We all romanticize the quaint, chic Parisian bistro: the quiet place to sip a cup of fine coffee, enjoy a home-cooked meal or devour an indulgent dessert. On top of that, bistros are inviting spaces where people from the neighborhood gather for good conversation.

You can turn this elegant yet relaxed experience into your perfect wedding reception. Guests will appreciate the simple setup that allows them to relax and enjoy the celebration of your love.

Create a Relaxed Environment

Keep in mind some key tenants of bistro design: simple sophistication, natural materials, bespoke creations. Your wedding venue should match the charming setting of a bistro but you should choose colors and embellishments that put your attendees at ease.

Pick muted colors to complement the cozy bistro setting. Use color tones that highlight the natural materials but don’t overwhelm them. Consider colors taken straight from a bistro, like wine and coffee or muted blues and pinks.

Work with the manager and your planner to ensure the space feels connected but separate. Have distinct areas for food, drinks, dancing and dining. Function and flow are two vital features of both wedding venues and bistros.

Must-have Décor

Bistro Lights

Even if you’re indoors, bistro lights can enhance the hand-crafted feel of your reception. They’re also a cost-effective way to make the room feel cozier without having to add a bunch of items.

Flowers in Simple Vases

The small touch of a simple flower bouquet in a simple vase on tables will really enhance the bistro feel.

Personalized Place Settings

Use chalkboard nameplates with hand-written names or table numbers to let your friends and family know where to sit.

Vintage Prints

Add a “modern” touch to the old-world feel of your wedding bistro with some vintage prints on the walls. You can even transform current photos of you and your spouse-to-be into retro posters.

Galvanized Steel Buckets for Sparklers

Make your grand send-off a blast with a sparkler tunnel; a great photo that everyone at the party helps create. By keeping the sparklers in galvanized steel sparkler buckets you not only amplify the picturesque setting, but you also provide a safe place to dispose of the sparklers after they’ve burned.

Entertain With a Coffee Hour

Give your guests a chance to mingle with a coffee hour while you and your beloved take your wedding photos. Attendees can enjoy good conversation while a DJ plays coffeeshop music.

Of course, the coffee is the most important part of the coffee hour but you can enliven the party by infusing alcohol into the coffee drinks. Your signature cocktail for the wedding could be a boozy cappuccino or even a coffee martini. Be sure to provide decaf coffee, soda and other non-alcoholic options so everyone can enjoy the festivities.

A bistro wedding can provide you with the unique sophistication that will make your special day memorable. Beyond the beautiful look and feel of the venue, a bistro wedding sets the perfect tone for everyone to each other’s company and celebrate your marriage.