Inspired By This

Boho California Rehearsal Dinner Picnic

When having a destination wedding, your rehearsal dinner is also a great opportunity to welcome your guests and spend time with those who traveled to celebrate with you! That’s exactly what this San Francisco couple had in mind – a casual evening with their closest friends and relatives before the big day. And their boho California rehearsal dinner couldn’t be more fitting. Plus, when Jen from One Fine Day is the bride to-be, you know it’s going to be beautiful!

The bride shares…

We drew inspiration for our wedding rehearsal dinner from the natural beauty of California and fully embraced a laid-back boho vibe for our evening event.

Mark and I met at work about 5 years ago. He’s originally from London, England and was only spending a few weeks every other month in California for work. Our friendship grew slowly, but steadily, during his visits and when he decided to move to San Francisco I helped him pick out his first apartment in the city. We weren’t dating at the time, but there was a part of me that knew he would be in my life for a long time. Fast forward 4 years later, we were engaged and living in the very same apartment I had helped him pick out all those years ago.

I’m from Santa Cruz, CA and a California girl through and through. When Mark and I started planning our wedding, we knew that we wanted our friends and family, especially those traveling from the UK, to experience the beauty of the state we call home. California holds our story, and I couldn’t think of a more fitting theme for our wedding rehearsal than the Golden State itself.

We chose Gardener Ranch in Carmel Valley, CA to host a three day wedding weekend for our guests. It was the perfect venue, with an amazing lush green background for all of our events.

I wanted the rehearsal dinner to be laid back and not overdone. Aside from the specialty rental furniture and gorgeous velvet linens from La Tavola, the decor came from my own home. I raided every last room of our house before our wedding weekend. It was so special to see our friends and family using pieces from our home, and it made the picnic feel relaxed and comfortable.

The California Cocktail Camper was a labor of love and completely renovated by my father as our wedding present. It had been a dream of mine to own a mobile bar service, and when we got engaged I knew it was the perfect time to find a vintage trailer that we could transform into my cocktail camper dreams. When we found the trailer, she wasn’t pretty but she had potential. Together, with my father, we designed and renovated the 1962 Shasta camper into what she is today. Our rehearsal dinner was its debut and I couldn’t be more in love with it.

The Bar Cart Cocktail Co. created a fresh Pimm’s Cup, in honor of our British guests, that was served alongside chilled wine and beer. The ‘Stay Golden’ neon sign hanging in the camper is one of my favorite details. Not only is it a nod to California, but it’s also a portion of an excerpt from the book ‘The Outsiders’ which holds special meaning to my father. We wanted to to honor my father for everything he’s done for us,and this felt like the best way to do that.

For the floral arrangements, I used the same variety of distant drums roses that I knew that my wedding florist was going to use in my bridal bouquet bouquet. I made the small flower arrangements in copper cups I had found on Amazon and added seasonal accents such as blackberries and artichokes to give the arrangements a more rustic and gathered feel.

Our photographer, Kristin, captured the celebration beautifully and we couldn’t be more thrilled with how our rehearsal dinner came together!

Get more Cali-style inspiration with this fun birthday party or this bohemian wedding!