Enjoy a lovely spring or summer evening by holding the rehearsal dinner outdoors. Place candles everywhere you can in your backyard. Outline the yard or patio area with lawn torches, hang Japanese paper lanterns and white twinkle lights from the trees. Place wind chimes in various places to catch the night breeze and add even more atmosphere to the space.
If insects are a problem in your area treat the yard with a bug bomb about one hour before your guests arrive. You may also want to use citronella candles on low lying tables around the perimeter of the yard. Place these candles in decorative terra cotta flower pots for a more uniform look.
Arrange the yard in to two areas, one for the buffet and the other for the tables where your guests will dine. For simple centerpieces you may like to use terra cotta flower pots with candles inserted but add a glass hurricane lamp globe to protect the flame from any sudden wind gusts.
Soft background music will add one more dimension of elegance but still keep the conversations relaxed. Your guests should feel free to mingle and enjoy each others company.
Weather can be unpredictable. Make arrangements to have a large white canopy available if needed. Canopies can be rented at most party supply houses or wedding rental shops.
The menu is up to you. A real crowd please is steak, baked potatoes and salad. For dessert, a simple fruit salad would be the perfect ending to his outdoor feast.
Remember to have plenty of cold beverages on hand as well as chilled champagne for the many "toasts."