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Complete Wedding Venues Guide & How to Choose the Perfect One

wedding venue with a married couple

Your wedding venue is probably the first big decision you’ll make when planning a wedding. There’s a lot to think about, so this can be a tough decision. Here’s how to find and choose the perfect one.

wedding venue with a married couple

Types of Wedding Venue

The most traditional wedding venue is a house of worship, such as a church or mosque. These are usually available for the wedding only, but some also offer reception space. Hotel weddings are also popular, as you can usually have the whole day in one place. For large weddings, banquet halls work well. Looking for a rustic venue? Choose a barn. You could also get married at a vineyard, winery, garden, country house, restaurant, city hall, or even at home. No one type of wedding venue is better than another. It all depends on your tastes and needs for your wedding venue.

What To Look For When Choosing A Wedding Venue

When you start looking, dozens of venues are bound to come up. Narrowing down which ones are worth visiting can be tough. Start by considering some important factors.

  • Budget. What is your budget? If you’re on a tighter budget, look for packages, as these are often cheaper. Many venues don’t list their prices on the website, so you may have to call to enquire. Don’t look at a venue that you can’t afford, or you’re sure to feel disappointed when you can’t book it.
  • Location. Where do you want to get married? Is the venue easy to travel to? Is there enough parking for those who will drive? What public transport is available to those who won’t? Are there enough hotels nearby for all your guests/
  • Space. How many people will the venue hold? It’s no good falling for a huge country manor for 500 guests if you only want 50, and it’s equally troublesome to view an intimate public garden with room for 50 if you want 500.
  • Personality. Does the venue suit your style? If you’re a modern couple, is that church really for you? If you’ve always dreamed of a classic white wedding, is a funky downtown restaurant the best pick?

wedding rep with an arrangement of flowers

When Is The Right Time Book A Venue?

Popular wedding venues often book up well in advance, so most people book their venue at least a year in advance of their wedding. From first-hand experience with managing Davenport House, a large country house wedding venue in Shropshire, this is when most of our couples tend to book the venue.

If you want to get married on a weekday or a less popular time of year, then you might be able to leave it a little longer, but booking too close to your preferred date is generally not a good idea. Sometimes, if you book really far in advance, you may be able to get a bit of a discount too.

Where Do You Find Wedding Venues?

Google is the place where most couples start when they start looking for their wedding venue. Search for ‘wedding venues near me’ or search for wedding venues in the area you want to get married. You should find plenty of options this way and will find both venues’ own websites and listing sites.

Wedding fairs can also be a good place to find a venue. Many venues hold their own wedding fairs, so you can see how the venue might look when dressed for a wedding, look around the venue and find some local wedding vendors at the same time.

Wedding Venues On A Budget

If you’re on a budget, don’t worry. There are some great options for wedding venues.

  • Family property. Does a family member have a large, beautiful garden? Maybe you could get married there? Garden weddings at home are very popular and can make for beautiful, relaxed ceremonies, with no money spent.
  • Small venues. Small restaurants, local bars, and town halls often have space for weddings that will be much cheaper than larger venues. If you’re planning a smaller wedding, one of these could be ideal.
  • Book early. Many venues offer deals for those willing to book well in advance.
  • Choose an unpopular time. Most people want to get married in the Spring or Summer, on a Saturday. These make those days much more expensive, thanks to the increased demand. If you don’t mind when you get married, you can save a lot by choosing a weekday, or getting married in the Winter or Fall.
  • Book a package. Lots of venues offer package deals, where you get venue, food, and items like flowers all included. These can often be cheaper and mean you know exactly what everything will cost from very early on, so you know how much you need to save.

Couple Choosing a wedding venue

Questions To Ask A Wedding Venue Rep

When you go to look at a wedding venue, you should ask the person who shows you round lots of questions, so you can find out as much as you can to help you make the right choice. When you’re looking, it can be hard to remember all those questions, so it might be useful to write them down before you go. You could also email over all your questions before the appointment, so your rep can find out the answers to anything they’re not sure about before you arrive.

