Wedding Rehearsal Dinner}Literary Love Theme

Today I am excited to share with you the Family Dinner that my husband and I hosted in Arizona last weekend for our son’s wedding. Traditionally it is called a Rehearsal Dinner but since Clark and Jessica were getting married in the LDS Mesa Temple there is no rehearsal so it is a family dinner. (If you would like more information on LDS Temples please go here.)  It is an opportunity for the two families to come today and enjoy getting to know each other a bit before the big day.

Planning this party long distance was a bit of a challenge but everything worked out great and it was a wonderful evening.

I decided on a Literary Love Theme because Jessica was a literature major and both she and Clark love to read.

Several months ago I had found this fun piece of Word Art at 13 Pumpkins on Etsy and had given it to them as an engagement present.

It became the inspiration point for the rest of the evening.  I also used the quote on the invite for the family dinner as well as some of the fun engagement pictures they had taken in the law school library by wonderful photographer Tara B.

Fortunately for me we were flying Southwest so we could each take two suitcases for free.  I loaded up our carryons and suitcases with all the decorations for the dinner.  Just a bit of helpful information – security does not like it when you  have a glue gun in your carry on!  You have been warned.

I used books (which I got from my niece who lives in Mesa) to place on each table along with a childhood photo of the bride and the groom.  I also found a bunch of different quotes about love from literature that I printed on the pages of an old vintage copy of Jane Eyre that I found in the Goodwill bins for $2.00.  I just tore the pages out of the book and ran them through my printer.  All my frames also came from Goodwill and they got a coat or two of black spray paint.

I also made paper rosettes out of the pages from Jane Eyre to use as decoration.

I also used some of the pages to cover pint canning jars which I filled with red roses.  I put some of the paper rosettes on bamboo skewers and they went in with the roses.

My friend Cherilyn helped me sew up some burlap table runners which I brought from home for each of the tables too.  For a party favor and a remembrance of the evening for each family I created wallet size copies of all the literary love quotes and had them printed off.  I put them in a little muslin bag that I had stamped with the bride and grooms name as well as another love quote from Mr. Darcy.  I had the stamp custom made at StampOutOnline

The dinner was held at the Arcadia Room at LGO (La Grand Orange.)  The restaurant came highly recommended and they did a great job.  They were so easy to work with and the food was delicious.  We had gourmet pizza and delicious salads.  For dessert there was gelato.   Everyone loved the food and they were so happy to accomodate our special dietary needs!

After dinner we had a family program that was fun and entertaining.  The siblings made a special presentation to their new sibling.  Giving them some momento that they thought might come in handy.

Logan presented Jessica with her own giant Slurpee mug since that is one of Clark’s favorite things.  Cali gave her a bedazzled meat cleaver which was suppose to be a gavel and Tessa gave her a box with a padlock on it for her to store away any photos or other things she doesn’t want others to see (long story!)  It was great and I think the bride and groom loved it.

There was a dance number by Jessica’s siblings and a musical song by my kids.  Cali rewrote the words to “Favorite Things” so that the lyrics included many of Clark’s Favorite Things – so funny!!

The parents also had an opportunity to share a few thoughts and of course a few tears!  As part of my presentation I gave the bride and groom these fun little signs…

There are just certain times when a girl needs to be right!

I also created a display table to carry on the literary theme.

I used more of those pages from Jane Eyre along with some burlap to make a banner for the front of the table.

This table also had a burlap table runner along with a table runner I had made out of the pages of Jane Eyre and then punched the edges to give it a lacy look.

I used some of their engagement photos, more paper rosettes and I covered the letter J and C in burlap. I also created a fun little poster with the names of lots of famous literary love couples.

I also put together another piece of Word Art for the occasion using my Cricut and some paint.

Well of Words also gifted me this pretty sign for Clark and Jessica to remember their special day by.  Be sure and check out their website and all the fun things they do.  Lots of great gift ideas.

