If you are planning a wedding north of Boston, you’re in luck, and not just because you’ve found the love of your life. This region is home to so many impressive locations for wedding receptions, from estates to ballrooms, hotels, private residences, and more. Whether you find yourself in wedding planning mode or are assisting someone who is, be sure to consider all of your venue options, including some of the area’s very best restaurants. Yes, selecting linens and flatware can be fun, but it can also be overwhelming. Nixing these items from a wedding to-do list is only one of the benefits that come with selecting a local restaurant for your big day. Above all, the restaurants we have featured here allow for the intimate setting that only a true restaurant atmosphere can provide (and menu offerings good enough to make even the best caterers step up their game).
Located in Burlington, L’Andana is the opposite of a forgettable venue. From its décor, which features end-grain wood floors and distressed barn board accents, to the food and service, any couple is sure to walk away thrilled with having held an event here. L’Andana is first and foremost a well-regarded restaurant, which affords couples the luxury of knowing the quality (fresh, local ingredients whenever possible) and the presentation of the meal will be top-notch—no small reassurance for anyone planning an important affair. L’Andana prides itself on providing engaged couples with the opportunity to “remove a lot of stress from the wedding planning process,” says Shannon St. Pierre, L’Andana’s marketing and events manager. “We focus on all of the big items so brides and grooms can focus on the little details that guests so enjoy,” she says. The restaurant’s rustic Tuscan aesthetic provides warmth, creating space where special touches will be enhanced by what is already a beautiful backdrop. From smaller weddings to couples wishing to reserve the entire restaurant (they can accommodate up to 180 people), St. Pierre takes joy in working with each couple to achieve their goals. While she’s an experienced pro, she also delights in new ideas and rising to the challenge of bringing a vision to life.
Teresa’s Prime private function hall
In North Reading, Teresa’s Prime is part of a well-known group of restaurants and ballroom and banquet facilities under the Teresa’s umbrella. Prime is a fantastic option for those seeking a more intimate setting. Prime’s private dining room is an attractive option for smaller parties, as the room can accommodate up to 25 people, and an entire restaurant buyout is possible. Couples interested in either of these options will be put in touch with Sharon Shaughnessy, senior director of sales and events, who helps guide couples through the process of planning an event at a Teresa’s location, whether it is Prime or one of their other facilities that play host to parties both large and small. As the name implies, couples and guests who attend a wedding at Prime can look forward to steak cooked to perfection as well as an array of seafood options.
Couples in search of a sophisticated affair by the sea need look no further than Ceia Kitchen + Bar in downtown Newburyport. Step inside Ceia and you feel at home (provided your home includes a swanky, sophisticated dining area and a private chef). The atmosphere, which feels elegant and at the same time effortless (although we know it’s not), is created by proprietor Nancy Batista-Caswell, who believes details are what shape a special event, and that Ceia serves as a perfect location to “showcase [a couple] to their friends.”
From a customized menu to a dining space where soft light emanates from the chandeliers, it really does feel like you’ve invited guests into your home. There’s an opportunity for conversation among friends and family, “kitchen island talk,” as Batista-Caswell calls it, which is too often a casualty of a reception held at a big venue. Two pro tips Batista-Caswell was good enough to offer up: First, “when wine matters, don’t cut corners; drink the good stuff” and second, she has a secret passion for floral arrangements and loves to work with couples on flowers as well as food. Speaking of which, the food is everything you hoped for (and quite often more). With a knowledgeable and professional waitstaff, Ceia is a venue that consistently delivers.
Another perk of a restaurant wedding is that couples can revisit the location time and time again, be it for a spur-of-the-moment dinner out or an anniversary celebration. A restaurant wedding is also unique; many of your guests will have attended wedding receptions at function facilities and country clubs, and while they can be nice, a restaurant setting is decidedly different. With so many brides striving for something distinctive that doesn’t compromise on the quality and execution of their big day, a wedding at one of these restaurants certainly fits the bill.