How to Decorate a Restaurant for a Rehearsal Dinner

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Compensate for the tension and chaos associated with preparations for a wedding by staging a relaxing rehearsal dinner that allows couples and their friends and families to socialize the night before the wedding. Rehearsal dinners held at restaurants can be formal, semiformal or casual affairs. Decorate the restaurant in a style that conveys the mood and themes of the festivities to come.

Place a flower arrangement in the center of each table in the restaurant. You can match the flower choice with the type of restaurant where the dinner is taking place. For example, if it's a formal dinner at a high-end restaurant, select gardenias, lilies and orchids. For semiformal and casual dinners, choose a more classic bouquet as a table decoration.

Set up photos of the prospective bride and groom on each table. These should be a combination of fun, funny and romantic pictures that cover a wide range of years. Select photos from childhood, adolescence and pictures of the couple on vacation or relaxing together. Set up a tripod easel to hold a 10-by-16-inch photo of the couple attached to a cork board. Allows guests to write comments on colored paper and attach to the cork board.

Use tablecloths and table runners that match the color scheme of your wedding. For example, if your wedding colors are gold and blue, use a combination of these colors on the restaurant tables. This approach adds a decorative touch to the decor, but doesn't have to be expensive.

Make specialized menus that feature the name of the bride and groom and their wedding date. Place one at every table setting. Include a small box that contains a small thank-you gift, such as wrapped candy. Tie the box with a ribbon; attach a small tag with a thank-you message for each guest.

Arrange candles at each table to soften the mood. Use candles inside glass vases and cylinders wrapped with decorative paper. Set a candle on a ring or on a clear glass plate for a different candlelight arrangement.