My brother, Kenny, and sister-in-law, Katelyn, got married back in March. Since I love to plan parties I told my mother I would take care of organizing the rehearsal dinner. I wanted to do a themed party that reflected the things that they both love, so I decided to do a Wedding Tailgate Party. They wanted to have it at Katelyn’s parent’s house that is on a nice lake with a beautiful back yard, which made it even easier for me.
Even though I called it a Wedding Tailgate Party, I didn’t want it to be a t-shirt and shorts type event. I chose to incorporate the colors of their favorite college football teams (Kenny is a University of Miami fan and Katelyn is a Florida State University fan) and selected appetizers and desserts that were easy to eat with your hands. My brother wanted to have barbeque from his favorite place in town, Jazzy’s BBQ. Their food is delicious and since I didn’t have to cook the main course it really helped me focus on the other parts of the meal.
For the appetizers I made a BLT Bruschetta, Baked Goat Cheese with Crackers, and just a simple tray of veggies with dip and hummus. I didn’t want to make too many appetizers as our dinner was very heavy food of Chicken, Sausage, Pulled Pork, Mac and Cheese, and Baked Beans. Â For dessert I must admit I went a little over board but I love to bake. We had Â Peanut Butter Cheesecake with a Brownie Crust, Thin Mint Truffles and then shot glass desserts of Strawberry Shortcake, Banana Pudding and Key Lime Pie.
The decorations were simple flower arrangements of Gerber daisies in the team colors arranged in canning jars decorated with ribbon. Also each table had floating candles in canning jars that had river rocks at the bottom, which were sitting on squares scrapbook paper which coordinated with the team colors. I also rolled the plastic ware in white napkins and tied them with the coordinating colored ribbons. In our family no table is completely set unless there is a bottle of Rex’s Hot Pepper Sauce (my grandfather’s hot sauce) on the table. Kenny and Katelyn were using a special wedding edition as favors so we had those on the table as well.
I wanted to make a display to really tie the whole theme together so I decided to paint a canvas to look like a football score board. I incorporated the wedding date into the time and the score and painted it with the team colors of UM and FSU. I also got some cute yellow frames at Target and put some of their engagement pictures (taken by Lauren Pembo Photography)in them.
The invitations were one of my favorite things about this party. I made them in MS Publisher and then printed them on card stock and cut them out. They were about 9″ long and 3 1/2″ wide, so that they would fit nicely in a letter sized envelope. I bought some nice linen style envelopes on sale at Target and hand addressed them. Â Since their wedding party was large the rehearsal dinner had to accommodate about 40 people (including close out-of-town relatives).
This has been one of my favorite parties I have done in the recent past and the occasion was very special to me of course. I hope you can use some of these ideas. Please feel free to comment and ask questions. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . (All photos were taken by my husband Jason)