Pros and Cons of the Most Popular Venue Types

Whether you envision your wedding held in a hotel ballroom, a trendy bistro or a sunny backyard, there are pros and cons to consider for each. Here, what you need to know before you book.


If exceptional food and service is a top priority for your wedding, consider saying your “I dos” at a fine-dining establishment.


Great food
Jessica Mean held her September 4, 2011, wedding reception for 95 guests at Acre Restaurant in Chicago. Jessica calls herself an amateur foodie, so good food and drinks were a must for her wedding. “After touring a few banquet hall and hotel ballroom venues, my husband and I realized we either had to book a restaurant that served the type of food we wanted or a raw space that would allow us to bring in our own caterer. But the cost of turning the raw space into something appealing would have blown our budget.”

Well-trained service staff
“Restaurants are in the business of making good food and providing good service,” says Jessica. Regardless, Pryor stresses the importance of booking eateries that are experienced in handling large parties.

Minimal rentals required
Because restaurants already have tables, chairs, linens and other service items on hand, your rental costs will be much lower for a restaurant wedding than for a banquet wedding.


Restricted space
If you want to dance the night away on your big day, a restaurant might not be right for you. “Restaurants are usually not designed with dancing, grand entrances, live bands or bouquet tossing in mind,” admits Jessica.

Buyout may be necessary
“Restaurants are expensive if you have to do a buyout,” says Blum. “They will charge what they would have made on à la carte seating.”

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Messina

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