I'm just starting this whole planning thing really and I'm just trying to take care of one thing at a time, but the most worrisome part for me seems to be the reception venue... We're having a small wedding, with 15-30 guests, and my FI's only request was that we have a wedding cake at the reception. It's really going to be more of an informal dinner gathering than a traditional reception, but there's still a lot to think about and I'm hoping for some help!
So my questions are:
1- Which moderately priced restaurants (not steak and lobster, but not Denny's) will book for smaller parties and very little (or no) F&B minimums? And also allow for that price to include and/or allow a cake? We really don't have much to spend, but want to provide a good, simple meal (nothing like a banquet or feast), so I'm looking for a minimum under or around $1k if possible... We really loved the Hash House A Go Go when we visited, so somewhere like that (in both pricing per plate and food quality/creativity/diversity) would be nice, ideally.
2- I've never participated in organizing a wedding of any kind before, so forgive me for my ignorance, but do restaurants ever do reservations for small parties where people just order off the menu, or do you have to arrange a menu beforehand? Like, if it wasn't a wedding party and just a group of people hanging out to eat, would they still have minimums and such?
3- Would it be more appropriate (or easier/less tacky) to bring in some bottles of wine and limit our guests to that (for alcohol), or tell them (somehow) that we'll cover a drink or two each? I know that's a tricky etiquette thing, and is certainly not set in stone, but was curious about your thoughts on the matter, or what you all are doing/did to manage the bill with regards to alcohol. We don't expect a lot of drinking in general but want it available, and some drink heavier or faster than others... :-/
I'm so overwhelmed by this process, so I'd appreciate any and all guidance you all could offer!