Start with the basics to make sure the venue has everything you need. Ask questions about the space, and the practicalities, like setting up for the ceremony, and how the reception will work. If you need something specific, like wheelchair access, a quiet space for people to get away, or unisex toilets, your viewing is the time to ask.

  • Is the venue available on the date that you need it?
  • How many guests can the venue accommodate?
  • What are their wedding packages and what is included in those packages?
  • Will there be other events at the same time as your wedding, or will the venue be yours exclusively?
  • Is there somewhere that you can get ready at the venue?
  • Can you bring in outside food if you don’t want to use their catering?
  • How long can you have the room for? Can you drop things off the day before, set up the night before, and leave things to collect the next day if you need to?
  • Who will decorate the venue? When will you be able to get in to decorate if the venues don’t set up themselves?
  • Is there a smoking area?
  • Is the venue accessible to wheelchair users?
  • Is there a cloakroom?
  • Is there a bar? What sort of bar?
  • Is there a secure area to store gifts?

Ask some questions about how the venue is set up for weddings. Usually, you have to view venues empty (although you may be lucky and be able to see it set up for someone else’s wedding if the venue is ready in advance). If you can’t see your venue dressed for a wedding, these questions can help you to picture what it will look like.

wedding venue during summer

  • How is the room usually laid out for a wedding? What layout options are there?
  • Do they have photos of past weddings at the venue?
  • Can you see it dressed for a wedding?
  • Who will be the contact on the day of the wedding?
  • What will you need to bring yourself? Ask about things like stands for signage, cake stands, a cake knife, and any other practical and decorative items that you aren’t sure who will provide.

Ask about decorations. Some venues have some basic decorations that they will put up for you, while others expect you to bring in everything. Some will have rules about things like lit candles or confetti, so ask first.

  • When can you start decorating?
  • Are there any restrictions on decorations that you can bring in?
  • Can you have candles?
  • Can guests throw confetti?
  • What decorations does the venue provide?
  • How many people can sit at each table?
  • Will they provide items like menus or place cards?
  • Are there high chairs available for children?

Ask plenty of questions about the food, especially if you have dietary requirements.

  • What are the different ways that the venue can serve food, such as buffet, family, or silver service?
  • Do they have in-house catering or preferred caterers?
  • Can you arrange a menu tasting? Is there a cost for this?
  • Are any drinks provided with the meal or for the toast?
  • Can they accommodate dietary needs?
  • How many menu choices can you offer your guests?

If you plan to serve alcohol, either via the venue’s bar or by bringing in your own, you should ask a few questions about this.

  • Does the venue have a liquor license/
  • Does the venue provide the alcohol and the bar service?
  • Are any drinks included in the price of your bookings, such as a welcome drink, wine with the meal, and a drink for toasting during the speeches?
  • Is there a cash or an open bar?
  • Is there a charge per bartender, or will the venue hire them?
  • What happens to any unopened bottles after the reception has finished? Will you be charged for these?
  • Can you bring in your own alcohol? Is there a corkage fee for this?
  • Are there any restrictions on their alcohol service?

For your reception, ask plenty of questions about music, dancing, or any other entertainment that you think you might like to have.

  • Does the venue have their own band or DJ? Do they have ones they recommend? Can you bring in your own?
  • What kind of sound system do they have? If you need microphones for speeches, do they have those?
  • When can the band, DJ, or other entertainers set up?
  • What time do they allow you to play music until?
  • Can you bring in things like a photo booth? What are the rules for this?
  • Are there any photography or video restrictions?

Don’t forget to ask about the money too. Even if you know the overall cost or cost per head, you may have more questions.

  • Can you set up a payment plan?
  • What deposit is required, and when by?
  • When must the balance be paid?
  • What payment options are available?
  • What is the cancellation policy?

