Mother Nature lends a hand for a memorable rehearsal dinner feast on Craigville Beach.
One of the best things about planning a rehearsal dinner on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, or Nantucket is that you usually don’t have to worry about decorations, or the setting of your event—Mother Nature often does that for you with effortless natural beauty.
A rehearsal dinner in a coastal setting also makes it easy to choose the menu for the evening. What could be better than an old-fashioned clamboil, complete with fresh local fare from land and sea?
Last September, my husband and I were reminded just how lucky we are to live on Cape Cod when we hosted a rehearsal dinner for our son and his bride at The Beach Club in Centerville. Just a good Frisbee throw from Nantucket Sound, The Beach Club offers old-fashioned elegance with a spacious dining room wrapped around with windows and a big deck offering spectacular views. The sunsets here are famously beautiful, which is one reason why the club is a favorite with brides for both rehearsal dinners and wedding receptions.
On the autumn night of our rehearsal dinner, Mother Nature did more than cooperate: the night was full of natural splendor. It rained in the late afternoon just as the bridal party left their wedding rehearsal at West Barnstable Parish Church. The bride and groom ran into The Beach Club through the rain, ready for pictures on the deck with our photographer, Stacey Hedman.
The happy couple were greeting the 80 family members and friends savoring Ahi Tuna with Crystalized Ginger and Hoisin Glazed Marinated Steak Skewers—just a preview of a delicious menu created by Falmouth’s Eat Your Heart Out Catering—when our photographer rushed in with the news that a spectacular rainbow was arching over the ocean.
The guests headed to the deck and were greeted by not one, but two vivid rainbows. Partygoers toasted the breathtaking sight as a good omen for the bride and groom and began digging into a heaping raw bar of fresh oysters, shrimp, and littleneck clams, artfully arranged in a rowboat on the deck.
Eat Your Heart Out is a longtime favorite with brides and party planners (as well as several members of the Kennedy family), who have called on the Falmouth caterers for personal and charity events. The company worked with us to design a beautifully presented dinner from start to finish, from the distinctive appetizers through a tasty clam chowder course and onto the hit of the night: an old-fashioned clamboil featuring fresh, steaming-hot, one-and-a-quarter-pound lobsters; local corn on the cob; roasted garlic herb potatoes; and even a lemon-scented towel. Guests could also choose grilled barbecued chicken and a light salad with fresh greens.
As the guests sat down to tasteful yet simply decorated tables—given a whimsical seaside touch with burlap runners over white linen, festooned with sea glass, shells, and floating candles—The Beach Club glowed inside and out. After a dessert of four ice cream selections from Centerville’s famous Four Seas Ice Cream served with hot fudge, the entire party headed home. We were certain that Mother Nature would bless us all for the next day’s Cape Cod wedding to be held in a meadow with views over a West Barnstable marsh out to Cape Cod Bay.
Susan Dewey is the editor and associate publisher of Cape Cod Life Publications