How to Decorate an Outdoor Pavilion for a Rehearsal Dinner


The simple beauty and elegance of an outdoor pavilion is suitable for the relaxed atmosphere of a wedding rehearsal dinner. The pavilion will allow a clear view of the moon and stars, along with any other natural elements such as water or greenery. The decor for an outdoor pavilion for the rehearsal dinner should focus on simplicity. The purpose of the dinner is to encourage mingling for the couple and their guests, so the atmosphere should be casual. Color and soft lights will accent the event nicely, while it is not necessary to keep the wedding colors.

Things You'll Need

  • Candles and holders
  • Citronella candles with decorative holders
  • Hanging paper lanterns
  • String lights
  • Tablecloths
  • Wind chimes
  • White canopy tent
  • Soft background music
  • Place citronella candles in decorative holders around the perimeter of the pavilion to prevent any bugs from entering the party. Place additional candles on all other steady, flat surfaces as the candlelight will enhance the beauty of the outdoor pavilion. The placement does not have to be as organized as it will be for the wedding as the casual atmosphere does not warrant it.

  • Hang lit paper lanterns from the trees around the pavilion and from the roof if there is one. String up additional lights around the trees and columns supporting the pavilion. The soft light from these sources will give the entire party an elegant look and feel.

  • Lay out tablecloths on each guest table. Place a small grouping or a single pillar candle on each table for a centerpiece as simplicity is key for this type of event. Consider having the candles in hurricane holders to prevent sudden wind gusts from extinguishing the flames.

  • Hang wind chimes to sound softly in the light winds that pass through the pavilion. They will add a romantic sense of atmosphere. Play soft music in the background as well to enhance the mood. Maintain the music at a low volume to encourage conversation and mingling.

  • Rent a white canopy tent in case of inclement weather. Have it stored on hand in case it is necessary.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consider using LED string lights to avoid them overheating for a longer event.
  • Consider having a buffet to enhance the casual atmosphere of the decor.
  • Check the candles constantly to ensure they are safely burning and not providing any fire hazards.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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