How to select the restaurant for your wedding reception?

23 February 2012

By Georgi Stoyanov

The restaurant is probably the most important wedding choice, after the wedding gown of course J It’s the place where you and your guests spend the most time, where you eat, and you have the most fun. The reception is also one of the main budget items, so our advice is to choose it carefully.

  • The hotel restaurants are usually our first choice for several reasons:
  • They are more spacious
  • The management and staff are quite experienced with wedding events
  • Most of them offer a free apartment for the bride and groom for their first night as a family and preferential prices for the wedding guests
  •  The hotel garden can be used for the official ceremony and the reception

One of the best weddings I attended as a guest was in a hotel near Varna with a wonderful garden and an outdoor pool. A possible drawback of a garden party is the presence of other guests in the hotel, which might require that you end your celebrations earlier than planned. That’s why you can target off-season dates for mountain and sea hotels, which will also secure better accommodation prices for your guests.

Alternatively, you can have the reception at the restaurant of an expensive hotel and accommodate your guests in a three-star hotel at a walking distance to the reception location.

If a hotel restaurant is not your first choice, discuss the options with your wedding agent. Ask for recommendations from friends, search the wedding forums, and go have dinner as a guest in the restaurants that made the final selection. Your wedding agent can be of great help, because he/she knows the market and can recommend restaurants based on your expectations, budget, and impressions of other couples and their guests.

When meeting the restaurant management ask them whether they have experience in serving for weddings. Look for professional attitude and attention to your special requests. Discuss the sample menus, the soft drinks and alcohol – are the drinks included in the price, can you bring your own alcohol and is there a fee for it?

Each couple will have its preferences, but the only thing I would recommend not to compromise with is the size of the restaurant. The place should have enough room for the wedding table, the DJ, and the dancing. Even better, if most of the tables have a good view over the wedding table and the dancing where most of the fun and rituals take place. Don’t buy based on appearance – a big and not-so-fancy looking restaurant maybe a better option to a small and shiny one. With a bit larger investment in decoration you can make the big restaurant the perfect wedding location, but you can’t magically increase the dancing space on your wedding day.

Another interesting reception option is having a cocktail. You can rent a hall or the backyard of your maid of honor and hire a good decorator, catering company, and a DJ – and you already have the perfect wedding setting. If you choose this option, think about sitting arrangements. The bride and most of the girls would be in high-heels and your grandmother will not enjoy standing for hours.

Before wrapping up, I would like to make a list of the important selection points when selecting the restaurant for your wedding reception:

  1. Spaciousness
  2. Quality and quantity of food portions
  3. Service
  4. Parking spaces
  5. Location
  6. Garden – in case you are interested in having the official ceremony outside


If you prefer to hire a professional to help you with the important wedding choices, we at Inanna wedding agency would be happy to assist.

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