All in and all it was pretty much a perfect evening.  It was a wonderful way to start of a perfect weekend!  But most of all it was a wonderful way to celebrate these two people who we love and are so glad are part of our family!

Leigh Anne
Hi – I’m Leigh Anne! I have been a homebased mom for 30 years since my first baby boy was born! I love working with women and helping to inspire them to achieve their goals and dreams while still maintaining motherhood and family as their number one priority. I blog about everything I enjoy – creating treats and meals in my kitchen, spending time in my garden, entertaining and party planning, reading, self improvement and tips and ideas on style and fashion.
Leigh Anne
Leigh Anne

Latest posts by Leigh Anne (see all)


  1. says

    Wow. You are totally awesome. That is the greatest setup ever. I totally love it and cannot believe you did all that while traveling – totally impressed!

    • Angela Merz says

      Wow, Leigh Anne! You & your family helped create a rehearsal dinner Clark & Jessica will never forget, nor anyone else who attended. Your creative talent is above & beyond, but the love you have for your son & now daughter-in-law shines through in all that you did. Congrats!

  2. says

    Oh my heck! How cute!!! Wow. I love it. And you did it all while traveling! You are so creative and talented. (I might be slightly jealous.)

  3. says

    you are amazing. I don’t know where you get all your energy and ideas. What a memory you made, but if I were the in-laws I’d be feeling a little “keep up with the Wilkes'” right now:) you’re a hard act to follow! love it!

  4. Jessica says

    I love this!!! My husband and I are both readers, maybe we should get married again so that I can copy this theme =)! My favorite is the quotation from Wuthering Heights ~ whatever our souls are made of his and mine are the same. You did an amazing job!!!

  5. Anne Vingelen says

    Oh my!! Once again, INCREDIBLE! Leigh Anne, your talents continue to amaze me! How lucky for Jessica to be a part of such a wonderful family! Can’t wait for Paula to see this! You are truly, without a doubt, the most talented, creative, thoughtful human being!

  6. Vi Troesh says

    Thank you so much for sharing! Our son is getting married Sep 29 & I’ve been trying to figure out what to do for the rehearsal dinner. You have given me a ton of ideas! You are so creative & talented & we are very fortunate you share with us. Thanks so much!!

  7. Marnie says

    I LOVED everything about this!! I’m so sad all my kids are married.. I would totally copy! You did a marvelous job!

  8. says

    You are amazing, Leigh Anne! Seriously, I want you to plan my life and all future events for me. You are incredible and the family dinner looks amazing. What a fun family you have!

  9. Cindy says

    Leigh Anne, I was so excited when I opened up your blog today. I am planning a rehearsal dinner for my son and future daughter for September 7th. I actually came to your site to see if you had any favor bags in your etsy shop. When I saw all of your beautiful ideas I was blown away. I am renting burlap runners and mason jars. I was not sure what flower to put in them, but I think the roses look beautiful. Thank you for the sources and wonderful ideas! :) This just made my day, seriously! :) Thank you!

  10. Cheryl S. says

    Oh Leigh Anne you always do such a beautiful job but this time you out did even yourself! Amazing…!

    Cheryl S.

  11. Laurie says

    Amazing! Inspiring! Memorable! Creative! Unique! Impressive! Leigh Anne… Wow! What a party!! I hope you’re prepared for a lot of people wanting to hire you for their parties. Thank you SO much for sharing all the photos and explaining the details.

  12. Barbara says

    Ditto to what everyone else has posted. You are hands down…PHENOMENAL! What a fantastic theme, and your magic touch made everything come together perfectly. Your daughter-in-law married into a wonderful, fun-loving, playful family.

    I have loved reading your blog over the years, and it has truly inspired me to jump back into hosting parties, decorating, cooking, etc. There was a lengthy period of time when those tasks held no joy for me but, thanks to you, I have been re-inspired and re-energized. I have not yet reached your creative caliber, but I’m striving to get there! I look forward to reading many more of your posts =)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *