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Planning the Perfect Restaurant Wedding

Many are shifting to more restaurant style receptions these days, and for good reason. It is one of the most sustainable ways your can plan a wedding.

Pros: already has tables, chairs, linens, place setting items, most have a great stereo system that DJs can hook into instead of bringing their own equipment

Cons: beverages will most likely be more expensive per guest but not always, may not have the space to accommodate all parts of your day (ceremony, cocktail, reception/dancing)

Many will choose to have welcome drinks and rehearsal dinners at restaurants, but for those who want to keep their guest list under 80 and are having their ceremony at a different location like a church, this can be a great solution for you.

We recently planned a wedding at Rochambeau in the heart of Back Bay in Boston. This restaurant had the perfect set up for a wedding reception.

If doing a full buyout, guests would enter into the first floor bar area for cocktail hour. When it was time for dinner, they would be invited upstairs (elevator available) for dinner. The second floor dining room can seat up to 80. Once dinner was finished, guests would be invited into the private dining room for dancing until as late as 1 AM.

If doing a partial buyout, guests would enter on the first floor, and be led straight upstairs to the private dining room for cocktail hour by the staff. The DJ and staff would invite guests in for dinner when it was time. While guests enjoyed dinner, the private dining room was converted into the dancing space which guests were invited back into after dinner.

Here are details from the Rochambeau wedding that we loved:

  • Guests were greeted with Champagne and a sorbet Prosecco tower along with a grazing table, passed hors d'oeuvres, two full bars, and passed signature drinks to keep the flow of the room

  • Escort cards (also called a seating chart/how guests find their seats) were set up on the mirror

  • When guests were invited into dinner, the bride and groom stayed back to enjoy their own private apps and drinks before being introduced in for dinner

  • Dancing and speeches happened in between the 5 courses to break it up

  • Vendors were able to enjoy the same food that guests had which is unheard of in the industry. It made the vendors feel like the were truly a part of the day and not just hired help.

  • To transition back to the private dining space for dancing, the staff surprised the guests with magnum champagne bottles with LED sparklers while the bride and groom passed out sunglasses and started a train onto the dance floor. This set the tone for the rest of the night, and there was always people on the dance floor from 9 PM-1 AM believe it or not.


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