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Rehearsal Dinner 101

In today’s wedding planning world, rehearsal dinners can be as traditional or non-traditional as you’d like it. One thing never changes: it’s a time for couples and their closest loved ones to enjoy each other’s company, share a meal together and relax before for the wedding day. A rehearsal dinner is typically held after the wedding party rehearses the wedding ceremony and the guest list usually includes the wedding party and their dates, the wedding officiant and his or her spouse, immediate family and, often, out of town guests. It’s a time for the bride and groom’s (or bride and bride’s and groom and groom’s) families to meet and get acquainted before the wedding day.

The rehearsal dinner is also the place you can incorporate design and décor ideas or themes you love but didn’t ultimately include in your wedding day. Budget Tip: Was there something you wanted to do at your wedding but nixed for budget reasons? You might be able to afford it for a smaller number of guests at the rehearsal dinner. Fun photo slideshows and cute childhood photos add to the family feel of the rehearsal dinner. At Wedding on the Bay by Watermark, we like rehearsal dinners that really set themselves apart from the wedding day. Different food, different vibe, totally different type of venue. A creative venue adds to your wedding experience and gives both important events their own personality.

Why we Love Wedding Rehearsals on a Yacht:

Our favorite spin on a rehearsal dinner is a rehearsal dinner on a yacht. A rehearsal dinner should introduce out of town guests to the area in which the wedding is being held. Taking that occasion on the water is an exciting way to welcome guests to the region and show off the area in a different light. A cruise during and after dinner offers built-in entertainment sure to brush off any pre-wedding jitters and allow all guests to relax before the big day.

It’s a chance for couples and their families to show why they love the region by sharing one of the experiences that make it so special. It’s not everywhere that you can even get out on the water on a whim! You can even tie it all together with Chesapeake Bay inspired menu when you choose a yacht for your rehearsal dinner in Maryland. Take it to the bar too and ask the bartender to recommend drinks locals love.

Another thing to love about hosting it on a yacht? It doesn’t require many decorations. The scenery is your décor…one less thing to worry about and spend on!

Quick Rehearsal Dinner Tips:

  • The formality should never exceed the formality of the actual wedding. Indicate a dress code on the invitation to avoid any confusion over what to wear.
  • This is the time to distribute thank you gifts to your bridal party. One less thing to worry about on wedding day!
  • Toasts happen at the rehearsal dinner too! The host of the dinner should give a formal toast and other well-wishers may jump in if they like. With a more intimate group, the toasts can be a little more fun.
  • Traditionally the groom’s family plans and pays for the rehearsal dinner. However, anything outside tradition goes for modern weddings.
  • If you choose not to invite out of town guests to the rehearsal dinner, it’s good etiquette to arrange an event for them at another venue like a cocktail reception at their hotel.
  • Give a small “Wedding Day Kit” to guests that includes a wedding day schedule and a list of important phone numbers guests may need the next day. Bonus points for adding in some fun facts about the bride and groom.

Learn more about yacht weddings in Maryland at Wedding on the Bay by Watermark.

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Photos of a rehearsal dinner on our Lady Sarah by Natalie Franke Photography