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RHONY's Luann de Lesseps Kicks Off Her 3-Day Wedding Bash with a Rehearsal Dinner on a Yacht

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The Countess is kicking off her three-day wedding extravaganza in style!

Real Housewives of New York star Luann de Lesseps is marrying Tom D’Agostino Jr. on New Year’s Eve in Palm Beach, Florida — and the party starts out on the ocean! The couple will be welcoming guests to their wedding weekend by hosting their rehearsal dinner on a boat.

“We decided to have our rehearsal dinner on a yacht because Tom is a big boater, he grew up boating,” de Lesseps, 51, explains to PEOPLE. “We both own boats, we’re both into boating, so we thought, ‘What a great place to do our rehearsal dinner!’”

The party out on the water will also serve as a welcome for out-of-town guests flying into Florida, like parents, friends and other family members, and start the celebrations in a more intimate setting, de Lesseps adds. The couple hosted about 80 guests for the sunset cruise on a Mariner 3 yacht. Guests noshed on seafood fare, including lobsters, clams, seafood gumbo and mini crab cakes

The party continued at the Leopard Lounge at the Chesterfield Hotel where the couple and their guests partied until 1 a.m. The lounge-style soirée at the classic Palm Beach venue featured cigarette girls handing out passed hor d’oeuvres and champagne. Entertainment was provided by a pianist, a lounge singer and a magician entertaining guests with tricks.

The reality star and her husband-to-be love boats so much that they even enjoyed the water a few days before their wedding! In a video posted to de Lesseps’ Twitter, D’Agostino is seen at the wheel of a boat as de Lesseps pans to show her family along for the ride.

#Boating with the #family #PalmBeach #weddingcountdown xo,” she captioned the video.

To see the exclusive wedding video tune into PEOPLE FEATURES: THE LUANN DELESSEPS AND TOM D’AGOSTINO WEDDING on the People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN) on Jan. 4. Go to PEOPLE.com/PEN, or download the app for Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Xumo, Chromecast, Xfinity, iOS and Android devices.

But the bride-to-be says real fun will start once the rehearsal dinner is over and the party moves over to the Leopard Lounge at the Chesterfield Hotel where guests will be treated to an even classier evening.

“It’s going to be more of a crooner kind of evening,” de Lesseps says. “On the boat, I wanted to have like country rock music, relaxed, take off your shoes feeling, and after that I wanted it to be kind of a swooner, crooner evening with Sinatra kind of music. So it’s one big party on Friday.”

The party-filled first day will be followed by a round of golf on Saturday morning — or beach and pool time for those who prefer a more relaxing time — with the wedding taking place later in the evening. The ceremony will be followed by a reception that doubles as a New Year’s Eve party and D’Agostino’s 50th birthday.