If you’re getting married outdoors, you should plan for the weather turning out badly for you. Nobody likes to think about it, but you should make sure that your venue has a back-up option available, just in case.

  • Are there any covered areas outdoors in case of rain?
  • Is there an indoor space you could move to?
  • Is there a generator for power outages?

Married Couple

Don’t forget to talk about some of the practical points that your guests will need to know too.

  • Is there overnight accommodation at the venue? Do they have deals with local hotels? Is there anywhere that they recommend?
  • What are the room rates for overnight stays for guests?
  • Is there a discount available for a block of rooms or rooms for guests?
  • Is there parking at the venue? How many spots? Where else can guests park if there aren’t enough?
  • Is there a valet service?
  • Is there a cost to park?
  • Is there anything else going on nearby on the same date that may make it hard for guests to find somewhere to park?
  • Is there a local taxi firm that they partner with to offer discounted rides to guests staying elsewhere?

It can feel like you’re asking endless questions, but it’s important to get all the information you need. As well as being beautiful, you want to make sure that your venue can cater for all your needs, whether that’s plenty of parking for all your guests, a safe, nut-free menu for your cousin with allergies, rooms for out-of-town guests, or a payment plan to spread out the costs. Much of this information can often be found on the venue’s websites or in their wedding brochures, so spend some time looking through these. Make notes, and don’t be afraid to make notes during your viewing to help you remember everything.

Start your research early, so you have plenty of time to find your dream venue, at the right price and with everything that you might need.

And if you need wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, bridal accessories and more, check out Best for Bride website.

 

Author Bio – Lizzie Adams

Lizzie Adams is the owner of the wedding business Davenport House which is a luxurious wedding venue located in the heart of Shropshire. Lizzie’s background as an international wedding planner and the stunning weddings created at Davenport means that couples get access to the very best wedding planning at the gorgeous Stately home and estate. From progressive, modern weddings to the more traditional country house affairs, Lizzie has seen it and planned it all. Lizzie is active on Facebook and Instagram and she’s happy to answer all of your wedding-related questions.

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Pros and Cons of different wedding venues

The overall impact of your wedding depends on the venue you pick. This is because your choice of location affects the theme, décor, lighting and other aspects of your wedding. It even affects your dress decision to a great extent. Hence, the venue decision isn’t one to take lightly. In fact, it is one of the first wedding planning decisions that every couple should make.

From indoor venues like barns, banquet halls and castles to outdoor venues like beaches and gardens, there are plenty of options to choose from. However, there are so many factors to consider when choosing your wedding venue. These include the following

  • Your budget
  • Expected number of guests
  • Accessibilty of location
  • Desired wedding theme
  • Style of wedding
  • Weather at the time of wedding

While these factors are important, this list isn’t exhaustive. There are many more aspects that you have to consider when choosing the venue.

Don’t worry if you are confused or overwhelmed by this. Fortunately, we have an easy way to help you narrow down your choices to the right type of venue for your wedding!

Take a look at our list of pros and cons for the different venue types. This will help you weigh each option against the others and eliminate or short-list the suggested venue type. This should allow you to recognize the best venue for your situation. So, let us take a look at the most popular venue types one by one.

Hotels/Banquet halls

Hotels and resorts are very popular wedding locations, since these venues are equipped to deal with events of this scale. They also have facilities for accommodation and food, which is great if you have a number of outstation guests. Here are the pros and cons of choosing a hotel or resort as your wedding venue.

Pros:

  • Staff have experience hosting events of this scale. As a result, most of the day will progress smoothly.
  • On-site caterers make menu planning a breeze. You needn’t worry about the logistics of transporting food from another location, setting it up or the service.
  • The venue is guaranteed to have great interiors and classy décor to match. You can enhance it with your own choice of decorations.
  • You do not have to worry about parking, seating or bathroom facilities on-site.
  • They have rooms that you can use to get dressed at. Saves you the trouble of traveling to the venue after getting dressed at home or at another location.

