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What's Up Weddings

Welcoming your Guests to the Chesapeake Bay Region in Style

Sep 28, 2015 04:53PM ● By Cate Reynolds

Photos courtesy of Blackwall Hitch

By Tina Byland

Where and how you welcome your guests sets the tone for your entire wedding itinerary. Whether traveling near or far, your welcome reception, rehearsal dinner, or even bridal luncheon may be the first opportunity friends and families have to meet, mingle, and get in the spirit for your wedding day. Choosing a venue to host your first appearance as the soon-to-be newlyweds shouldn’t be a daunting task. On the contrary, by figuring out what you want your welcome style to be, everything else should fall into place.

Catered backyard party? Downtown urban chic fete? Local historic riverboat cruise? Family style dining? Crab feast? These are all viable options for you to consider.

We’ve reached out to a few of our favorite places to host rehearsal dinners, welcome receptions, and bridal luncheons to ask them what makes their location unique.

“Blackwall Hitch “marries” the old with the new in our modern day interpretation of a classic shore tavern by incorporating an upscale look with a handcrafted vibe that is urban chic, and modern with a casual, nautical twist. The energy-filled restaurant has the feel of a historic, industrial shipyard with elements of elegance that includes Quartz flooring in the foyer, cedar wrapped walls, reclaimed and restored tables and chairs, antique elements, and replica Edison lighting. The culinary team is lead by Chef Zachary Pope who brings his expertise in classical cuisine to every dining experience. Our private and semi-private dining spaces are each unique and offer a variety of options for rehearsal dinners, bridal showers, and small receptions.” 
—Jessica Oliver, Blackwall Hitch

“Only minutes from Cambridge, Seaford, and Easton, Suicide Bridge Restaurant brings the local harvest from the land and the sea together for a waterfront dining experience right on Cabin Creek. An Eastern Shore dining staple since the 1950s; the menu for your welcome or rehearsal dinner can include our famous crab balls, stuffed flounder, rockfish as well as choice hand cut steaks and our Prime Rib for the meat lovers. We also provide you the unique experience to enjoy a cruise with your friends and family on a Choptank Riverboat. This true historic reproduction of a stern wheeler riverboat is an excellent way to introduce your wedding guests to the local area.” 
—Kelly Milliken, Suicide Bridge

“Main Ingredient is the perfect fit for a rehearsal dinner, post party, or wedding brunch and this is why- trust. You can trust your sales person, catering crew, and kitchen staff to make sure your event begins on time, wows your guests with presentation, pays attention to your guests’ needs, and provides an exceptional menu. We understand it’s an emotional time, catering is not just about the food, it’s about the moment, the time you spend with your loved ones. The couple and the family should be at ease. Main Ingredient provides more than catering, it’s personal to us as well. We take pride in making life delicious.”
—Evie Turner, Main Ingredient

While on the hunt for your perfect venue, take time to ask the same questions you would for your wedding reception itself. What makes the place unique? Why should you choose them? What are your seating options? Beverage options? Having a solid understanding of what you can expect from each place will make your decision that much easier.

Visit our Rehearsal Dinners board at for more inspiration.