How to Successfully Plan an Intimate Restaurant Wedding
Congratulations on your engagement; if you’re here, that means the planning has begun – and we’re so excited to help you along the way! Intimate weddings create many opportunities for personalization—your décor, your wedding dress, and your venue primarily. Since you are interested in hosting your wedding at a restaurant, we figured we’d give you our best tips for pulling it off.
- Deciding if and Where to Host Your Intimate Restaurant Wedding
Let’s first figure out why you want to host your wedding at a restaurant and whether it’s the right choice for you. Ask yourself:
- Do you already have a specific restaurant in mind?
- Does this restaurant have sentimental reasoning behind its choice?
- Do you have an aesthetic/theme in mind?
- Does your restaurant of choice match your preferences?
- Has your restaurant of choice conducted weddings in the past? Did they go well?
- Will your number of guests fit in your restaurant of choice?
After you’ve considered these factors, figuring out if a restaurant (and which location) is the best option for you will become a lot more straightforward.
- Make Reservations
You’ve made your decision now, and you’ve decided to hold your wedding at a restaurant! Now it’s time to make reservations. Depending on the restaurant’s popularity, they may make reservations months in advance; make sure you check early to see what their availability looks like. Remember to keep your headcount in mind. Will your guests fit in the space? Should you book off the entire restaurant or just a portion? Each of these factors will affect the availability as some restaurants may not be inclined to offer up their whole restaurant for an entire evening. If they are typically known for bringing in significant revenue during your booking time, they will likely charge you the amount they would naturally bring in for the night.
- Discuss Pricing
As mentioned above, there are many elements to consider when restaurants are laying out their pricing strategy. For instance:
- Is your date during a busy time of year?
- Is your wedding on a busy day of the week?
- Is the wedding during a bust time of day?
- How many staff members will you need on hand during your event?
- Are you bringing a cake that needs accommodations? (slicing fee/ refrigeration)
- Are you requesting the entire restaurant or just a portion?
- What kind of menu are you requesting?
- Are you sticking to the offered food or making for special requests?
- What are your requests for the staff? Set up? Special arrangements? Décor?
- What type of entertainment do you plan on having, and what arrangements need to be made?
Each of the items listed above can quickly add up and make for a pricier wedding day experience. One benefit of hosting a restaurant wedding surrounds the fact that it’s an already operating establishment that comes equipped, so you won’t have to spend extra money on furniture rentals.
- Menu Options
Thank goodness you’re at a restaurant, right? The menu is probably one of the easier things to figure out at a restaurant wedding. If you chose this space for its food, then you know already what they have to offer. It’s essential to note that restaurants may have different menus available for an event, so be sure to discuss this early on. Ask if they will have a fixed menu, a limited menu, or if everything will be running as usual. Perhaps your heart is set on this restaurant’s aesthetics and location, but their food isn’t quite your preference; you can try requesting to see if they’re willing to add other items to the menu for your special day. Ensure any allergies and food restrictions are also discussed to avoid any wedding day mishaps.
- Wedding Cake
If you plan to order your wedding cake from a different vendor, be sure it’s coordinated so that there’s a place for it. Some restaurants may charge a slicing fee, in which case, you may want to avoid these costs and see if they can provide a cake for you.
- Appropriate Entertainment
One downside of hosting your wedding at a restaurant is that you may not be able to bring the entertainment you want. If you’re only booking a part of the restaurant, your music may end up being disruptive to other patrons, and the restaurant won’t allow that. If you have the entire space for yourself, see if a live band can fit and if the staff can clear tables and chairs to make way for a dance floor – the perfect end to any wedding.
Intimate weddings have so much potential. All it takes is a little love and a little planning, and you can successfully pull off your dream restaurant wedding. For additional tips, check out The Ultimate Guide to Small Weddings.
Photo by Helena Lopes
Photo by Daniel Frese
Photo by Ibrahim Boran