Cons:

  • Most hotels offer standard packages, and you may have limited flexibility or have to spend extra to alter things to your exact liking.

  • You may have to use the hotel’s vendors and entertainment for the occasion. This may limit your options and you may not be allowed to bring in food or liquor from outside.

  • Hotels are quite expensive, as you have to go with the packages they have.

  • Good hotels are booked quickly, and since most of them host only one wedding per day you may have to make your decision very early.

For more insight on whether a hotel is the right venue for your wedding, take a look at this article on Easy Weddings. 

Country Club/Garden venue

Many country clubs have options for both indoor and outdoor events, allowing you to enjoy the best of both. There is also a romantic and serene charm to such settings. Here are the pros and cons of picking such venues for your wedding.

Pros:

  • They have ample space to accommodate a large guest count. They will also have shaded outdoor seating spaces, cozy indoor relaxing spaces and picturesque locations.

  • You have the flexibility of using both indoor and outdoor spaces. So, you can have your ceremony in their grounds, and the reception indoors.

  • The food is usually amazing at country clubs. They may also allow you to bring in your own caterer or baker, on prior agreement.

  • Country clubs usually have well-maintained grounds, garden spaces and beautiful indoor décor that allow for amazing photographs.

Cons:

  • The venue is usually expensive. Also some country clubs require you to have a membership to avail of the facilities. You will have to consider this factor when choosing this venue.

  • Since country clubs have a number of event spaces, yours may not be the only event on the day. This means there may be outsiders sharing the same space and amenities.

Beach

The beach is a top wedding destination for couples who want a relaxed, intimate and memorable wedding. From beaches that are close to home to those in the exotic tropics, couples flock to beaches for the unique ambiance they provide. Here is what you should know before you have your wedding at such a location.

Pros:

  • Unmatched ambiance and unique feel of the outdoors. Romantic and exciting venue that is interesting and makes for amazing memories

  • Destination beach weddings allow you to tailor your wedding to a fixed budget and invite only those you really want at your wedding

  • Setting allows you to choose comfortable and casual attire, if you aren’t fond of traditional wedding gowns.

  • Amazing wedding photos are guaranteed, since the venue will be bathed in natural light and is fun

Cons:

  • You need a Plan B in case the weather throws up unwanted surprises like heavy winds or a drizzle.

  • Destination beach weddings aren’t easy since you will be making long-distance plans and can’t oversee every detail.

  • Unless it is a private beach, outsiders may invade your wedding venue and be in your photos.

More details of what you should remember when planning a beach wedding are available in this article. 

Church/House of Worship

If faith plays an important part in your life, you may choose to have your wedding ceremony at a church or house of worship. This traditional venue comes with its own benefits and disadvantages. Let us look at what they are.

Pros:

  • The venue is magnificent and lends an air of grandeur and style to your wedding.

  • Suitable for classic wedding themes and allows you to dress traditionally

  • There is an organized approach and the various events on the day progress as per tradition. The expected nature of these rituals eliminates confusion.

  • Weddings in a house of worship usually cost less than other venues

Cons:

  • There are usually restrictions on the dressing for a wedding. You may have to cover your shoulders, which means you can’t pick a strapless gown unless you cover it up with a suitable accessory.

  • You will have to find another location for the reception. This means your guests will have to travel from the first venue to the second. This will involve time and more planning.

  • Your photography options will be limited in a church. Make sure your photographer has the required equipment to capture the photos with clarity during the ceremony.

Museum/art gallery/Castle

Steeped in history, museums and art galleries offer a unique ambiance for a wedding. The very location makes the occasion memorable and it is less traditional. Here are the pros and cons to selecting this venue for your special day.

Pros:

  • Since these venues aren’t common choices, it offers a unique and interesting touch to your wedding

  • It allows you to paint a picture of your personal taste and likes, making your wedding very personal.

  • Suitable for smaller gatherings due to space constraints. This makes the wedding cosy and intimate.

