Post # 1
I am going crazy trying to decide what to do for my reception. I will be having my wedding ceremony at my local church. But I cannot decide where to hold my dinner reception. I have narrowed it down to two places, a Chinese seafood restaurant for a banquet dinner, or a marina with indoor spaces for seated dinner (and still have the same Chinese restaurant cater, or have a different Asian-fusion caterer).
My parents really want me to have the reception at the Chinese restaurant because it’s closer to the ceremony site. But they aren’t paying for any of the wedding, so I have more say in what I could arrange. They actually visited the marina hall for me and said it was nice, except they were afraid guests might get lost trying to find the place.
Could anyone give me their opinion on Chinese banquets? I am mainly concerned since I will not have the entire restaurant to myself. And I don’t know how much I would be able to decorate the place to make it my own. I just feel like the marina would give me more flexibility, even though it’s more of a do-it-yourself venue and costs a little more, like a few thousand!
Post # 3
- Wedding: August 2010 - Ocean View Villas/Jasmine Seafood Restaurant
I feel your pain. We ended up choosing the Chinese banquet at the restaurant because of the price per person. We really really wanted to have the restaurant to ourself, but the cost wasn’t feasible. In the end, it came down to cost of food for us. Our wedding isn’t for another 2 weeks, so I can’t speak from experience, but I really don’t like how close together the restaurant places the tables. I’m hoping my chair covers, flowers, and having the restaurant remove all the double happiness stuff will do enough. There’s really no right answer here. Go with your gut. For us it was practicality and cost.
Post # 4
from the receptions that i’ve been to at chinese restaurants, per person cost is definitely cheaper than comparing to that of western restaurants/banquet halls and the guests will like the food.
one thing to note, most likely, you will be separated from other restaurant guests by partitions. i don’t see this as a big problem as long as the restroom is not on your side of the restaurant, meaning that no restaurant guests will have to pass through your reception to go to the restroom.
whether the restaurant could be decked out really depends on the kind of theme you want. for example, a rustic theme will definitely not look right. also, i don’t think chiavari chairs will look right with the restaurant decor (at least the ones that i’ve been to), but chair covers will do fine. most chinese restaurants that are nice enough to hold wedding receptions have really pretty and sparkly chandeliers.
hope this helps!
Post # 5
Just had our wedding at a Chinese restaurant! We did have the whole restaurant to ourselves though, so I can’t comment on your main concern.
However, I was worried about personalizing the decor as well when I was planning. I made my own table numbers and centrepieces making sure to emphasize colours other than red, and ordered a different colour of linen (aqua) for the head table. Other than that I didn’t do any other decorations. And it was totally fine. I had a great time and it didn’t bother me one bit that it looked like a Chinese restaurant even though I thought it would (of course, it was a very nice and modern-looking Chinese restaurant that recently had renovations). I noticed all my happy guests way way more than whether the restaurant reflected my own personal style or not.
Post # 6
we went the chinese restaurant route. it was cheaper and could accomodate all the guests my family wanted, also my inlaws were really picky about the food and wanted to ensure that my guests had certain chinese dishes for weddings.
for me, my biggest concern was decor and i really wanted it to have an elegant atmosphere, not your typical dim sum environment. so i told my florist and he did a phenomanel job with flowers, chair covers, backdrop for the stage, and a lil lighting.
in regards to not having the restaurant to yourself- our hall was sectioned off via partition because there was a wedding in the next hall. but it wasn’t a big deal b/c i think our music was louder than theirs anyway. it really wasnt a problem and i was overwhelmed with greeting guests and trying to make sure the reception was going smoothly that i paid no attention that there was another wedding beside ours.
Post # 7
We eloped in Hawaii and so we too did the Chinese Banquet route for the family. I actually incorporated the Chinese restaurant theme for our reception banquet, I choose cream and crimson. The girls’ dresses were strapless. I chose red napkins and cream table cloths. I thought it turned out really cute. The restaurant was partioned off and the bathroom was on our side but there were just regular dinner guests on the other side, I didn’t find it disturbing at all. I visted many restaurants/venues, considered many options. In the end, I was happy with my Chinese restaurant route as all the guests were happy, my parents were happy and we had the dance floor to ourselves, played our own music as loud as we want. Had a great time. I suggest you visit both sites again and envision where you would imagine yourself and your guests having the time of your lives. You’ll remember it forever.
Post # 8
If you had put up a poll, I’d have voted for the marina locatiion. 🙂
Here’s how I see it – you’re having the same caterer at either location, so if your parents were concerned about having specific Chinese dishes for the wedding, you already have that covered. While there are many ways to decorate a Chinese restaurant to make the decor uniquely yours, it’s more difficult/restrictive (and probably costs more) to use flowers/lighting/etc to hide certain elements.
If the marina location is your blank canvas, it’s just a whole lot more fun designing/decorating to make it beautiful, as compared to designing/decorating a space to make it less ugly (not that all Chinese restaurants are ugly).
For my wedding, we went with the traditional sit-down/plated dinner. I loved our venue, and really enjoyed the creatve process of decorating the space. I hope the same for you too. 🙂
Post # 9
Hi, thanks everybody for responding. Just wanted to update on what we decided. We went for the marina instead of the Chinese restaurant. We’re still going to do the restaurant catering though. I just couldn’t do the wedding reception at the Chinese restaurant again because it’s the same place I had my engagement party for 50 guests this summer. I am now worried about the food getting cold, but that’s another story… Thanks so much for your help!
Post # 10
@hotwings: Thanks for your advice! I hope you have a wonderful wedding. I’m sure your table spacing is fine… even if they are a little closer, it will be more intimate! 🙂