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The Bride’s Survival Guide: Having a Restaurant Wedding

If you love food, then you will opt for a restaurant as your wedding venue.  This will be great especially if both of you share the same passion. A reception in a restaurant comes with several perks including delectable dishes, a fun atmosphere, built-in décor, exceptional service, and seating at your disposal.

The included perks in a restaurant mean that holding your wedding in such a venue will come with pocket-friendly quotes. But before you settle for a restaurant, you have to consider certain logistics and restrictions before going for this coveted space.

When considering holding your wedding reception at a restaurant, there are a few things to think about:

  • Reservation: If you plan for a large reception, you will have to book the restaurant for the whole night. If the wedding is a small affair, you can go to a private dining room or partially place a reservation for the restaurant dining space. You will be charged less by a restaurant if you go for partial reservation as they will be accepting other businesses for profit, but doing so will mean less privacy for your reception.

Talk to the event or sales manager about the type of options they have and pick what works well for you. You have to make your reservations early enough to avoid conflicts. If you don’t want to share space with those who are not attending your wedding, confirm with the restaurant that your party is the only one which will be in the restaurant.

  • Guest count: Even if you rent the entire restaurant, if you are having a seated reception, space will still be limited as compared to going for standing reception. Remember to ask the manager of the restaurant about how many guests can comfortably be accommodated.

Ensure the kitchen can prepare enough food for your guests promptly. If your dream has been of a large wedding with all your friends and relatives attending, but the restaurant you have in mind can only accommodate 50 guests, ask them if they can cater to your event in a different location that is more spacious.

  • Pricing: Aside from the size of your wedding guests list being a factor that affects your restaurant rental; date, and time will also affect the overall price tag you will be given. On Saturday and Friday evenings that is the time most restaurants are busiest. That is the same time that is popular for wedding receptions.

For you to be accommodated during that period, the restaurant will have to close its doors to other patrons. This means you will have to pay more than if the event was held during mid-week.

At night, most restaurants are busy as compared to daytime. What it denotes that, having a wedding dinner will be pricier as compared to a lunch or a brunch event. The restaurant is going to charge you what they make during the time of the day or day of the week when they are open for normal business plus staff and food costs.

If you are worried that the overall price tag will be high, remember that you will make savings on rentals as the venue already has tables, chairs, servers, glassware, linens, and bartenders, and thus, no need to hire extras for services and items.

  • Guests’ food preferences and allergies: If you are aware that in your guests’ list, there are those with known dietary restrictions or allergies to a certain food, you have to let the chef know.

Make the allergies and dietary restrictions known to the chef at least two weeks to the wedding. You can also request for a kid-friendly menu if you are expecting several kids in your wedding.

  • Décor: The benefit of having a restaurant wedding is that the space for the reception comes when it is fully decorated. However, you can scrutinize the décor of the restaurant a few weeks before your wedding. They might even have some options available for wedding receptions.

It is best if you tagged along with your florist and your planner. If the aesthetic of the venue is not matching with the theme of your wedding, then look for another restaurant. Some restaurants will allow you to bring your own linens, floral arrangements, and extra decorations, but you have to run your plan with the manager first.

  • The menu: When you choose a restaurant as your wedding venue, you are assured of delicious food that will be served to your guests. Ask the restaurant manager about the various meal options. There are places where a fixed or limited menu will be provided while others just stick to what they normally serve on their menu.

You are at liberty to get creative. If your restaurant of choice serves homemade pasta and your favorite is Italian food, don’t be afraid to ask if they will have a family-style reception at your wedding with several pasta dishes served on each table.


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Stella de Smit

Nils Stahl


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