Cons:

  • Since these venues aren’t ideally meant to host such events, you will have to put in more effort to plan the event appropriately

  • Space constraints mean limiting your guest count to how many people can fit in the venue comfortably.

  • You will have to work with the existing décor and choose decorations that do not clash with the aesthetics of the place

  • The specialized art and fragile items in the setting require your guests to be careful with how they use the space.

  • You will have to find suitable outside vendors for the décor, food and other arrangements.

Reception Halls/Banquet Halls

Whether attached to a hotel or not, reception halls allow you to get your creative juices flowing and plan a wedding that is uniquely you. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of this choice.

Pros:

  • Unless attached to a hotel or resort, there is little to no décor at the location. This means you can work with the colors and elements of your choice to create a wedding day that reflects your tastes to the smallest detail

  • You can plan the entire setting to fit your budget. This gives immense flexibility.

  • It is a good space to host a reception following a wedding in a house of worship.

  • You can make the space work for your desired guest count by arranging the seating and other details suitably.

Cons:

  • The entire bulk of planning is on you. Since there is little to no existing décor, you will have to work hard on getting the theme and aesthetics right to match your vision.

  • Unless attached to a hotel, you will have to rent all the required equipment for setting up the arrangement.

  • You will have to find outside vendors for the food, decorations and all other aspects of the wedding.

  • Chances are that your guests have already been to the reception hall, if they are all from the community. Hence it will be challenging to create a setting that is different and provide an experience that isn’t similar to what they have experienced before.

Backyard

Having an intimate wedding in your own home is unlike weddings at any other venue. As romantic and charming as it is, it comes with a unique set of challenges. Let us explore what they are. You can also check The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Backyard Wedding.

Pros:

  • Backyard weddings are intimate and relaxed. Your guests will feel at home and settle in easily

  • This is a venue that you have total control over. You can begin prepping it for the wedding much earlier than you have to with any other venue.

  • It is a great way to save on venue expenses, which usually account for a great part of the wedding budget.

  • You can personalize the venue to the smallest detail, since you do not have to obtain any permissions or pay attention to limitations where this is concerned.

  • You can plan a very unique wedding, by choosing the décor, food and ambiance you want for the event.

Cons:

  • Unless you have plenty of space, you will have to limit your guest count to how many people the space can host comfortably.

  • You will have to rent seating, install additional lighting and set up the place with all the factors that may not be readily available at home. For instance, you may have to set up outdoor portable washroom facilities since you may not have enough facilities for your guests otherwise.

  • You will have to worry about parking space and also check the locale’s concessions on noise and traffic. Your neighbors may not be thrilled about all the commotion if your plans don’t align with the regulations.

  • Since you will be living on-site till the wedding day, it will be under use and more difficult to get it ready. You will have to worry about how the place looks and plan everything in time, so it looks picturesque for your wedding day.

For more backyard wedding advice, take a look at this fantastic article on the Bridal Guide. 

As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, every wedding venue comes with its unique set of challenges. At the same time, it also has its own unique benefits. With creativity, good organization and proper planning, it is possible to transform any venue into your dream wedding destination. So, tell us which wedding venue will you prefer for your special day?

For wedding dresses for any venue, whether it is a castle, museum, beach or hotel, visit us at Best for Bride. We will help you find the right dress for your venue, so you can be a bride who belongs in the setting!

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New Wedding Reception Ideas & Trends Your Guests Will Love

There’s always a new trend around the corner that could make your wedding reception become a memorable affair. Frequently, you don’t have to go big, make it extravagant, or even spend a mint. There are tons of fun and new wedding reception ideas and trends could be right up your alley. Read on for our take on some themes, trends, and Knick Knacks that are sure to enhance your special day and your guests experience.

Add Some Flair to Your Programs

Wedding days tend to provide guests with considerable amounts of free time. Whether it is the anticipation of the ceremony or the sometimes awkward timing before the reception, your guests are likely to have some “free” time throughout the day. Providing programs with some added flair is an excellent way to make those periods of time more exciting and enjoyable.

