Perhaps the most important decision you’ll make regarding your wedding is which restaurant to use. Since many of the main activities in a Chinese wedding take place during the banquet, the restaurant you choose can make or break your big day. Therefore, it’s ultimately very important to scout out just the right spot to hold your Chinese wedding feast.
A number of factors can affect your choice of restaurant, including number of guests, cost, meal offerings, location and look and feel of the banquet room. All of these factors should be taken into account when deciding on the dinner venue for your Chinese wedding.
You can’t book a dinner venue without knowing which date, so the first priority is to decide on your wedding date and go from there. This can be difficult, since many popular venues for Chinese weddings book out up to a year in advance. So, Chinese couples often opt to host their wedding feasts on a different night from the actual wedding day. You’ll need to decide in advance if you’re open to this, and if not, opt to choose a less obvious wedding date when more venues might be available.
Once the date is decided, contact local Chinese restaurants to find out if they host wedding banquets. In case you cannot find a restaurant large enough to host your entire banquet, you can opt to host the banquet in a hotel and have the feast catered by a local restaurant. It is also important to take into account the accessibility of the venue for your guests – don’t choose a reception hall that is difficult to get to or out of the way.
You will need to decide what types of dishes you want to include in your wedding feast. Many Chinese restaurants are set up to host Chinese wedding feasts and will offer a range of standard fare like shark’s fin soup and crab. Most venues will do taste tests if you’re serious, so narrow your choices and ask.
Decide on your budget before approaching venues or catering companies. Having a price range in mind can help you figure out which dishes to include and which to rule out, or whether that beautiful penthouse room with a bay view might just be too expensive. Discuss your budget needs with potential venues to get an idea of whether they can and will accommodate you.
Before booking a venue, finalize your guest list. This may involve contact invitees to confirm the number of people in their family that will attend. Obviously, you can’t know everything in advance and there will be some cancellations, but at least you will have a basic idea as to how large your reception hall needs to be.
The look and feel of the restaurant is as important as its food quality and accessibility. This is your wedding and you want it to be special, romantic and comfortable! Make sure to get a good look at the actual room where you’re banquet will be held. Check for inauspicious arrangements and imagine how the decorations would look or where you would place tables and hold games.