a true “Arizona” experience during their trip.

{DECOR} I chose bright orange and bright pinks for the dominant colors with bright yellow and lime green accents – bright desert sun colors is what I was going for with the fiesta vibe. We alternated the orange and pink table linens across the square dinner tables and used bright yellow linens to line the serving tables and used yellow linens for all of the dinner napkins. We used a bright stripe fabric square on each table to anchor the centerpieces and the pink and orange chip bowls and salsa dishes on each table. The centerpieces were trios of potted cactus plants, succulents & aloe vera plants with bright colored gerbera daisies in planters and galvanized buckets. We used chalk to stencil the table numbers onto the succulent planter on each table. The escort flag display, menu and invitations all contributed to the theme as well.

{LIGHTING} Guests entered the dinner through the side gate with paper-bag lanterns lining the path into the yard. We also lined the grass on each side of the pool with the lanterns to continue the lighting ambiance. We strung Italian lights in the surrounding trees and along the overhanging patio on the house. We also up lit all of the palm trees and plants around the yard. We framed the dining space with lit up trees and overhead lights. Each dinner table had several tea lights as well.

{INVITATION & PAPER GOODS} I designed the invitation myself using the graphic element from the “Fiesta” cocktail napkins we picked out for the party to mirror on the invite. I printed it across an orange color band in yellow, pink and lime and printed them again in orange and pink on the outside envelope flap. In lieu of individual escort cards, we created alternating orange and pink vertical flags for each table number and used white calligraphy to list each guest’s name at the corresponding table. We used yellow ribbon to hang the Mexican style name flags in 3 rows on the stand and decorated them with orange tissue paper pompoms.

{MENU} For the cocktail hour we served guacamole and salsa from Baja Fresh with homemade tortilla chips from the Mexican grocery store, Food City. We also used the homemade tortillas from Food City for the dinner buffet. For dinner we had a buffet of shredded chicken, shredded pork, chicken enchilada casserole and my favorite bean dip from Rubios Mexican Grill. Each table was preset with its own basket of chips and salsa similar to a traditional Mexican restaurant and guests served themselves along the buffet line. We served margaritas in a variety of brightly colored glasses and filled galvanized buckets with Mexican varieties of beer on ice for guests to help themselves. For dessert, we served plates of mini desserts from Honeymoon Sweets. We had mini key lime pies and a variety of others.

Photography/Melissa Jill Photography, Videography/My Wedding Film, Invitations, Party Styling & Calligraphy/MJ Paperie & Party Design, Flowers & Flower Pots/Ikea, Rental Equipment (lighting, linens, tableware, tables, chairs, drapery)/BBJ Linen, Catering/Friend-Lee Ann Holzmeister, Food/Someburros, Rubios, Baja Fresh, & Food City, Desserts/Honeymoon Sweets


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  1. Nicole says:

    Awww so sweet & lovely… so simple & charming. Love the low key Rehearsal Dinner occasion.

  2. Rachel says:

    Love this idea…and great decorating!! Would you mind telling me where you got the fabric squares in the middle of the tables?

  3. shoes says:

    When he has exhausted meant for the time the nourishment to subsist pinched on or after some one human being otherwise thing, that object is withdrawn on or after his observation, and though motionless in his instantaneous area, he does not suppose its presence

  4. marilyn says:

    love the fabric used for the fiesta rehearsal. Where did you find it?

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