Wedding Venues – Restaurant Receptions

Are you a foodie? Do you have a favorite bistro, or fine dining restaurant? Why not find out if the venue can host your wedding? Restaurants and lounges are becoming an increasingly popular choice for couples looking for small wedding venues.

Although all restaurants are different, many have intimate surroundings that are ideal for small guest lists. And they can save you money. How?

Having a restaurant reception means not having to rent tables, chairs, tableware and glassware. Some venues will also provide linens.

And as far as convenience goes – there’s no need to hire a caterer. The chef is already in the house!

Restaurants: Small Wedding Venues with Your Sense of Style

Whether you want to have a reception that’s high on elegance and sophistication, or one that’s all-out casual, there’s sure to be a restaurant that can meet your needs.

Kristen and Stephen wanted a sophisticated wedding with a cosmopolitan vibe so they chose a 40’s themed reception at City Hall Restaurant in New York City with 64 guests.

“My husband and I are “foodies” and felt that having a smaller, more intimate wedding in a restaurant would almost guarantee us good food, which was a high priority,” says Kristen.

Although some couples choose meals for their wedding guests beforehand, Kristen and Stephen’s guests chose from a menu that the couple had created especially for the event.

“Everything was cooked to order … Having a small wedding in a restaurant gave us the ability to offer our guests the individual steak, halibut or lamb chops cooked to their individual liking. Trying to do this with a larger party or with a catering hall would not have worked out so well,” says Kristen.

Kristen says other couples considering a reception at a restaurant should make sure the restaurant can handle the size of their party. Also, she says, make sure that your party is the restaurant’s number one priority and that there aren’t other parties going on the same day.

A Wine and Food Wedding

When Carla and Todd were looking for small wedding venues, size was a priority. Since they were having only nine guests, they did not want a venue that made them feel dwarfed.

The Napa Valley Grille, a restaurant in Yountville, a tiny town just outside of Napa Valley, California, was the perfect setting.

“Our love of food and wine lead us to this place. They had a lovely private room that we could have all to ourselves. Plus, they had a top notch menu at prices we could afford,” says Carla, whose wedding cost $5,000.

According to Carla, a restaurant was the perfect place to celebrate their marriage because of the couple’s love of food.

“As individuals, both Todd and I love to cook and enjoy food. Our first real date was Todd making me a fabulous dinner … I would say that our love blossomed in the kitchen. That was how we learned to work together and really facilitated our falling in love, whether we were cooking for friends or just each other,” she says.

And the intimacy of having only nine people, made it even more special.

“We were supposed to be done at the restaurant at 10 pm and did not end up leaving until 11:30. That’s how much fun everyone had.”

Tips for Having a Creative Restaurant Reception

Choose a Theme. Restaurants are ideal for themed weddings. Love Japanese food? Have a Japanese-themed wedding, complete with paper lanterns and origami decorations. Maybe you love Mexican food; why not have a Mexican inspired theme with bright festive colors and a Latin band? Love the swanky, cigar and martini era of the forties? Choose a venue with a jazzy, speakeasy feel.

Get Creative with Meal Choices. Another way you get creative is in your meal choices. Don’t want a seated meal? Why not have a brunch or evening buffet? Another popular trend is food stations. You could include a pasta station, salad bar and carving station. You could also have a martini bar or espresso bar.

Create a Menu. Having a seated meal? Give your guests a choice by creating a menu with several entrĂ©e options. Having kids at your wedding? Don’t forget kid-friendly options.