How to Plan a Restaurant Wedding Reception. Here Are 7 Tips.

The beauty of holding your wedding reception at a restaurant is having a more intimate and cozier space, especially if you want to keep your guest count at a minimum number. A restaurant reception can also be meaningful when you choose a venue like the place where you had your first date or where you first became a couple. Compared to other event spaces, restaurants may also be a bit more budget friendly.

If you are foodies at heart and feel that a restaurant reception is the choice for you, we have some tips to help you out! Before you start scouting dining destinations, here are a few things to keep in mind as you plan a memorable restaurant wedding reception. Keep reading!

Here are 7 Tips to Plan a Restaurant Wedding Reception

Establish Your Budget

Budget and pricing is an important consideration as you decide on a restaurant. However, another perk of a restaurant reception is that you won’t need to add rental furniture to your expenses. You’ll just need to think about other costs such as the price to rent the whole restaurant, an available private room, or just part of the space. If you want the restaurant to be entirely exclusive to your party, do expect that costs may be higher. Normally, restaurants would charge a price that would cover the costs of their regular service.


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Plan the Menu

The food is probably the main reason for choosing a restaurant venue in the first place. Think of the spots you love dining in together, and the kind of food you and your guests enjoy. Sharing a piece of who you are with your loved ones, through food, can surely make your wedding reception feel even more special. Review menus carefully and consider what would be appropriate for your event. Since restaurants already have fixed menus, you must also consider any food allergies your guests might have and what adjustments you can do. Talk to the manager and ask if there’s also a possibility of customizing a menu for your wedding.

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Include Drinks and the Wedding Cake in Your Plans

Don’t forget about the drinks! Some restaurants would have their own wine and cocktail list, so you can simply choose which would best suit your tastes. There’s also the option of an open bar if you have room in your budget. If there’s a specific wine label that you prefer or is of sentimental value to you, just be sure to ask the restaurant manager if bringing your own bottles would entail a corkage fee. As for your wedding cake, you can also consider outsourcing a supplier if the restaurant or café cannot provide one. Try to ask the manager if they have recommended cake bakers and if bringing in additional items that aren’t on their own menu would also incur  extra fees.

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Consider the Restaurant's Capacity

When choosing a restaurant as your venue, keep in mind its space and capacity. Do an ocular of the place to know how many people can comfortably sit and move around. Be realistic when it comes to the space. If the restaurant can only accommodate 20 to 30 people, but your guest count is a bit higher than that you might need to look for other options. Remember to discuss the kitchen situation as well to make sure that the food will be served in a timely manner especially if you are only booking part of the space and not the whole restaurant exclusively for your event. The last thing you want is an overwhelmed kitchen and keeping hungry guests waiting!

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Plan Your Program Around the Available Space

Will there be dancing or games in your program? Plan how much floor space you’ll be needing. Coordinate with the manager and see if you can rearrange the tables and chairs to make room for a dance area. You can also try looking for a restaurant with wider, open space. But if you’re going for a cozier atmosphere and dancing isn’t necessary, then a space that is enough for a sit-down event will be fine!

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Check the Parking and Bathroom Situation

Your guests and suppliers are most likely driving their own cars to the venue, so while you check the restaurant’s capacity make sure they have enough parking slots as well. If parking is limited, try to look for nearby parking spaces that are walking distance. Bathroom capacity is also important, because you wouldn’t want long lines forming during important parts of your program!

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Choose Decorations that Complement the Restaurant

Restaurants and cafés have unique looks of their own, and interiors that are already stunning. Try to choose a venue with interiors that match your theme if you have a particular wedding aesthetic in mind. Another option is to dress up the venue with a few pieces of décor like candles, centerpieces, your photos, and the like. You can work with a stylist to see how you can personalize the look of the space according to your vision while still complementing the whole environment of the venue. That’s a great way to achieve cohesion! Again, just be sure to discuss any styling and setup plans with the manager first.

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If you’re ready to plan your restaurant wedding reception, check out these restaurants and cafés that can host your intimate wedding.

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