Unique Venues: How to Plan a Restaurant Wedding

One trend that isn’t leaving any time soon is, food. Foodies are taking over the world and many of them are bringing their love for food to the forefront of their weddings.

If you are a foodie couple and are looking for a unique venue for your wedding, look no further than your favourite local restaurant! Bringing your guests to your fave local spot for your reception will leave them happy and full. It also welcomes them into a more intimate side of you and your partner’s life.

There are a few things to consider if you are going to go the restaurant route but have no fear, KEP is here to help steer you in the right direction!

The Food

Choosing a restaurant based on their food gives you an great opportunity to share a place you love with your guests. Maybe you choose the spot where you and your boo had your first date. When you go for your tasting make sure you curate your menu with plates that mean something to you as a couple. What was the first dish you tried together? Serve that as an hors d’oeuvres and follow it with your favourite meal as the main course.

Some restaurants will charge you slicing fee if you bring an outside dessert. Make sure to find out if there is an in-house pastry chef. Schedule a tasting at the same time as your meal tasting. This may inspire you to say “buh-bye” to cake and “hello” to donut walls and crème brulee tables.

The Price

While many think that having a restaurant wedding may cut costs, this isn’t always the case. Your fee will be based on covering the business that they are “giving up” to host your event. If you are discussing having the whole restaurant exclusively for you and your guests, you may be looking at a cost of $10,000 to $15,000 for the evening.

If you are planning a smaller wedding or trying to save money, there may be other options available. Some restaurants have private rooms that can fit anywhere from 10 to 100 people or they will do a partial buyout of their space rather than renting the whole venue.

The day of the week also plays a factor in determining the cost of the restaurant. Booking a Saturday night at one of the most sought out restaurants in town can cost much more than a Sunday or week night. Also, not all restaurants are open during the day. Ask if they are willing to open during the day on a Saturday or Sunday for a brunch or lunch option as well.

Lastly, you’ll need to discuss your menu and bar options. An open bar and seated 3-4 course meal with a cocktail hour will be on the expensive side. A more budget friendly option could be passed hors d’oeuvres and/or table stations as well as a cash bar with specialty drinks.

The Decor

Restaurants have a distinctive style and their own furniture which helps you save in the rental department. That doesn’t mean that you can’t discuss adding your own touches to their space. You could accentuate the tables with a different coloured napkin or tablecloth, or maybe add centerpieces.

Modern restaurants tend to have a special spot within or just outside their space to catch people’s attention i.e. ivy or stone walls. If your location has a spot such like this make sure you do utilize it. An ivy wall is a great spot to have a makeshift photobooth. Bring your own supplies and tie up some balloons for a backdrop that will make your guests go wild.

The Logistics

There are a few questions you’ll want to ask the venue to clarify before sealing the deal.

First things first, find out the restaurant’s capacity. Since dinner will be served for everyone at once, make sure the kitchen can accommodate your group.

The second most important aspect of the evening, DANCING! Depending on the number of guests a dance floor may take away space from tables and chairs. Plan a time after dessert where table and chairs can be removed to allow for more dancing room.

Of course, you can’t have dancing without music! Restaurants are set up for background music but if you have a band or DJ they may need to bring their own sound equipment. Some places aren’t properly insulated for loud music which can affect their neighbours. This could mean a quieter dance floor party before moving on to another venue … aka the after party!

Ensure you know the parking situation for the restaurant you have chosen. Depending on the location guests may choose not to drive. However, it is still good to know if parking spots are available to you and if so, how many there are and if it is free.

Lastly, check out the bathrooms. You want a venue that has adequate facilities for the number of people attending your wedding. Worst case scenario is there is one stall for 100 guests and that’s a situation you’d like to avoid.

All in all, a restaurant wedding can make for a fun, intimate and unique venue. It allows you to get creative and host and evening for your guests that is sure to leave lasting memories.

Until next time.

Xoxo KEP


Photo credit 

Featured image: Kimberley Dunn  at Riviera

Decor image: Genevieve Georgette  at E18hteen

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