Blank notebook and wild flowers on blue wooden background. Concept flowers of spring,

Adding fun facts about the couple or ceremony location, introducing the wedding party, outlining the event schedule, and adding any fun tidbits, are creative ways to make the experience feel more personalized. It’s also a great conversation starter for family and guests that want to get to know one another. You’re also more likely to have guests taking pictures of your program and sharing fun with non-attendees.

Create Small Knick Knacks For Your Guests to Use or Keep

It goes without saying that the Bride is always the most important attendee at any given wedding. That being said, there are plenty or small ways to make your guests feel truly appreciated and more involved in the event.

Confetti in wedding thrown on the floor, celebrations and events

Providing to-boxes for leftovers or cake, personalized coasters to leave on drinks while dancing, or customized guest lists based seating arrangements to help people get to know each other, all make for great ways to make guests feel the love too. Going the extra mile to enhance your guests experience will make for an even more memorable reception. Make sure to add your wedding hashtag on these types of items so your guests can share their memories on social media!

Make Memories That Last a Lifetime

Hire a photographer that knows how to mix and mingle with the guests to take some candid shots. Nothing is staged here. These photos show the two sets of grandparents toasting each other. They show the bridesmaids and ring bearer flossing. Ask the pro to customize the borders of the pictures to spell out your wedding details.

The photos are printed out throughout the night and placed on a board. Guests can walk right up and take the images that they want. If there’s a shot you want but someone else snapped up, don’t worry! These photos also go on a website for downloading and social media sharing. To make it even more fun, all guests can use a special app that allows all images taken to be easily shared on social media. Now your wedding hashtag can truly go viral!

Skip the Restaurant and Invite the Food Vendors

Artisans from the local bakery bring the bread. The lady with the delicious cheeses at the farmer’s market stand brings some of her wares. The mom and pop restaurant with the fiery spaghetti alla puttanesca provides an experience worthy of its Napoli origins. The ice cream vendor whom you always see when you walk the dog? Invite him, too! He’ll bring the dessert. Now, that’s a party!

 

Encourage Guests to Bring Their Best Friends

No, we’re not talking about the plus-one option on the RSVP card. This best friend is the canine companion they refer to as a fur baby. If you and your significant other met in a setting that involved dogs, this is an ideal way of honoring the memory and giving the nod to the canine that brought you together.

Go wild, and encourage guests to dress up their dogs. Keep it low-key and merely let friends and family members bring their best friends as they see fit. Just be sure to provide plenty of water bowls, treats, and a designated area for doggies to do their business.

Incorporate Your Hobbies into the Party

The standard reception includes a meal, some toasts, and dancing. What would happen if you made your favorite hobby the backdrop to the standard? Are you and your love members of a roller skating team? Have the event at the roller skating rink! Did you meet at an indoor trampoline park? They have party rooms!

Wedding guests are enjoying a dance while the father of the bride plays piano music.

Just Have Fun!

In short, make the party a fun event for participants of all ages. Just be sure to let folks know if they need to bring special footwear or should pack a change of clothes. After all, nobody wants to jump on a trampoline in a long evening dress.

With so many new wedding reception ideas and trends, there’s no reason to do the same old routine. Forget the chicken or steak dinner and let’s party like you mean it!

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Your guide to planning a restaurant wedding

Restaurant weddings are smart and sensible! It is no wonder that more and more couples choose their favorite restaurants as their wedding reception venue. The interesting thing is that it is not only food-lovers who make this choice. Many couples nowadays prefer a small, intimate and meaningful wedding ceremony and reception instead of a big bash where they hardly know all the guests. Restaurants are a likely choice for such couples as well.

Here are some of the other reasons why restaurant weddings are so attractive.

It is the best option for those who are short on time: It is an easy go-to solution for a couple who are short on time or aren’t too keen on planning every small detail of their wedding day. So, if you are a bride or groom who has many pressing needs at work or otherwise, and fitting in wedding plans is nearly impossible, a restaurant wedding may be the easiest option available.

