(Closed) Restaurant Reception

posted 5 years ago in Reception
Post # 4
307 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2015


I haven’t gotten married yet, but I’ve been to a lot of restaurant weddings.  I’m Vietnamese, so receptions at swanky Chinese restaurants are the norm.  Our weddings tend to be very large, though, so this might not be too informative.  Plus all the weddings I’ve been to are held at restaurants that hold weddings every weekend.

I’ve only been to dinner receptions at restaurants, and there were usually 200-300 guests.  We’ve either rented out the entire restaurant (if it was small) or a ballroom.  The bride and groom selected dishes for a several-course meal that was served family style. Alcohol is usually open bar.  Signature drinks can keep costs down on this front. 

The decorations were almost always provided by the restaurant.  I’m sure you could add your own decorations for a little personalization, though.

Speeches and dancing are usually included.

If you do have a restaurant reception, I think it’d be best to find a restaurant with a private room.  You don’t want your wedding merriment to disturb other diners, and you don’t want the other diners disturbing your wedding merriment.

I personally love restaurant receptions.  The food is cooked on site (hopefully), so it should be piping hot and as delicious as it could be.  Plus the cooks are likely used to the kitchen they’re working in.  I’ve been to a few catered weddings where the food was just so-so.

Hope this helps!

Post # 5
753 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I went to a wedding that had a restaurant reception. 

They had half of the room blocked off for us to sit at and they had a seating chart and everything. The 2 things I didn’t like was that it was only 1 room and the bathrooms were on our side so peopl were walking through speeches and everything as well as waiters going to the kitchen because it was also on our side of the room.

It was a chinese restaurant and they had it family style so dishes were just broght out to us and if you wanted to eat it you did, if not you didn’t. I didn’t eat much because a lot of the stuff had mushrooms, which I’m allergic to, or was something I wouldn’t eat. (seafood, authentic chinese food, mushrooms like mentioned above.)

They put wine on the tables and had certain beers that we could drink for free which was nice. 

They did do speeches and a very very awkward first dance. They did a cake cutting too but never served it which we were really confused about. 

They didn’t decorate at all and the tables were pushed together way too close because the space wasn’t big enough to fit everyone. Had they reserved the entire restaurant, or found another place it would have been nicer. 

With all of this said, I see no problem with a restaurant reception, lunch or dinner, and believe that it can be done really well. When we had big groups come in at the restaurant I worked at most people would just pick a few items off the menu and make a smaller menu for their guests to choose from. Guests still pick what they want but you get to choose the price they do it from. Talk to the restaurant and see what they suggest. 

Whatever you do I’m sure it will be fun for everyone and gorgeous as well! 

Post # 7
753 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Morning ceremony followed by lunch? 

Or lunch followed by afternoon ceremony? 

Either way will be wonderful. You could also do a sunday wedding and have brunch before/after. 


Post # 8
11 posts
  • Wedding: August 2013


This is exactly what we’re doing. Our guest list includes close/immediate family members only, and a couple of really close friends. Total, we have about 24-26 (including us). The restaurant I’m working with has been extremely flexible and unlike the majority of the restaurants I contacted, he does not require a food minimum or charge for the room. It’s a private room, downstairs, separated from the main dining area, so I love that we’ll be completely secluded. Our own private bathrooms down there as well as elevator access.

I’m nixing the first dance, no garter toss or bouquet toss, toasts will be up to people who want to do them, so if they happen, they happen. I’m bringing an iPod to have music playing in the background. One thing we did add is a photo booth.

We’re still trying to figure out what we’re going to do for drinks, but I feel very comfortable with having a cash bar. I’ve researched this and researched this and have come to my own, comfortable, decision. We are possibly thinking of paying for margaritas during the cocktail time (it’s at a Mexican restaurant and all their margaritas are phenomenal)

We can pretty much have anything off the regular menu we want, he just asks us to narrow it down to about 4-5 selections.

I specifically chose a place, both ceremony and reception, that needed little decor additions. The room is gorgeous, and while it doesn’t really match my color scheme, it has a beautiful old wood, rustic feel to it. I’ll decorate the cake table a little and then the dinner tables will be minimally decorated as well. My goal has been to keep everything simply, elegant and beautiful. The more you add sometimes and complicate things, the beauty can get lost.

I’ve loved the idea for a restaurant reception from the get go. It keeps it simple and you can sometimes negotiate a little more if it’s not something they do a lot.

The way I found this place was to search for restaurants  that had large party/dining rooms. I tried to keep “wedding” out of my search.

Good luck!

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