Real Party: State Fair Rehearsal Dinner with Jose Villa

Today I’m super excited to share this never before seen rehearsal dinner I designed and Jose Villa photographed. The client wanted a fun rehearsal dinner atmosphere and asked for a state fair theme. I ran with it and had Bella Vista make custom red and white cabanas for our food and drink booths. Custom chalkboard signs with custom decals were made, and I worked with Duo Events to create some upscale carnival food.

My favorite food that night was the duck confit corndogs. They were way, way too good! We also served french fries in newspaper cones and tray passed sweet tea. I even bought red and white striped ties for the caterer waiters to tie the whole look together.

For invitations, I worked closely with a paper designer here in Santa Barbara. We used hand set metal type for these letterpress invitations and Betsy Dunlap did the amazing calligraphy. The reply and transportation card were made of one piece that was perforated so guests could tear off their “admit one” ticket for their RSVP reply card.

For escort cards, I filled wood boxes with peanuts and tucked in the cards. Kerstin from Blue Magnolia accented the display with beautiful flowers in shades of red and white.

For the bar, I used Zephyr Tents farmhouse style bar. Behind it, I used Town & Country‘s candle wall to create a backdrop.

For dinner, I  used the farmhouse tables from Zephyr and overlayed them with custom red and white striped seersucker runners. A collection of vintage medicine, milk and soda bottles (that I collected over many months) were mixed with milk glass and held flowers such as red ranunculuses, dahlias, and straw flowers. Petite crab apples were also scattered about to add additional fall texture.

I scattered loose hay throughout the party to create that authentic state fair feel.  For the table numbers I made little flags and Betsy calligraphed the numbers on. They were then placed them in old soda bottles. Michael from The Flashdance spun country and rockabilly classics and totally completed the party vibe. Thank you to all the vendors that made this event a success!