Restaurant owners spend most of their energy trying to provide daily patrons with the best possible meal and service. But many establishments are thinking bigger – marketing themselves as special event or restaurant wedding venues. If you have ample space to accommodate a large party, the right décor, and ambiance, and a suitable menu, you can get in on the trend of couples choosing to have restaurant wedding receptions.

Because of today’s foodie culture and skyrocketing wedding reception costs, many couples are seeking alternatives to giant catering hall extravaganzas. They are looking for higher quality food, a more intimate setting, and a unique experience for their guests – all of which restaurant wedding venues are offering.

According to Gather, hosting events at your restaurant is a great way to drive increased margins compared to your average Friday night. “With events, everything is more predictable — including food ordering, service scheduling, etc. — and higher-margin items like liquor and dessert comprise a larger portion of the check,” writes Gather CEO Nick MillerA typical reservation brings in 3.5-8% profit margins at a standard full-service restaurant vs. a special event at 15-25% profit margins.

So how do you know if you should get into the wedding business with your restaurant? If you think that you have space and the perfect food to help couples celebrate their big day, here are some of the considerations that can help you decide to move forward.

Some of our Favorite Restaurant Wedding Venues Around the Country

If you’re leaning toward opening up your offerings to include wedding receptions, get inspired by these popular restaurants around the country that have become hot wedding venues. As you can see, while they each feature local flair and unique concepts, they all offer an elegant affair.

A favorite Chicago restaurant wedding venue

For those Windy City couples looking for an “Italian villa” type wedding experience, head to Osteria Via Stato, a beautiful space with customized Italian cuisine.