Planning A Wedding Reception On A Budget
With all the expenses involved in wedding planning, throwing an expensive reception afterward can really break the bank. Budget wedding receptions don't have to look cheap or tacky: brides just have to know where to pare down their expenses.
Save Money on the Wedding Reception Location
Wedding reception hotels and halls may feel glamorous, but they are usually also the most expensive. Consider holding the wedding reception in another location. For example:
- If someone in the bride or groom's circle of friends or family has a large yard, then it may make sense to consider a backyard wedding reception.
- If the cultural hall or lobby of the bride and groom's church is large enough, they could reserve the space for the reception at a much lower (or even free) cost.
- Area parks are great outdoor wedding reception locations. Reserving a shelter at an outdoor park or garden for the evening will usually be much less expensive than renting a reception hall.
Save Money by Having a Small Wedding Reception
The more guests that are invited to a reception, the more it ends up costing the bride and groom. The number of guests depends on how much space and food there will be, all of which will cost money. The fewer the number of guests, the more inexpensive the wedding reception can be.
It's hard not to feel obligated to invite every acquaintance or distant relative, but brides shouldn't feel pressured to invite more people than they can afford. Keeping the reception small and intimate has other benefits. Brides could also send out wedding announcements to those who won't be invited to the reception, just so people know they weren't forgotten.
Save Money with DIY Reception Music
Hiring a professional DJ is one cost that can be reduced or eliminated altogether for a budget wedding reception. With a playlist of appropriate wedding reception music downloaded to a laptop or iPod, couples can rent a speaker system and appoint a friend or family member to be an amateur DJ for the evening.
Save Money by Having a Wedding Reception Buffet
Catered wedding reception banquets can cost $30 a plate or more. A good way to ease the financial burden of wedding reception food (aside from again, inviting fewer guests) is to serve food buffet-style.
Brides interested in a cheap wedding reception buffet can either have friends and family cook homemade dishes, or they can hire professionals to prepare and display the buffet food. Though more expensive, hiring wedding caterers for the buffet is more cost-effective than hiring a per-plate catered dinner. Plus, the caterer provides all the serving ware and dishes.
Wedding receptions can cost as much or as little as brides want them to. Inexpensive weddings are possible when brides consider the wedding reception location, guest list, music, and food.