A tented rehearsal dinner sets the tone for a sophisticated wedding weekend.
A destination wedding on Lake Superior’s Madeline Island is as challenging as it is picturesque, with every person and item needing to be ferried to the site. For a July 2017 rehearsal dinner, Après Event Decor & Tent Rental of Minnetonka, Minn., installed a 40-by-60-foot clearspan tent that showcased the natural setting and differentiated the rehearsal from the wedding, which featured two sailcloth tents. “We wanted the rehearsal dinner to be a sophisticated summer affair that didn’t trump the wedding but started off the wedding weekend beautifully for the couple and guests,” says planner and designer Emily Jeffress, owner of Lace & Brass Events LLC, Bayfield, Wis.
Because many guests were traveling to the wedding from a significant distance, Jeffress and her clients planned a lively rehearsal dinner for 130. The groom’s family envisioned a hunter-ranch theme to reflect their family’s roots, so Jeffress’s decor plan was centered around buffalo check tablecloths. “They brought a sense of casualness, while also being very unique and perfect for the theme,” she says. “We wanted to incorporate a more natural, woods feel, which is where we brought in moss on the tables, deer antlers and the wood slice chargers. A really fun element that we felt screamed ‘ranch’ to us was the oil lamps.” A pair of antler chandeliers drew the eyes up and pulled the room together.
The floor plan was designed to surround the bride, groom and wedding party with their family and friends. Cocktail hour was set up outside the tent under a tree and featured a Moscow mule bar. Lawn games, a southern-style barbeque with strawberry shortcake and brownies, and a bonfire with s’mores rounded out the celebration. “The weather was perfect; the tent, decor and design came together even better than we could have imagined; and the guest and client feedback was over-joyous and incredibly impressed,” Jeffress says. “It was our most favorite event to date and another reason why we love planning and designing tented weddings and events.”