You’ve found the perfect place to say your wedding vows, but it might not be a great location for your post-ceremony meal. Some venues don’t have a kitchen and sitting area, while other comprehensive venues aren’t an option because they would use all of a bride’s budget. This is everything you need to learn about how to have a restaurant wedding reception.
You’ll get the romantic meal you deserve without changing your dream venue or budget. It’s the best of both worlds and gives you more freedom to dine however you prefer.
Sometimes weddings happen within a few weeks of the proposal, but most of the time brides start planning months in advance. It’s best to reserve your restaurant wedding reception date as early as possible. The management team needs to know if they should close off part of their property for your guests or even reserve the entire restaurant and prepare a few days before.
When you call potential restaurants to get booking estimates, prepare an estimated guest list. You won’t get their RSVPs until closer to the date, but the restaurant will have to approximate your quest list to decide how much room you’ll need.
Restaurants offer different culinary experiences, but they’re more likely to add popular menu items for large wedding groups. Talk about what’s available and ask for anything you can’t go without on your big day. They’ll look into the possibilities and even make adjustments when you get the RSVPs from people indicating their allergies.
Once you know where you’ll go for your reception, it’s time to make invitations. They have to mention any key information like the time, date and diner attire. Everyone will read the invitations before sending their RSVPs, but they might also need reminders closer to the date. Sometimes invitations get lost. Schedule a date to send reminders, whether that’s through the mail or online.
If you live near your reception restaurant, meet with the managers in person. You’ll need to work with them frequently over the weeks and months before your ceremony. They’ll be your point of contact for menu changes, questions and any last-minute emergencies. Get to know them and save their phone numbers so you don’t feel stranded when problems arise.
Your chosen restaurant will have basic dinnerware and maybe tablecloths, but they won’t arrange wedding decorations because they don’t buy them for events. Add room in your budget for centrepieces, garlands and balloons. You could even upgrade your dinnerware to rented fine china if you work out the details with the restaurant manager.
Send a few people to decorate the dining area a few hours before your wedding starts. You may also need to send them a little later, depending on the rental arrangement. Talk with the restaurant management team to discuss where you can hang decor and if you can decorate the building’s exterior too.
Now that you know how to have a restaurant wedding reception, call a few possible places and compare quotes. You’ll arrange everything from your menu to the invitations and have a romantic dinner to look forward to while planning the rest of your big day.
Cora’s passion is to inspire others to live a happy, healthful, and mindful life through her words on Revivalist – wholeheartedly convincing them that everyday moments are worth celebrating. Cora has spent 5+ years writing for numerous lifestyle sites – hence her sincere love for both life and the beauty of style in all things. Keep up with Cora on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.