October 19, 2020
One important, but often overlooked piece of your wedding planning is the rehearsal dinner! It’s the start of your wedding weekend and the perfect opportunity to celebrate with a more intimate group. Usually close family, the wedding party and out of town guests gather together after the ceremony rehearsal to kick off the celebrations. Below are some of my favorite recommendations for where to host your wedding rehearsal dinner if you’re getting married in Northern Virginia!
If you’re getting married near downtown Leesburg you should definitely look into planning your rehearsal dinner at Lightfoot! Opened in 1999, this restaurant featuring American cuisine is a downtown Leesburg staple. The former bank is a Romanesque revival-style building and despite renovations to update it still retains unique features from its past life including the original woodwork, ceilings and bank vault doors.
If you’re looking for fine dining, plus a beautiful space to stay look no further than the Goodstone Inn & Restaurant. Tucked in the countryside outside of Middleburg, VA, the Goodstone is a luxury resort known for it’s beautiful grounds and fine dining. Aside from their beautiful dining room, The Conservatory, the Goodstone also has private rooms that can be rented out if you want to keep your dinner more intimate.
If you’re looking for some place a little bit closer to Ashburn, VA I would suggest reaching out to Clyde’s at Willow Creek Farm. The beautiful farm has been transformed into a lovely restaurant with multiple private dining locations. They work with you to design a custom seasonal menu for your dinner!
Sidebar is one of my favorite places to go for dinner in downtown Leesburg and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for place to host a private event! When Sidebar originally opened in 2017 it just had one main dining room, but now is home to a coffee shop, multiple dining spaces and private rooms that you can rent. It also has a beautiful stone courtyard and a private carriage house (pictured) that would be perfect for intimate rehearsal dinners.
The Red Fox Inn & Tavern is on my list as a place to try soon! This beautiful historic building is a gorgeous location for your rehearsal dinner and the perfect fit if you want a spot that matches the chic country elegance of some many of Loudoun’s wedding venues. They have a huge range of delicious seasonal foods and cocktails to welcome your guests to the wedding weekend.
Originally a grain mill, Tuskie’s as the locals refer to it, is a downtown Leesburg favorite. They have a great selection on their menu and multiple private dining options for rehearsal dinners. Couples can choose from the stone wine cellar, cozy log cabin room or sunlight-filled garden room to host their guests.
If you’re getting married out in the Loudoun countryside and want something slightly closer than Leesburg consider Magnolia’s at the Mill. This is one of my favorite places to eat out on special occasions! As a catering company also, Magnolia’s has experience working with large parties and a delicious menu!
Your wedding venue is one of the best and often most overlooked places to have your rehearsal dinner! If you’re getting married in Northern Virginia and your venue doesn’t have a wedding the day before yours you should reach out to them to see if you can host the pre-wedding celebration there as well! This is a great way for your guests to get to know the property ahead of time and to have another meal with your caterer! It’s also a bonus if some of you are staying on property at your venue the night before!
Finally consider booking your rehearsal dinner at your favorite local restaurant! It’s a great way to possibly highlight the place where you had your first date or where you ate the night of the proposal or to show your friends and family one of your favorite haunts! Perhaps a restaurant you loved didn’t offer catering, but they do have a private room or allow you to rent the space. It’s the perfect solution to looking for a rehearsal dinner location!
P.S. If you haven’t already consider reaching out to your wedding photographer about rehearsal dinner coverage! It’s such an important piece of your wedding weekend and it’s fun to have a photographer there for an hour or two to capture those special moments. I usually recommend having someone photograph it for at least two hours to capture the space, candids of your guests, any toasts and a few pre-wedding portraits of you two!
I'm a Virginia wedding photographer serving the DMV and worldwide. I strive to balance the composed with the candid and capture vibrant, timeless images for my couples.
Six years of wedding industry has taught me a lot! This quick guide is designed for you two to get your wedding experience started with just a few easy steps!