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1. You’ll have to cut your guest list
As most restaurants, cafes, or gardens have limited capacities, you may have to be prudent about the people you invite. And, if you’ve got many good friends you’d like to invite to your nuptials, or your parents are traditionalists who want to include their extended relatives and business partners in the celebrations, having an alternative wedding may mean you have to cut that list.
2. Not everyone may be able to see you
One of the good things about pillarless ballrooms, is that everyone will be able to see you at any time, clearly. It’s not the same for cafe weddings. I’ve attended celebrations at double-storey colonial houses, where guests on the second floor had to keep going to the first floor, to see what’s going on in terms of entertainment, because that venue wasn’t equipped with live cameras. I’ve also been to weddings at venues with oddly-shaped angles, where we’ve had to squeeze into one corner, away from our tables, to see what was going on onstage. So this is something you’ll have to take note.
3. It may cost more per head
While hotel banquets may cost, with an average of $150 per guest, cafe or restaurant weddings may not be that much cheaper too. Some of the restaurants and cafes we spoke to charge a lump sum per package, but with a small upper head limit. For instance, it can cost $4,000 for 20 guests for a solemnisation at a cafe, which comes out to be around $200 per guest. If you’re looking to recoup a part of your losses with your guests’ red packets, you’re not likely to do so here.
4. It may cost
When having your wedding at an outdoor venue, cafe, or lawn, these are things you’ll have to include in your budget too: Lights, tents, chair and table rentals, catering, flowers, generators, electricity, portable toilets, and movers. Note that the list here isn’t a comprehensive one, but it should cover most things. (See other things to note)
5. Less perks
If you’ve signed up with a hotel’s wedding package, you’ll generally stand to receive: complimentary invites (for a percentage of guests), alcohol (usually wines and beers), food, parking, the hotel suite, and others like your honeymoon (if your hotel is part of a group with properties around the world). You won’t really get such perks with cafes or restaurants, unless they’ve tied in with hotel partners. (See the free perks you’ll stand to receive here)
6. A more casual atmosphere
The allure with cafe weddings, is that they’re casual, intimate, and simple – in fact it’s sort of like a gathering with friends, only on a larger scale. But if you were envisioning a grand, glamorous soiree (with you in a ballgown), you should think twice. (See 7 ideas for a hipster cafe weddings, and 7 cafes for modern weddings)
Note: I’m not trying to dissuade anyone from having the celebration of their dreams – if you’ve been looking forward to having a casual, cafe wedding, by all means, go ahead. This story is for couples who are still undecided, and aren’t sure of the celebration they should be having.