(Closed) Getting married in a restaurant: did you regret it?

posted 3 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
838 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2019

Is there a reason why you couldn’t find a different restaurant where you would feel better about the budget but not have quite so much compromise?  I went to a lovely wedding where the couple found a small Indian restaurant and rented the entire thing out.  They did table decorations themselves and had cake and desserts.  It was non-traditional but still felt more wedding-y than a dinner party.  My advice would be to figure out which of those luxuries are must haves for you and find a space to make it happen.

Post # 3
603 posts
Busy bee

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ls5678 :  That is a very personal decision, but I know myself and I know that I would have regretted it the rest of my life that I never had a wedding.  Fiance and I considered a family only elopement, but elected to put in the money to have a wedding.  We are not busting any kind of crazy budgets, and a huge chunk of the wedding is being paid for by my parents.  But that said, there is no way I personally would have given up a wedding if it was an option.

If you are the one who feels guilty about the spending, maybe that would bother you more.  But I know myself and I wanted my day!

Post # 4
5938 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

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ls5678 :  I got married in a restaurant and have never regretted it! It was actually so special! I have been married before so yes, I had the bigger, floofier wedding the first time around and it was great then, too. BUT I really did enjoy this smaller version better because it was small and intimate. 

Post # 5
976 posts
Busy bee

Oh, why aren’t they letting you have a centerpiece or at least a cake? That sounds so odd to me! Most restaurants in my local area do many weddings and they allow at least some limited decor, and also cake! I echo what a PP said in maybe trying to find a different restaurant that would at least allow you to do something

Post # 6
1260 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: City, State

this is what we are doing but we are definitley splurging on the restaurant’s event/wedding package so that it’s personalized and ours still 🙂 i had the big wedding the first time and it was so stressful. I’m super excited to just throw money at a restaurant this time and just have our families there.

Post # 7
4250 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2016 - Manhattan, NY

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ls5678 :  While I didn’t have my wedding in a restaurant, after the morning ceremony and pictures, we had a small brunch reception with 15 guests, just immediate family and a couple friends. There were no frills. We had the opportunity to get married in NYC and the time frame was so small (a little over a week) to prepare that I just booked a private room in a nice restaurant and didn’t care much about the other details. Before that opportunity arose, we were ready to elope, and a lot of the small details were never important to me to begin with. It was nice just sitting around that big table enjoying each other’s company and good food and drinks. I think that’s all that matters and wouldn’t have done it any differently. 

We had no decor (no time or desire to coordinate that) and the music was what the restaurant was already playing, but it was just background noise anyway. The private room was on the second level of the restaurant, but we had just gotten done walking around Times Square in our wedding gear so I didn’t think anything of walking into the restaurant in it. Everyone we passed in the street and in the restaurant congratulated us. We had no dancing, it was just a nice sit down brunch and everyone was free to order what they wanted. There was cake at the ceremony but no one ordered desserts at brunch. I don’t see why you couldn’t have some kind of dessert, though! And there was no dancing. After such an early morning, some of our family hit the road to head back home and the rest of us went back to our hotel rooms for a nap. I missed none of the missing details, and our family and friends still talk about how fun of a trip/wedding day it was. Best of luck as you make your plans!

Post # 9
219 posts
Helper bee

ls5678 :  I felt the same way about our wedding as we were planning. I was terrified that nothing would come together and that it would be hodge-podge. It turned out just as I had hoped!

We did an outdoor bbq park wedding for 45 guests, that’s including us and children. We set-up everything ourselves after our private ceremony (just us two and 2 witnesses). The intimacy of a civil/private ceremony makes it super special. You can even do a “first look” and drive together to the ceremony. It’s very romantic. 

A couple of good friends came to help set-up. Could some of your friends help with the arrangements? I assume asside from a few decorative pieces, transportation of cake etc. logistics will be easy at the restaurant. The pro to a restuarant wedding, the food will be great. 

Check out wholefoods for cake, we got a quote and they were extremely reasonable for the size we wanted. Their cakes are very yummy.

We had no dancing at our wedding but provided music by buying two portable bluetooth speakers that played our playlist off our phone, we actually had lots of fun picking out our music. 

If you are concerned about entertainment at the restaurant, can you do a few typical “wedding games” such as the shoe game? What about a video of photos that can play on a screen – can someone bring a laptop and monitor to display these things?. Maybe create question cards to put on the tables, to get everyone chatting, or do the chair game, where if someone has a card or number under their chair, they win the centrepiece at their table. 

If you have any close friends or siblings, see if they would be willing to coordinate these activities in the restuarant, possibly between courses. There are plenty of traditional things you can pull in to your restuarant wedding! 🙂

Are you having a photographer? Depending on timing and location, is it a possibility to do photo’s with all of your guests? That would be fun to do with everyone.

A question – what restaurant is it/ what location is the wedding taking place? Maybe we can help find something else for you that can offer you atleast a private room.

Post # 10
969 posts
Busy bee

We did a very small restaurant reception- 14 people at 11:30 and it was incredible! The food was soooo good. And they put us on the side of the restaurant where the bar was, so we ended up basically getting the bar to ourselves since no regular patrons were hanging out there that early.

I think one of the things that helped is we picked a restaurant that was full of light and was already decorated for Christmas in a classy way with some twinkle lights and greenery. I used my bouquet as a table centerpiece.

We had been trying to find a restaurant with a private room, but they were all so dark and closed off. We also considered booking the main room of a restaurant at a time they were normally closed- like Saturday for brunch.

After lunch we went to my father in law’s house for cupcakes and champagne. It was nice to have somewhere more casual to sit and talk for as long as we wanted. 

Post # 11
5660 posts
Bee Keeper

 What was the reason for the guilt feeling? Would that financially strain you guys? Or is it something else? I say stick to the original plan because you sound like you already regret cutting some things out.  Is that the case?

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