A bride takes great joy in planning her wedding. Often, her wedding day is a day she has dreamed about since she was a young child. Visions of perfect wedding cakes, flowers, and gorgeous bridal gowns are the first things that come to mind when thinking about a wedding.
Planning a wedding can be fun– but when individuals are faced with a strict wedding budget, that can often take some of the fun out of the planning process. Planning a wedding on a budget doesn’t have to be a daunting or depressing task. Instead, look at a small wedding budget as a creative challenge. The number one thing to remember is that the couple is happy.
While everyone loves the newly married couple and want to wish them well, guests secretly always look forward to the reception. Receptions are meant to be a celebration of the new couple, with tons of food, alcohol, and partying. For those on a budget, it seems like all of those fun aspects of the reception are impossible to achieve.
Wedding receptions alone can cost upwards of $25,000 when the food, music, and the venue are factored in. Without a strict budget, it is very easy to go overboard when planning a reception.
With a little creativity and ingenuity, a beautiful wedding reception can be had for a fairly small amount of money. While you may not be able to afford the wedding reception of your dreams, you can have a lovely and fun wedding reception on a frugal wedding budget.
There are several ways to reduce the cost of a wedding reception. Here is a list of just a few ways to create a nice reception on a small budget:
1. DIY- Plan to do much of the work yourself, from flowers to food to music. There are hundreds of ideas on the internet on making beautiful wedding centerpieces. Search around for ideas you like and try to copy those in your wedding colors.
If allowed, try to prepare some of your own food. You will obviously need help with this. Get some friends and family together and have a big cooking weekend. Prepare dishes that can be frozen ahead of time and defrosted the day of your wedding.
For music, create your own playlist on an mp3 player and have it connected to your venue’s speaker system, or use your own system if you have access to one.
2. Research Venue Options- There are so many reception venues out there. You may find that some venues are much less expensive than others. Also, check to see if they offer all-inclusive options. All-inclusive wedding venues usually include the venue itself, the food, and the music plus all the set up. This makes it much easier on the bride, and these types of venues are often fairly inexpensive.
3. Go Easy On The Wedding Cake- Wedding cakes can be a beautiful centerpiece to any wedding reception, but it doesn’t need to cost thousands of dollars. One great idea is to order a plain white tiered cake and decorate it yourself. You do not need to be a master cake decorator to do this. You can use colorful silk flowers, sugared fruit, or even ribbon. Decorations do not have to be edible to be gorgeous.
4. Have A Flower-less Reception- Save your floral budget for the wedding ceremony. For the reception, utilize candles (flameless candles are a great alternative if your venue doesn’t allow candles), clear vases, and pretty accents that match your wedding theme. For example, a clear vessel filled partially with sand and seashells would be beautiful at a summer time wedding reception. Think about the time you are getting married and what type of decorations would coordinate with that season.
5. Choose Inexpensive Favors- If you want to give out favors, pick items that are inexpensive, perhaps something that can be bought inexpensively. An example of an inexpensive favor are wildflower seeds. These can be purchased in bulk, and you can print your own personalized seed packets on your own printer. You can search for seed packets (sometimes called seed cards) on the internet.
These are just a few ideas to have a perfectly lovely wedding reception on a small budget. The key is to get creative, plan ahead, do a lot of research, and don’t be afraid to do many jobs yourself.
No matter the budget, the most important part of the wedding reception are the memories that are made. That’s something no amount of money can buy.