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Tips For Planning a Restaurant Wedding

Why consider a restaurant  for your wedding?

Well – first things first – The food, of course! 

The reception meal is a major draw, especially for foodie couples. Think about it; you can take the opportunity to make multiple visits to get a feel for the place and service, along with the all-important cuisine itself. 

Meanwhile, a traditional wedding venue or catering hall will likely only provide a tasting, but by that point you’re already committed and have likely paid a deposit. Also, the wedding planning itself is simplified and the cost may be reduced, since a restaurant already has everything you need on hand: glassware, tables, chairs, linen, ect. 

The Food is Top Priority

When you’re thinking of hosting your wedding in a restaurant, the type and style of cuisine offered should be top priority!  It’s also of the utmost importance to know if the space will accommodate the number of guests desired or expected, as these considerations will quickly determine if the restaurant will be a good fit for your wedding reception.

Overall Décor Impact

One of the biggest advantages to a restaurant wedding is that there is very little to rent. For example, they are already going to have all the tables, chairs, place settings, linen and cutlery you’re going to need! And, if you love the restaurant decor and get to start with a room that you already find beautiful, then not much will need to be done to really bring the space to life and make it yours!

How are restaurant weddings coordinated?

Many restaurants will have a dedicated point person, oftentimes the restaurant manager or catering manager, to ensure that no key elements are missed. And, in our experience restaurant and catering managers are incredible at managing logistics and effectively dealing with unforeseen events that sometimes crop up! But, if the restaurant doesn’t plan on having someone on site to handle the numerous logistical pieces of the day, you might want to consider an outside coordinator to keep things running smoothly.

How do Entertainment and Dancing Factor Into the Equation?

It’s important to know what kind of music or wedding dance you envision before you book with a restaurant. For example, if you’re planning to hire a live band, you have to keep in mind that musicians will take up much more room on the dance floor than a DJ will.  It’s also important to know the electrical capabilities and possible noise restrictions of the restaurant, which will also help you determine any limitations you’ll need to work around. This one has the potential to be a deal breaker if you’re envisioning a big, loud wedding dance experience!

How is the wedding menu determined?

Whatever a restaurant serves up on a regular basis is – of course – what they will do best! But some restaurants will be more than happy to design menus for couples that highlight local or peak-season ingredients. Often – when planning a restaurant wedding –  couples are regular patrons, so a good place to start is with what they already know they love to eat during the season in which the wedding will be held.

How about dessert?

Some restaurants will include a plated dessert in their package, while others include a wedding cake, or you may have the option to bring cake from an outside bakery. If this is the  case many restaurants will charge a per person cake- cutting and plating fee.If that’s the case, a serve yourself dessert buffet might be another good dessert option!

What Else to Keep in Mind as You Search?

Sometimes the places you go to regularly – and love the most – may not work for a wedding. If that is the case, we urge you to get out and explore! You may just find a gem you didn’t know about. But once you think you’ve found ‘the one,’ make sure to try it out a few times before you decide. You’re looking for the right combination of elements for your perfect wedding: the food, the service, the location, the look and feel (vibe) of the space itself. Also consider the return-visit factor for date nights, for a drink at the bar, for your anniversary or eventually (maybe) to even share with your kids!

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