Il Fornaio Serves as OC Wedding Venue

We are very excited to share with you an Il Fornaio wedding at our Irvine, CA restaurant.

Our Southern California Catering Manager Adrienne Sharar hosted and coordinated this spectacular event, and agreed to dish the details.

All the stunning photos were shot by Jim Kennedy Photographers – a talented and influential Orange County wedding and event photography studio.

Orange County residents Craig and Lisa were planning a 2012 wedding in Napa with catering from Il Fornaio Catering.

Long admirers of Italian food in general, and Il Fornaio specifically, they scheduled a tasting at Italian restaurant in Irvine since Il Fornaio Catering is based in Northern California.

However, once they realized they could use the beautiful restaurant without the venue fee, their plans quickly changed.

Orange County Wedding Venue
Lisa’s father escorted her out the Il Fornaio Irvine restaurant entrance to the end of the aisle where Craig and their 144 guests waited.


The ceremony was set-up on the lovely flagstone terrace between the bocce courts and the restaurant entrance. Il Fornaio provided all the chairs for the ceremony at no additional cost, which is another perk to book a large party with us!

Wedding Venue in Orange County

The day of the wedding could not have been better!  They had several industry people who were well known in the Southern California Wedding scene as Lisa is a make-up artist as well.  The photographer – Jim Kennedy; DJ – Tim with Invisible Touch; wedding coordinator – Lisa Moon Events; Desserts – Itty Bitty Sweets and the florist – Inviting Occasions were ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!

Restaurant Wedding
Craig and Lisa sealed their vows underneath Il Fornaio’s arched trellis flanked by fragrant Jacaranda trees in full bloom.

Orange County Wedding
The bride and groom’s “sweetheart” table was set-up facing the center rotunda in front of the kitchen giving them a view of the entire reception including the bar, tables and dance floor.

OC Wedding

Wedding venue in OC

Il Fornaio Irvine has three private banquet rooms and two patios. Two of the rooms have waterfront views and one with a wine cellar.

However, the largest banquet room seats 120, so guests also have an option to “buy-out” the entire restaurant for special events, which Lisa and Craig opted for.

The tables heavily laden with fragrant Spring flowers, were set-up in the traditional Italian “family style” and each course was served by Il Fornaio’s attentive staff.

Italian restaurant in Irvine

The couple share a fondness for Limoncello and had their hearts set on providing their guests with a truly authentic Italian experience – even with their favors.

Il Fornaio Sommelier Susan Pey ordered Limoncello bottles from Italy and our bartender crafted his own mixology masterpiece consisting of Limoncello, prosecco, pomegranite juice and agave.

OC wedding

Some of the event’s menu highlights include:

The Melanzane con Formaggio: grilled eggplant stuffed with goat cheese, sun dried tomato and basil;

The Polpettine: meatballs in a marinara sauce;

The Sogliola Impanata: Lightly breaded sole with spicy Calabria chili sauce

Italian food in Irvine
Italian food in Irvine
The bride and groom set up the DJ in the Rotunda which they decided to use as a dance floor.

The Rotunda is a semi-private dining area with a retractable roof located in the very center of the restaurant.

Irvine Wedding Space
Irvine Wedding Space

The best part of this spectacular celebration? We always say at Il Fornaio that we encourage your family to become a part of ours, and in this case, they did.

“Craig and Lisa were so thankful and such a pleasure to work with!  They are now friends of mine and the Il Fornaio Family,” said Adrienne.

Orange County Wedding