5 Rehearsal Dinner Catering Ideas to “Wow” Your Guests

Rehearsal dinner catering is a bigger part of your wedding weekend than you may expect. Your rehearsal dinner is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for all your closest loved ones to get together before your wedding to celebrate what is to come. This meal definitely shouldn’t take a back seat to the wedding day reception! While planning your wedding events, think about what you want this meal to look like to ensure you and your guests have an amazing time. Below, we’ve put together some of our favorite rehearsal dinner catering ideas that will “wow” your guests!

1. Go With a Location-Based Theme

Depending on where you are hosting your wedding, it’s always a great idea to have a menu based on local foods. Not only will they be the freshest ingredients available, but also the most authentic way to celebrate your big day. It can encourage you and your guests to try something new that you may never have had before, or even give you the chance to indulge in a meal that you might not have easy access to at home, like fresh Maine seafood!

If this sounds like you, Stone Cove Catering offers a ‘Taste of Maine’ menu, packed with all the delicious goodness our beautiful state has to offer. Start with a local cheese and meat board, petite Maine crab cakes with homemade tartar sauce, native Maine scallops with smoked bacon and drizzled honey soy glaze, and Damariscotta River Oysters Rockefeller. Our mains include dry-rubbed Maine salmon with fresh vinaigrette and chicken with a Maine maple glaze, accompanied by local seasonal vegetables and whipped butternut squash, fresh local greens, and a creamy Downeast clam chowder. Finish off your dinner with a traditional Maine blueberry cake dusted with powdered sugar and mini whoopie pies.

2. Try a Seasonal Theme

Similar to leaning into your location, taking advantage of the bounties of your wedding season can also be incredibly delicious! Particularly in New England, each season brings unique offerings when it comes to meat and produces, so we’d recommend trying to work that into your catering menu as much as possible for the freshest, most delectable dishes.

A great example of what this type of menu could look like is our ‘Summer Harvest’ menu from Stone Cove Catering, highlighting the incredible bounty of Maine summers. Start with a garden vegetable bounty with creamy hummus and cucumber yogurt dip, fresh tomato bruschetta on crostini, local honey and artichoke phyllo, and smoked Maine salmon canapes. Our mains include grilled steak with fresh herb chimichurri and blackened local haddock with fresh fruit salsa, with sides of Mulligatawny soup, local salad topped with poached lobster, roasted corn salad, and a garden herb Israeli couscous. End your meal with traditional shortcakes served with bowls of fresh summer berries and vanilla whipped cream for a true summer treat!

3. Go Casual with Southern-Style BBQ

Southern-style BBQ is a fun, laid-back way to serve your rehearsal dinner guests – mostly because you just can’t go wrong! Family-style offerings of melt-in-your-mouth meats, sides and all the fixings are sure to please every guest at your rehearsal dinner. Plus, you don’t need to worry about fancy dishware or rentals – paper plates, disposable tablecloths and plastic utensils are not only appropriate, they are encouraged!

Stove Cove Catering offers a ‘Backyard BBQ’’ menu, complete with everything you could ever want for your southern-style rehearsal dinner. Start off with our homemade BBQ potato chips, mini Coney Island hot dogs with ale mustard dipping sauce and fresh vegetable quesadillas. The star of the show is our selection of delectable smoked meats, including Maine maple BBQ chicken, pulled pork with Carolina mustard vinaigrette, and smoked brisket with traditional Kansas City BBQ sauce. Add a few sides of traditional Maine baked beans, picnic-style potato salad and our Stone Cove summer slaw with cabbage, kale, carrots, scallions, herbs and mango vinaigrette to round out the meal. Finally, end with fresh pies topped with ice cream – blueberry, strawberry rhubarb, and double-layer key lime.

4. Keep It Classic

Maybe a more “quintessential” rehearsal dinner menu is what appeals to you, and we totally understand why! Sometimes there’s just no beating the classics. This style of dining is incredible because you know that there is something delicious that is sure to please each one of your guests, regardless of food allergies, picky eaters, or any other potential snafus.

If traditional is your style, take a look at our ‘Classic Affair’ menu from Stone Cove Catering. Appetizers include ale-steamed shrimp with zesty cocktail sauce and lemons, prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, antipasto skewers, and Gruyere and Parmesan beignets. Your mains can consist of local, all-natural prime rib with au jus and horseradish creme and a zesty lemon and caper chicken piccata. With sides of classic Caesar salad, creamy lobster bisque, grilled asparagus with lemon butter and fingerling potatoes tossed with olive oil and rosemary, your guests will be thrilled. Finish off your evening with a mocha hazelnut cake for a little extra sweetness!

5. Host a Traditional New England Lobster Bake

Nothing says celebration like a traditional New England lobster bake! Maine is known for its incredible seafood, so take advantage of the catch of each day by hosting a good old-fashioned lobster dinner. This offers a relaxed, enjoyable atmosphere for your guests – plus, learning how to crack and eat a lobster is a bucket list item for many!

Stone Cove Catering prepares our Maine lobster bakes the traditional way: layers of seaweed, clams, lobsters, potatoes, corn on the cob, onion, and, of course – the egg timer (once it’s hard-boiled, that’s when you know your lobster is ready to eat)! Our lobsters come fresh from the docks, caught and prepared by Jason Lord. A second-generation lobsterman out of New Harbor, Jason will charm your guests with his amazing lobstering stories and stun them with the incredible flavors of the sea. You can even add your own touch to your dinner, such as appetizers, non-seafood entrees, and bar service. Finish off your meal with a Maine blueberry cake and there you have it – the absolute essence of Maine!

Contact Stone Cove Catering

At Stone Cove Catering, we pride ourselves on crafting each detail of your menu to allow your unique style to shine through. Though we offer a selection of menu options, our goal is to make the day exactly what you want it to be and will help develop a custom menu to suit your tastes. To learn more about this process, contact us today!