Budget-friendly options: Restaurant weddings cost a lot lesser than weddings at other venues when you want good quality service and food for a smaller number of guests. Hiring a wedding venue, renting or buying all the things for the reception, hiring catering and serving staff, and planning all the décor can be very expensive and take over most of your budget. When you choose a restaurant, the décor is done and there is no need to rent furniture, linens, or tableware. All that’s needed for the service is available and you do not have to hire extra staff.

Food quality is guaranteed: Restaurants specifically thrive on good ratings, and their ratings are directly linked to the quality of food they serve. If you love a restaurant for their signature food, you know your guests can enjoy the same on your wedding day. So, you needn’t worry too much about the food, or even attend numerous tasting sessions to zero-in on a good caterer. Even when you do, you do not have the same assurance that the food on the wedding day will be the same as what you had at the tasting session. On the other hand, with a restaurant, you have a minimum guarantee of what you can expect.

The setting is cozy and intimate: All are naturally comfortable and settle in quickly when it is a cozy restaurant setting. These venues are used to accommodating guests on a daily basis and assure you of comfortable seating, the right amount of cooling or heating for the weather, and experienced staff who can make your guests feel at home in an instant.

You get classy décor for little to no cost: Unlike decorating your wedding venue from scratch and spending thousands on each feature, a restaurant comes with furniture and tastefully done décor that you don’t have to spend anything on. Instead, you can divert those funds into another wedding detail. Everything is in place, even without your supervision.

restaurant-858431_640

So, what do you think? Isn’t a restaurant wedding a great idea, given all these advantages? If you agree, here are the things to remember and do, when you plan your lifetime celebration at this venue.

Know your headcount

Before you finalize a restaurant, you should have a clear idea of how many guests will be attending your wedding. Restaurants are small spaces, and cannot accommodate more than a certain number of people comfortably. So, make sure that the place you choose will have enough space to seat all your guests. Check it out in person, to make sure there will be no problems. Your guests will not appreciate any make-shift adjustments if they aren’t given due importance. Don’t settle for a place unless it can cater to the headcount you suggest.

Be picky about the food quality

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The main attraction of a restaurant wedding is the food that will be served, and your guests will expect a great dining experience. So, don’t skimp on that factor. Make sure that you choose a restaurant that has great food. If it is a restaurant with dishes that are popular with most of your guests, you do not have much work to do. However, if you decide to go with a unique or distinct restaurant menu, you may like to collect a few opinions first. For example, if you choose a cuisine that most of your guests are not accustomed to, think of how you can adjust the menu so that there will be something for everyone.

Find out whether the event menus different from the regular menu

One of the first things to discuss with the restaurant manager is whether their event menu is different from what they regularly serve customers. This is a factor to consider, since you will be choosing a similar menu for a larger headcount, and the restaurant may have limitations in preparing certain dishes at once for the entire number. Restaurant service is very different from the service that is usually provided in other venues. So, discuss this with the chef, especially if there are certain choices that you must have and want to impress your party with.

Discuss your options to bring food from outside

drinks

Most restaurants do not encourage customers to bring food from outside. So, you may like to discuss this option if the restaurant doesn’t serve drinks or doesn’t have a custom cake service. Discuss with the manager before you sign the deal, so you are not disappointed later. Many brides prefer to have a custom gourmet cake, specially designed by a cake designer for their reception. However, your restaurant may not agree to it, if they have their own pastry chef or bakery section. Similarly, if the restaurant will not serve the signature drinks that you want, you may like to discuss this if it is important to you.

Make an early booking

Although it may be easier to book a restaurant when compared to other wedding venues, there are certain seasons when the rush is high For example, restaurants tend to be busier during the holidays. So, you will have to compensate them for the business they may have at the time when you book the entire facility. When you book at least six months ahead of the date, this should not pose a problem.

