restaurant reception?

posted 3 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
Member
289 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

This sounds like a great idea; I’m not planning a reception at a restaurant, but we definitely wanted a space that would let us bring in food from our favorite restaurant. You’ll know that the food will be good and there is already a built-in staff to take care of all the details. I don’t know about the rules for paying — if neither of your parents are planning on contributing, I’m guessing it would be left up to ya’ll, but it sounds like it would be easy to plan a smaller event or choose more affordable dishes from the menu to serve.

Post # 3
Member
1230 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

oilfieldhoney:  I’m planning on one at a fine dining restaurant. We are basically renting one half of it and jsut doing a reception dinner. I can’t believe how easy it is. All I have to worry about is centerpieces. No flatware, no linens, no furniture rental. And since we’ve eaten there a million times (and FI gave GM her first job in the city before she became a boss) we are going to be very well taken care of. We don’t even have to worry about printing fancy menus. It was our first and obvious choice. 

Post # 4
Member
75 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

We also are having the reception dinner at a nice restaurant.  Seemed like the easiest and most crowd pleasing option!

Post # 5
Member
42538 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

If your question is “Do the guests pay for their own meal?” the answer is no. You are hosting the reception, you provide what you can afford.

Post # 6
Member
3249 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

We bought out a restaurant.  It was great. They’ll give you a minimum spend for the use of the room, because you have to buy enough food, and drink, to make it worthwhile for them to give you exclusive access.

The host pays for the meal; you can do a cash bar, open bar, drinks served with courses, however you would like to handle the beverages.  I suggest having a drink served with each course, plus the champagne toast, and probably a cocktail before dinner.  Though, there is no rule that you have to provide all that, but then you are looking at giving everyone 3-4 drinks, and you can negotiate good prices on them with the restaurant, because they’ll know exactly what drinks are going to be made, so what they have to bring in extra of, and get the exact right amounts, etc.  The first quote we got per drink was for doubles, and was (1) too high and (2) with an open bar, too much alcohol in one glass, and could lead to people miscounting their own drinks.  Most drinks you buy at a bar are more than a single, so that’s something to be aware of.

If yuo povide people 3+ drinks, that is entirely adequate, and as much as an average person would drink over the course of an evening.  You ca allow them to simply order from the bar (and pay) if they want more drinks than that.<br /><br />

If you come in under your minimum spend at the end of the night, (say, if you did an open bar, and lft room) then you have to pay the minimum anyway.  The place we found was a ridiculously low $3000 for a a Saturday night – the outgoing owner gave us that quote, and I think it may have actually been him sticking it to his former partner, who was kind of a giant flake, and totally unreliable, and impossible to do business with.  That was for the whole restaurant, though.

The minimums will, of course, be lower on week nights, than weekend nights.  If a restaurant tries to charge a fee for the space itself, in addition to the minimum, that’s not normally the way it works, so they might be trying to get extra cash from someone who doesn’t know the drill, or sometimes it’s that they don’t really like doing it, so they set their fees really high so that, if they do it, they make more than they normally would.  In the end, it’s their space, and they can set up whatever fee structure they want, and they won’t budge, you have to decide if what they’re asking is worth it for the space, but knowing the common practice can help you negotiate.  I don’t expect, though, that there would be a fee for a private room at a restaurant; where we had our rehearsal dinner (private room) there wasn’t even a minimum – it basically is just extra diners, and they expect you’re buying dinner and a drink for everyone, so it’s worth it.

We found we needed to be very clear about a couple of thing, such as making sure the waitstaff was dressed *ahem* appropriately.

Post # 7
Member
1230 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

oilfieldhoney:  I didn’t read the last part of your post. As it is your wedding that you are hosting, you are responsible for paying for everyone’s meal. Hosting a wedding at a restaurant is no different than hosting it a venue. It would be extremely tacky to invite guests and expet them to pay their own way.

Post # 8
Member
2720 posts
Sugar bee

You host, you pay. 

Post # 9
Member
289 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Agreed on the payment; it’s unthinkable to invite people to a wedding and ask them to pay for their own meal. Because not only will they feel duped, they will also feel obligated to pay for you. If budget is an issue, you can do this a couple of ways. 1) Host a number of people at a more casual/affordable venue (like a bbq or pizza place) or 2) Have a small number of people at a very nice restaurant. Brunches/lunches also tend to be a little more affordable than dinner. If there is a nice tea shop or bakery near you, you might look into having a cake/punch reception there that does not coincide with a meal time.

I would just think about what you really want. You can always wait to save up and have the celebration you really want. The other thing you could do is have a court house wedding and then have a dinner party at your house after. I would probably make something like pasta or chili — something that is easy and can feed a crowd. The point is to celebrate with your loved ones and there are plenty of ways to do that without asking your guests to take on the burden.

Post # 10
Member
795 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

We’re having our reception at an upscale restaurant. We have a private room and are allowed to bring in cake, flowers, decor, etc. We’re having assigned tables and a head table. We have a pre-set menu at $78 per person. We are paying for the entire reception ourselves – its like any sort of reception ours just happens to be at a restaurant. The room has a minimum of $3300 that we must meet, but with 44 guests I think we will – so make sure you know what the room mins are in your area. 

Leave a comment


Sent weekly. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Find Amazing Vendors