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Your Guide to a Restaurant Wedding

Get tips for having your reception at a beloved restaurant!

There are so many different venues to consider for your wedding that it can be hard to decide. If you and your future spouse are foodies, a restaurant is an obvious but oft-forgotten option.

Locations & Venues
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Photo: Gianluca Gasperoni

There are so many different venues to consider for your wedding that it can be hard to decide. If you and your future spouse are foodies, a restaurant is an obvious but oft-forgotten option. It’s an especially popular choice with those having an intimate reception, but some restaurants can work for larger parties as well. Most rentals, such as tables, chairs, and place settings are already built into the cost, leaving room in your budget to spruce things up with custom linens and more. Getting married at a restaurant also leaves you with ready-made date nights for future anniversaries, as the place you choose will always have sentimental value. As with any potential reception space, there are factors to keep in mind in order to make sure the big day goes smoothly. Read on for our tips on how to plan a restaurant wedding. 

how to have a restaurant wedding, tips for a restaurant wedding
Photo by Artistrie Co. 

- Determine how much space you need. With a small, intimate reception with a dinner-party feel, you’ll likely only need to do a partial buyout of the restaurant. This is when there is a private dining area you can rent out for the night. Larger, more traditional receptions will likely require a full buyout, which is obviously more expensive but also means you’ll have complete privacy. 

- Decide on a menu. Even a restaurant reception will usually not offer their entire menu to work with – either a special event menu or a custom selection you and your sweetheart make will be made available. 

- Consider entertainment. Is this going to be a traditional reception complete with a dance floor, or an intimate dinner party with your closest friends and family? Remember that a live band will take up more room, so figure out how much space you have before making a selection. 

- Accentuate the existing décor. A restaurant will already have its own aesthetic, and while you certainly can put personalized touches into the look for your big day, they should complement the current style rather than try and cover it up. 

- Don’t forget dessert! A plated dessert is usually an option, but check to see if the restaurant can provide a wedding cake if desired. If not, they will usually allow you to bring your own, but expect to be subjected to a cake-cutting fee – much like a wine corkage fee while dining out.

For different venue ideas, learn more about getting married in a museum, on a yacht, or at a hotel

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