March 5

A Restaurant’s Guide to Wedding Event Season


Tap Into Wedding Event Season with Tips on Planning, Marketing, and Optimizing Event Spaces

The wedding industry is a huge revenue generator. As of 2023, it brought in around 70.3 billion dollars annually in the US alone.

With venues and menus at the top of most couples’ priorities, restaurants can and should take a big piece of the wedding event cake.

To help you plan your wedding event strategy—we spoke with Tripleseat, a leader in event management software, to share the ins and outs of promoting your venue as a wedding event space.

Wedding Event Logistics for Restaurants

“Event management is full of complex logistics and unanticipated challenges—wedding events are no exception,” Heather Apse, Content Specialist at Tripleseat, told us. “From the first inquiry to your venue, all the way to fulfilling your clients’ expectations, there are so many details and touchpoints.”

Apse explained that not having a structured event management process can be the biggest challenge and the common thread for issues like time management, staffing, event errors, and dissatisfied clients.

Before marketing your services for weddings, you must ensure you’re set up to provide a smooth and exceptional experience. Here are a few things to have in place before promoting your space for events.

Five Steps To Prepare Your Restaurant for Wedding Events

Step One: Investigate Event Space Potential.

If you want to book your space, you must know what size of events you can accommodate.

You may have a space away from the main dining room that you can utilize for events. You might book out just a section of your restaurant or the entire space—or heck, maybe you can accommodate all of the above!

Whatever you decide, spend time putting together stats like the square footage, guest capacity, floor plan, and potential layouts. Consider spaces for entertainment like a dance floor, band, or DJ—as these are major selling points for wedding receptions.

Envisioning the extent of what’s possible will be critical when it comes time to market your venue.

Don’t be afraid of getting creative to get your fair share of the wedding market. If you don’t have space to host a wedding reception, you can tap into the smaller, equally essential events like bridal showers and rehearsal dinners.

Step Two: Create Event Menus and Service Options.

“The menu style you offer for your wedding events can seem like no clear-cut solution,” Apse shared. “There are many considerations, including budget, client preferences, food waste, dietary requirements, staffing considerations, and more.”

Typical menu and table service options for weddings include

  • Prix Fixe Service: Fixed-price meal with several courses. The wedding party can typically choose the same menu for everyone or allow guests to select an entree from 2-3 options in their RSVP.
  • Buffet: Buffet-style dinners are either self-serve or served by staff. If you plan on offering a buffet, you’ll need chafing dishes, serving utensils, fuel for the heat source, tables, and more.
  • Family Style: Another formal sit-down dinner style—except rather than serving each guest individually, guests serve themselves from largely plated dishes strategically placed along the table.
  • Cocktail Service: Cocktail service dining is much like it sounds. Rather than a formal, sit-down dinner, wait staff walk around with plates of small bites for guests to enjoy while socializing.

“Regarding what to offer for your wedding packages, pricing, and profitability for your venue, you will need to do lots of competitor research and understand what your potential client is looking for,” Apse said. “No matter what menu types you choose to offer, make your pricing clear.”

Step Three: Determine Staffing Needs.

If you want to throw events, you need a team to fulfill the needs on the floor and in the kitchen.

Depending on the event size, service type, and whether you maintain regular business hours during events, you may need to ramp up your staff.

It’s pretty typical for restaurants to keep an on-call team specifically for events to get extra help as needed. As you can imagine, building this on-call team isn’t so simple.

You still have to find folks willing to be on-call and hope they’re available when needed.

Luckily, with Poached Shifts and our rostering feature, you can build an on-call team of vetted and experienced hospitality workers who are willing to work flexible hours.

You can view profiles of nearby workers from your Poached dashboard and invite those who look promising to join your roster—essentially building an on-call team from our network of over 1 million hospitality professionals nationwide.

Then, the next time you need extra help, you can post a shift for that role (or roles) and invite your roster to book your shifts.

Event venues like Coopers Hall in Portland, Oregon, benefit from using Poached Shifts to supplement their on-call team. If they still need extra hands after going through their network, they fill in with Poached Shift workers for reliable coverage.

Step Four: Optimize Your Website for Event Promotion and Lead Generation.

As you can imagine, most wedding planning starts with Google.

