Inexpensive Wedding Reception Ideas

Over the years, wedding receptions have become more extravagant and more expensive. From the 10-tiered wedding cakes and guests' gifts to the fireworks that some use to mark the end of the night, an inexpensive wedding reception is becoming a rarity. Thankfully, there are many ways to make your special day amazing without going into debt for years to come.

Consider unique wedding venues but don't rule out the old stand-by ballroom. It isn't necessary to rent out the biggest ballroom in town for the wedding reception. In fact, some of the most memorable receptions will take place somewhere off the beaten path. Consider an outdoor reception at a local park or find out if the church has a hall you can rent. However, The Wedding Channel reminds us that sometimes a public venue wedding can involve more work and money than you might expect. Be sure to price out options thoroughly and make the best decision for your budget.

Serve appetizers and desserts instead of a sit-down meal. Though a dinner is a nice touch, appetizers and a beautiful and delicious wedding cake are more than enough for morning or midday weddings. Save money on your wedding reception by offering a light snack instead of a full meal. Spend the money on the cake, something every guest can appreciate and enjoy.

Offer one choice of food if you do have a sit-down meal. This can save money, especially if your venue is at a location other than a restaurant. Price out options beforehand to confirm the best way to handle things. A dish with chicken and pasta is plenty for guests and offers a little something for everyone. It isn't necessary to offer crab cakes or veal.

When and if you can, do it yourself. Make your own wedding favors or place cards. Many supply stores such as Michael's will sell everything you need to put something simple and classic together. Get the bridesmaids and put together a special music playlist on an iPod instead of hiring a band. The Knot even offers suggestions for making your own wedding guest book. These customizable wedding reception options will help to save money and can add personal touches to your wedding day.

Get a photographer, drop the videographer. While it can be nice to have both, a videographer isn't a necessary component for a fabulous wedding reception. In fact, a good photographer can capture the same things as a videographer. Cutting out the videographer will save a chunk of change. Put some of that money toward a better photographer and save the rest.

Stick to your schedule. Though the day can quickly get away from you, keep in mind that reception sites have rules about your booking and the time in which you should vacate the premises. The Wedding Channel reminds couples to stick to their allotted time and to be aware of what happens if you should go over this time.

Limit the bar options. Consider serving rail liquors (lower grade) instead of high end. Some places, depending on liquor licenses, will let you provide your own alcohol and drinks; when that runs out, it's gone. Consider only serving beer and wine instead of cocktails. Whatever you do, don't offer a cash bar. It might seem to save money, but it puts a bad taste in guests' mouths. It's better to simply have a dry reception than to charge guests for their drinks.

An inexpensive wedding reception doesn't have to be, or look, cheap. Cutting back on small things and spending the money where it counts the most is the key. Host a wedding reception that friends and family will never forget by remembering that less is more and sticking with the classics.

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