Ideas for a Rehearsal Dinner Centerpiece

    by Krystal Fox

    About the Author

    Krystal Fox is a freelance writer from Oregon. She started writing as a student journalist in 2000. She has a Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science and a minor in business and entrepreneurship from Oregon State University. Fox focuses her writing on exercise, fitness and health topics.



    Centerpieces are the focal point of rehearsal dinner decor. They can be as elaborate or as simple as you would like. Be creative when designing your centerpieces. They can be created in many different ways and incorporated into a variety of themes. The possibilities are endless.

    Choose a Theme

    If your theme is Chinese food, you can fill a glass jar with fortune cookies

    It is easier to determine what you would like for your centerpieces if you choose a theme for your dinner. Some popular themes for rehearsal dinners include featuring foods from a particular country or region (for example, Italian food and decor) or centering on a particular aspect of the upcoming wedding. If you do not want to choose a particular theme, pick a certain style, look or color palette for the party to make the evening eye-pleasing and unified in presentation.

    Hawaiian Luau Centerpieces

    Orchids are beautiful on their own and need little embellishment.

    Thank your wedding party by hosting a tropical Hawaiian luau. Create centerpieces by using real pineapples or coconuts and arranging fresh tropical flowers around them. Beautiful and elegant exotic flowers such as orchids can be centerpieces on their own, with simple fabric or ribbon accents to tie them to the color palette if necessary. Seashells and small amounts of beach sand can be incorporated into the centerpieces to evoke an ocean-side feeling. For example, fill a clear vase with sand, set a few small shells on the top layer of sand and then place a beautiful candle in the vase. Experiment with different colors of sand and candles to create unique color combinations. Any of these lovely centerpieces will be enjoyed during the dinner and can be sent home with wedding party members as an additional thank-you gift.

    Italian Centerpieces

    Keep the overhead lights low enough that candles provide a warm glow throughout the dinner.

    Create centerpieces with Italian ambiance by using food and wine. Set out tea light candles on rustic holders, such as clay tiles, in a ring around the centerpiece. Use weathered wood cutting boards to present loaves of crusty Italian bread, flavored butters, dipping oils, robust cheese wedges and dried fruit. Set this bread platter in the center of the candles. Arrange grapes that are still on the vine around the cutting board for a finishing touch. Your guests will love the artful presentation as well as the inviting atmosphere. They will also appreciate the ready-to-enjoy appetizers you've provided. If you plan to have low lighting to maintain the ambiance, you can insert white taper candles into empty, clean wine bottles and use these candles to add extra light and a warm glow to the tables. These improvised candle holders become more enchanting as the evening progresses and the wax drips down the sides of the candle and the wine bottle. If you have rectangular banquet tables to decorate, make the cutting board centerpiece your main focal point, and set out wine bottles with tapers at the ends of each table to add authentic Italian flair.

    Country Western Centerpieces

    Simple items that evoke a country feeling can be used as centerpieces, like these worn cowboy boots and hat.

    Celebrate the evening with a rustic Country Western rehearsal dinner that features floral arrangements as centerpieces, but keep these arrangements from being too predictable by using old cowboy boots and cowboy hats as vases. If the boots or hats were previously worn, make sure they are clean and don't contain any noticeable odors. Wildflowers are a great choice for a rustic dinner theme. Arrange the flowers in a plastic container filled with floral foam, then set the arrangement in the boot or hat. Place the boot or hat on a red plaid bandanna or scarf to extend the area the centerpiece occupies. Set tiny tin pails that hold individual tea light candles around the centerpiece. Tie small strips of plaid fabric or ribbons to the tin pails for more color or to accent the flowers in the arrangement. If you prefer not to use candles, set tiny clay pots with live cacti around the centerpiece instead.



    Photo Credits

    • sunflower centerpiece image by Paul Retherford from