Wedding Venues | Restaurant Receptions

Why Your Favorite Restaurant Can Also Be The Perfect Reception Spot

By Lisa Trani with La Grotta Ristorante

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As you pull all details together for the big day, larger items tend to come first. There’s the venue, guest list, flowers and right at the top – the food!

Sometimes making food for the wedding day is just as special as the occasion itself. That is why we often see many going for something familiar and perhaps even with a sentimental meaning.

You may prefer to go to a restaurant for the reception and integrate a certain culture or country into the food selections.  For example, maybe one of you is Italian and would like to incorporate your heritage into the food theme.

La Grotta food

Saxman Photography at La Grotta

So, once a decision is made on a restaurant, what are some helpful tips that can assist with making the reception not only a success but also the process less stressful?

First, many restaurants offer the option to rent out private rooms, small spaces or even a “buy out” of the entire facility to hold wedding receptions. Do you have a favorite restaurant for special occasions in your life? Why not book at an establishment where you know the facility, the food, and perhaps even have a personal connection with?

When planning a reception, it is important to already have knowledge of what the restaurant offers, and what better way to explore choices than to go directly there to eat and try it out? Most now offer so many menu options for guests to ensure everyone’s dietary needs are met.

Restaurants are a great way to allow additional flexibility for the size of the party. For instance, specific rooms can be utilized and customized with the guest list.

Another advantage of having a reception at a restaurant is having a kitchen onsite which gives more options and convenience for preparation and food choices. Often restaurants will even allow you to create your own menu.

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Usually when booking a wedding reception at a restaurant everything is included in one price. Appetizers, drinks, meals and even the cake! Many times they will have a room fee and most can even include the gratuity for the event.

What about decorating? Typically, restaurants already have a set decor, however most are open to creativity with colors and themes to bring your personal touch to the event.

There are also additional benefits. Having serving staff that already works at the restaurant gives them an added advantage of being familiar with the menu as well as the facility. Also, they usually have a manager or event coordinator who is a point person that can help you take care of organizing all of the details. This really helps with planning ahead.

Choosing a restaurant for your reception can be a “one stop shop” which can lead to less stress and easier planning, and who doesn’t love that?

Lisa Trani is the PR manager for La Grotta Ristorante in Richmond, Virginia. La Grotta is an award-winning fine dining Italian restaurant, specializing in rehearsal dinners, receptions, corporate events and private parties. Owner, Chef Antonio Capece, has been creating his culinary masterpieces for over 28 years. For more information visit