Couples turn to the internet to find a venue that perfectly captures the aesthetic and service they envision for one of the biggest days of their lives. To say your website and lead generation forms are a vital step before a significant marketing push would be an understatement.

Your website will be the landing page of all your advertising, so you want to optimize it with everything someone would like to know about your space. Include information on the rental space, available accommodations, sample menus, pricing, testimonials, and tons of pictures.

Your website is the first opportunity to provide exceptional service. Everything must be easy to find and navigate, including your lead generation form, which should include space for a name, email, phone number, preference of communication, and a message section.

Following up quickly with an automatic confirmation email is crucial so the inquiring couple feels heard and knows you will be in touch soon. The more responsive you are, the more likely you will win the business.

Step Five: Invest in Event Management Software.

“Technology is the winning solution for event management and overcoming potential challenges, especially for wedding events with even more logistics,” Apse explained. Gone are the inefficient days of phone inquiries, binders of banquet event orders (BEOs), and the constant stress of the back-and-forth with clients trying to get everything right.”

Managing all of this on your own—in addition to your regular business—is a lot. Innovative event management software like Tripleseat streamlines your event planning process from initial inquiry to the final execution of the event so you can stay more organized and ensure exceptional service.

Apse shared that with Tripleseat, managers can enjoy simplified communication, keeping all messages, documents, and contracts in one easily accessible place so nothing gets lost in the shuffle.

Their platform also enhances client engagement by providing a user-friendly interface for clients to view proposals, menus and make payments—elevating their experience and reducing administrative burdens.

So whether events are your bread and butter or just a nice side dish for your business, event management software like Tripleseat streamlines your process while enhancing your ability to provide memorable experiences and see a return on investment.

Wedding Event Marketing for Restaurants

Once you have the logistics down and your business is ready to ramp up wedding event bookings, the next step is to optimize your marketing strategy and watch those inquiries roll in.

We put together a few essential steps to get started on a solid marketing campaign strategy.

Optimize Your Online Presence

As mentioned above—an optimized website that promotes your business for wedding events is the first and vital step in marketing your business space or services.

Still, don’t stop there. There are countless websites where couples can get venue recommendations and make inquiries—The Knot, Zola, WeddingWire, and EventUp by Tripleseat, to name a few.

Be sure to get your venue up on these sites and optimize your profile with as much attention as you did on your website.

Next, tap into your social media presence.

It’s always wise to figure out what platform you have the most engagement on currently, as this is where you’re connecting with current and potential customers, but don’t be afraid to branch out. While restaurants don’t commonly use Pinterest, it is a fantastic wedding planning tool.

Getting your restaurant a page on Pinterest and posting menu designs and imagery of previous events can be a great way to generate some brand awareness and leads.

Lead Generation Should Be Seamless

“Drive leads through thoughtful, targeted marketing efforts to bring awareness to your wedding events and venue,” Apse said. “If you are a venue that does various event types, have specific lead forms to collect wedding inquiries and a process to respond quickly and efficiently. This way, you can track wedding event leads and make strategic decisions around them.”

It’s helpful to track what platform brings in the most qualified leads. Having separate lead forms for each event type with tracking can give you invaluable insight to optimize your marketing strategy and apply budgets in the best place for the best event lead generation.

Ensure all your advertising has a clear call to action that sends potential clients straight to your lead form.

Timing is everything

While it’s never too late to start promoting your services or venue for weddings—right now (mid-late winter) is the best time to get your brand out there.

“Year over year, the holiday season proves to be an extremely popular time for couples to get engaged and then begin to look for their perfect wedding venue—this is known as the wedding ‘booking session.’” Apse said. “There are almost two times as many engagements in December than in any other month. Event venues should begin advertising and promoting their wedding services now.”

It’s wise to have your ad copy, designs, marketing budgets, and strategies figured out beforehand so you can hit the ground running when the time is right (aka, yesterday).

If you’re ready to start booking your services and venue for the wedding season, check out Tripleseat and schedule a demo to learn more.

Their all-in-one hospitality and event management solution can help you streamline every step of the event management process, freeing up work hours and keeping you focused on what matters most—creating memorable experiences.

About the author


Ashley McNally likes to cook, loves to bake, and is always dreaming of her next meal. With over 13 years of experience working in various roles within a restaurant — McNally has made a home in hospitality.


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