(Closed) Intimate restaurant reception

posted 9 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
526 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

@BluButterfly:  A lot of that is up to the restaurant. Have you talked to them about your wishes and seen the actual room? Would you have room for a band, a dance floor? Is there a sound system for an ipod? Will they allow time for decorating, since that is several more hours that the room will be unusable to them. Cake cutting is usually very easy and they will set up a table for the cake, but be prepared to pay a “cake cutting” fee.

Post # 4
4560 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I had my afternoon ceremony (outside on the patio) and reception at a really nice restaurant for 50 people. So I don’t  have advice for the transition time if you are moving between locations. But if possible, have a small cocktail party (drinks and hors) when the guests first arrive. You will be late because of pictures. 

We did a 3 course meal (salad, app, main dish). We did speeches between 1st and 2nd course. We should have done the cake cutting between 2nd and 3rd. We didn’t do a first dance (or have a dance floor). DId you want to just do a first dance or did you want everyone to dance too? If its just the two of you, I would do the first dance right after the 3rd course, then walk around talking with everyone while they are being served cake.

We did an iPod with a stero from WalMart (that we returned), but no one could hear the music because the staff kept turning it down. No one really missed it. 

Good Luck!

Post # 6
5 posts
  • Wedding: April 2013

@BluButterfly:  Your wedding sounds lovely! We’re doing something sorta similar – although yours sounds much more relaxed and elegant! We’re having our ceremony at a large rental house, taking a bus to the restaurant for cocktail hour and dinner, then taking the bus back to the rental house for cake and partying. Our timeline will be like this:

2pm guests arrive, wine and cheese

3pm ceremony

4pm wine/cheese/group pictures

5pm arrive at restaurant, cocktail hour and parent dances

6pm Dinner

7pm Thank you Toasts, board bus home

7:30 Cake and Champagne

8pm start the more fast paced music, mingling and hanging out, playing pool

I think you could do something similar minus the bus. Is there space at the restaurant so you could divide the mingling area and the dinner area? Let them stand, stretch their legs during cocktails, then move back to that area after dinner so that people have the option to sit, but could also stand and mingle? For our guests at least, changing up the environment and the pace of different events will help them stay engaged. (Prevent our older uncles from nodding off at the table after a great meal!)


Good luck!

Post # 7
2503 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

The tricky thing about using an iPod is that someone has to keep on eye out on it and make sure the music is flowing with the vibe of the guests and the atmosphere. I don’t think you can just make one set list, push play and leave it alone the whole night.

I’m not usually an advocate of bands as the only solution because I think they can tend to sound one-note and “the same old thing over and over again”. That being said, if you aren’t doing much dancing and just a lot of mingling and chatting, a three-piece band would be really fun and add a “wow” level to it.

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