Ask about décor options

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Most restaurants are beautifully decorated, and the ambiance is usually a factor that attracts a couple to such places. So, it is a bonus when you think of how you can have a fantastic party without splurging on the décor. However, you may like to add a few special touches to make it more festive. A special centerpiece or some more floral décor may be a good idea. Ask about the extent to which you can add your own personal touches to the décor on the day. What are you allowed to bring in, and what do they restrict?

Talk about the privacy you will have

It wouldn’t be the same if there were other people at the restaurant, while you celebrate your wedding. However, it is a possibility that you have to consider it. Unless the restaurant hosts your party in a segregated hall where nobody from outside has access to, it is a good idea to consider hiring the whole place for the day. Most restaurants have small halls that you can fully book. So, you may be able to do this, if your guest list matches the number that can be hosted in such spaces. Of course, it will end up being more costly than when you just have to pay for the place you will occupy. Nevertheless, it will be worth it, as you will get the privacy you deserve, without any prying eyes. Even if you have to pay more for buying out the entire place for the time you are there, it will not be too much in comparison to hiring a whole other venue and decorating it from scratch.

Discuss the layout and seating arrangements

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Some restaurants are flexible in allowing you to change the seating arrangements, while others do not encourage it. Talk to the manager, and find out what your options are. Your layout should be comfortable for the guests who will be attending. Knowing what your seating options are, will allow you to decide on an arrangement that will work best. If the restaurant has hosted many parties before, you may like to take a look at some of those photos to figure out the different seating options and choose the best one for your function. It will also give you an idea of how space looks when transformed, rather than just going with an abstract idea.

Discuss the extra costs upfront

The overall cost will depend on the number of guests, the food served, and the day on which your wedding is held. You may be able to get a better deal if your wedding is on a weekday, or if you plan a brunch or lunch at a restaurant that normally doesn’t operate during the day. However, you will have to consider the extra cost if your party extends for longer than you anticipate. Apart from the listed cost, also find out about service charges and additional fees. You may also like to add tips and gratuity into the total cost, so you know what you have to budget overall.

Check how kid-friendly it is, if your guest list includes kids

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Most family-style restaurants will be equipped to handle little children. However, make sure you confirm this beforehand if there are children on your guest list. Do they serve special meals that may be a better option for children? Also, do they have seating arrangements that will be convenient for them? Knowing this in advance will allow you to plan any alternate arrangements you may have to make for the youngest members of your wedding party.

Check out previous weddings held there

A restaurant that has hosted many weddings in the past will always be a better bet than one without much experience. This is because weddings are quite different from regular services, for the headcount and style of service expected on the day. An experienced restaurant will be better equipped to accommodate last-minute changes in the headcount and to arrange the service in a seamless manner with minimum supervision. This article on Apartment therapy tells us that a Google search with the name of the restaurant and the words “wedding blog” will most likely turn up photos of weddings that were previously held in the space. If you decide to go with a place that is relatively new, it is a good idea to communicate more and be very specific about your expectations, so they get a clear picture of what you expect.

It isn’t unusual for couples, and especially brides, to feel worried and anxious as their wedding day draws near. With hundreds of details to plan and things to sort out, this is a normal and expected part of wedding planning. Having a restaurant wedding will help you overcome a great deal of stress, as much of it is already sorted out without any additional help. In fact, if you don’t have a wedding planner to oversee your wedding plans or guide you, a restaurant wedding may be one of the best options to minimize stress. With all these details taken care of, all you need now is a fantastic wedding dress to transform you into the beautiful bride you always wanted to be. And, we are here to help you find it.

Best for Bride features a vast inventory of top-class designer wedding dresses, in all price ranges and every type imaginable. Whether you are a modern bride or prefer a traditional wedding dress, we are sure you can find it in our stores. Check out the listings of all the dresses we carry, at our website link here, to see the dresses in our collections. Book your appointment with us today, and come one step closer to nailing your wedding day look.