Fall Inspired Rehearsal Dinner & DIY Autumn Leaf Place Cards

Heading into the wedding planning process, I knew only one thing for sure: it had to be a fall wedding. If you're an avid reader of this blog or you know me personally, I am as "basic" as it gets when it comes to pumpkins, leaves, and all things fall. I admit it!

But despite loving all of the traditional fall fare, the decor I planned for the wedding went a different direction from pumpkins, gourds and wheat grass. When I started to think about rehearsal dinner, I decided that would be a great time to incorporate some of those fall elements. (Side note: I always knew it as a rehearsal dinner, but a lot of people in these parts seems to say groom's dinner. Whatever, same thing.)

If you are anything like me, I could have been happy with a variety of wedding colors and decor schemes, but you don't want to have too many things going on at your reception that don't coordinate. Early on, I had a conversation with a friend of mine in the wedding planning industry that said sometimes brides try to make too many visions come together at the reception. Instead, she suggested trying out some of those things at other events along the way, like a shower, bachelorette party, or rehearsal dinner. I thought that was a great piece of advice! 

Lucky for us, the restaurant we chose to have the dinner at already provided linens and table runners. They also had votive holders and provided the candles. They also had coordinating vases. That made it much easier on us in the decor department and kept the additional costs down.

For each table, I simply added some wheat grass into the vases and placed a couple of white pumpkins in-between the candles. A big thank you to one of my wonderful bridesmaids, Emily, and my mom who helped get everything in place with me that morning!


The place cards were the bigger project, but they weren't too much work! After seeing a few ideas for place cards using leaves, including this one from Lark & Linen, I set out to grab leaves from around our yard and the neighbors's yard. The neighbors had a great brown leaf and I didn't think they would mind a little less raking.

What You Need

  • Leaves

  • Spray Paint, Paint, or Copper or Gold Leafing

  • White Marker

Step 1: Gather up some leaves! No leaves available from the yard? You can buy fake leaves on Amazon!

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Step 2: Decide if you want to fully spray paint, paint part of them or use copper or gold foil to give it the dipped looked. I wanted simple at this point in the wedding craft process, so I chose a brown leaf that I liked and didn't want to paint and additional leaves that I decided to just spray paint copper.

I spread a large tarp in the garage and limited the exposure to wind as the leaves are light before you spray them. After about 30 minutes of drying, I turned them over and sprayed the other side. After a couple of hours, they were dry and ready to write on with a marker.


Step 3: Write the names! I used a white chalk marker to write the names in cursive. I opted for fellas on brown leaves and the ladies on copper. I had to do a pretty large batch (38) for the rehearsal dinner, but if you do these for Thanksgiving, it will be a much quicker process! Even with so many, these was done within a few hours and while they were drying, I worked on other wedding preparations.


These were a fun touch to the tables and we got a lot of compliments on them! Stay tuned for future posts featuring more rehearsal dinner details and a template to create a wedding day itinerary for your wedding party!