I was a big fan of intimate, restaurant weddings long before COVID. Guys, they make SO much sense as a money saver. Now, I know we can’t all dine together indoors right now, but once we’re able to again, consider the following:
Catering, bar and venue costs will usually take up about 40% of your total expenses. In New England, a typical rental fee can be anywhere from $3,000 - $10,000 +. For a full service catered dinner and bar, you can expect the cost per person to start at $125 - $150. For a wedding of 150 guests, you're looking at a minimum of $20,000 to start, and that's only 40% of your expenses.
If your venue is a blank slate and/or doesn't include any furnishings, you can spend thousands furnishing and decorating your event space.
Many restaurants do not charge a venue rental fee, just a food and beverage minimum spend dependent on your date.
Food, beverage, and rental costs scale up and down dependent on your guest count. Limiting your guest count is the most effective way to save money.
If you select a restaurant with an ambiance you already adore, just add some lighting, florals, and personalized details. Most of the design work is already done.
And even if you want a large wedding, restaurants still fit the bill! Many will offer a full restaurant buyout to take over the space for the evening.
I love traditional wedding venue spaces and they're so much fun to plan and design in, but I'm always going to be transparent in the options that exist out there. When we're back to full indoor capacities post-COVID, do not underestimate the restaurant wedding, y'all.