Rehearsal dinners are a great way for your VIP guests to mingle before the wedding. However intimate, it helps take pressure off of introductions on your wedding day, both for you and your families. Because Loudoun County in Northern Virginia’s wine country offers a wide variety of scenic and beloved locations that can be tailored to what you’re looking for, we’ve assembled a range of location options to fit your vision.
REHEARSAL DINNER IDEAS IN LOUDOUN COUNTY
FOR A WINERY REHEARSAL
Famous for its Old World-style wines and its estate-grown Bordeaux blend, 8 Chains North Winery near Waterford has two intimate event spaces perfect for rehearsal dinners. The Compass Rose Room accommodates groups from 10–100 and opens onto the patio with vineyard views. With its 12-foot ceilings, a glass wall and banks of wine barrels that are illuminated at night, it has the modish ambiance of a grand European cellar. The more intimate Vine Room features farm tables, a private bar and features walls covered with grape vines. Bring your own caterer and let the winery provide the wine, a kitchen and an event manager.
FOR A TOUCH OF HISTORY
Go classic at Lightfoot Restaurant, the storied fine dining establishment in downtown Leesburg. Located in a Romanesque-revival former bank building, it shows off all vintage opulence, with glittering chandeliers, a spiral staircase, plush carpet and oak-paneled walls. For the best atmosphere, take a large table in the downstairs bar, order martinis and treat your family to Chef-Owner Ingrid Gustavson’s farm-fresh New American dishes, such as Atomic Crab Cakes with wild rice, squash, asparagus, remoulade and lemon juice.
FOR BIGGER GROUPS
Sister restaurant to the famous Old Ebbitt Grill in Washington, D.C., the barn-like Clyde’s At Willow Creek Farm features multiple private and public dining rooms, as well as a sprawling al fresco terrace, making it perfect for larger gatherings and allowing more space in the beautiful Virginia countryside. Favorite dishes include the spectacular Maine lobster with coleslaw, French fries and lemon butter.
REHEARSAL IDEA FOR GETTING SPORTY
For a relaxed, yet active evening with family and friends, head to TopGolf, located opposite swanky lifestyle precinct One Loudoun in Ashburn. Here, you can hit microchipped golf balls into the 240-yard range, listen to music, sip signature cocktails (mimosas, mules and Skinny margaritas) and order an absurdly tasty range of burgers, salads, nachos and guacamole. For a sit-down dinner, rent an event room on-site. To continue with the active theme, channel your medieval warrior at popular axe-throwing restaurant-bar Axes and Os in nearby Sterling.
FOR A BREWERY REHEARSAL
For a more laidback, rural Loudoun County experience, treat everyone to beer, wood-fired pizza, barbecue and oysters at sprawling Vanish Farmwoods Brewery off Route 15. Set on 63 acres, you’ll enjoy tumbling views of fields and hills while sampling some 20 craft beers on tap, including a delectably crisp and light Farmhouse Table Ale. The pizza is made in house, while weekend food trucks bring in the BBQ, Nomini Bay Oysters and Peruvian taco—something for all tastes.
Rehearsal dinners provide a complementary precursor to your wedding day, allowing you to showcase a similar look and feel, or to create a more casual or introduction to your wedding weekend. Venues, as with weddings, are quite important. Northern Virginia wine country offers a wide variety of well-maintained, well-run locations and experienced staff to help you with the planning and execution of an event that fits your needs.
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