Monday, July 12, 2010

Why does anyone do a rehearsal *dinner*?

In January, Mark's parents came to visit and we talked through the rehearsal.  Since I was a wee bit controlling about the wedding menu*, I was determined to bend over backwards to do absolutely everything that I could to back awaaaaay from the rehearsal dinner and let Mark's mom/parents throw the party they wanted to throw.  I thought through the absolute minimum people that I wanted to invite, told her that was how many seats we needed, and made a few suggestions of locations, both in Baltimore city and in Owings Mills.

Our options in Owings Mills were limited - we could do Linwoods, and we could do Ruth's Chris Steak House, and that was pretty much it.  Ruth's Chris is pretty expensive, and Linwoods was nice but we were having trouble getting menus and price quotes.  When we looked at the city, we ran into an issue with transportation - we wanted people to be able to drink if they wanted to at dinner, but Owings Mills is a half an hour drive away.  We also wanted to have a nice rehearsal dinner, but people would probably go into Baltimore for the day and wouldn't want to wear their dinner clothes around to sightsee.

Then the game changed.  I contacted our site coordinator to set up our rehearsal, and she let me know that we couldn't rehearse until late afternoon on Saturday - like, after 4pm.  Since we also needed to do set-up at the tent that day, I knew we needed a few hours at the venue.  Then, the Best Idea Ever hit me.  A rehearsal lunch.  Or Luncheon, if we were going to be fancy about it.

The Rehearsal Lunch was perfect for a number of reasons:
1.) It meant that the lunch would be a bit more casual, and people could comfortably wear their lunch clothes around sightseeing afterwards without looking or feeling out of place.
2.) It meant that the price would drop at some of the nicer places around the harbor and become feasible.
3.) It meant that we could book places that might have ordinarily have had a very high minimum.
4.) It meant that people would be less likely to drink, and if they did drink a lot, they could go sober up at the aquarium and drive home many hours later.
5.) It meant that we didn't have to feel crunched for time at the rehearsal, rushing to get to the dinner, and then rushing through dinner to get to our Bar Night.

At this point, Mark and I suggested an old Baltimore favorite as a possible rehearsal lunch location - the Rusty Scupper.  The Rusty Scupper is our go-to location with my parents for a delicious, somewhat fancy but not over-the-top, very Baltimore, dinner.
One of my favorite things about the Rusty Scupper is it is right near Federal Hill where we got engaged.

Since we were doing a late lunch, the catering people at the Rusty Scupper were more than happy to work with us on the menu and the minimums.  I don't think they would have been as able to be flexible with dinner.
The rehearsal lunch also frees us up at dinner, which, the more I think about it, the more I love.  I kind of just want to order a pizza or something to Irvine to eat while we set up paper lanterns and get the beer into the fridge.  Or we'll all go to Chipotle afterwards, just the wedding party.

The other thing it frees our parents up to do is catch up later that night with people not invited to the rehearsal.  I dropped all family members except my mother's cousins off the list for the rehearsal, so this way my Dad can see his siblings and, if my grandmother is able to make it, maybe have dinner with her.  Mark's parents have several friends who will be at the wedding but are not coming to the rehearsal, and this gives them the opportunity to spend some time with them.

Are you doing a rehearsal lunch or a dinner?

*What? I like food.


  1. I LOVE Rusty Scupper!

    We're not having a rehearsal (apparently, no such thing in Brazil...), so right now we're thinking of having a pizza night at a fancy place with all the out-of-towners.

  2. Rehearsal lunch sounds like a perfect solution! We're having a dinner but it's going to be small (16 people).

  3. That's a wonderful idea!! I love how everyone will still have time for sightseeing and catching up. The Rusty Scupper is a *great* choice! Everyone is going to have a blast!

  4. A rehearsal lunch is a great solution! It will give you nice fuel for the set-up later in the day!

    I more or less completely handed over rehearsal dinner planning responsibilities to my in-laws, because just the wedding alone maxes out my capacity to plan. They've embraced the task, god bless them.

  5. I love the idea of a rehearsal lunch. It sounds like it will work perfectly for you. I'm going to keep that idea in the back of my mind in case it works for us too.

  6. Yay! Rusty Scupper! Great view and good for out of town folks. Nice choice!

    We're doing a brunch at Miss Shirleys... menu looks good, but it's a little much. Going to have to do a little hacking at the menu.

  7. @Angie - be careful about Miss Shirley's - they do not take reservations/rentals on a weekend, at least at their downtown location, and it gets pretty crazy! If you have more than 10-15 people, I would recommend going with someplace you can make a reservation and get a reserved space, like Mother's.

  8. I LOVE this idea! Except that we're not rehearsing at all (no bridesmaids/ groomsmen mean very little to practice) so we're doing a non-rehearsal dinner for everyone who wants to come at our favorite beer/pizza neighborhood joint. Non-hosted, of course :)


    PS - thanks for the comment on my blog - you're so sweet!