I'm planning my wedding in August of 2006. I'm wondering if there is anyway you can help me plan my wedding reception for something under $1,500.
Sher from Bronx, New York
Yes, I would say borrow as much as possible. You can also get relatives and/or friends to make the food. If its a mid-afternoon wedding, finger food is appropriate and inexpensive (little sandwiches and cookies). If you want to serve a meal, I'd say try to make dishes that can be made in bulk: white beans and rice, chili, jambalaya, even some kind of spaghetti or another rice dish, or maybe barbecue. You can even contact a local food vendor or grocery store and order from them. You can get drinks from WalMart or somewhere on sale. I'd say get familiar with prices, so when you see things on sale closer to the date, you'll know if you are getting a good deal or not. (11/15/2005)
We did our whole wedding on $1500 that included my dress (bought on clearance) and all the tuxes for the men and the bridesmaids bought their own dresses (they wanted to.) We went to our local grocer and they made up finger sandwiches for us, we had potato salad, cole slaw, relish tray, fruit tray, etc. And even had a wedding cake made.
We had juice, tea, sodas, and coffee for beverages as we held the reception at our local church and no alcohol could be drank there. This also included the photographer who worked at a local Walmart photo center.
Good luck and have a great wedding day. (11/16/2005)
A theme wedding is a great way to have a cheap wedding, yet make it look like you meant to have it that way. For example, my husband and I were married on Cinco de Mayo so we had it catered by La Salsa (fast food mexican) and pre mixed margaritas and Corona at a self serve bar. Everything we did was inexpensive, but the theme helped it look like that was the way we wanted it anyway.
Another idea is to make a cupcake tree for a wedding cake. There is no need for someone to cut and serve a cake. My stepmom made all 120 cupcakes and the total cost was $6.75 for cake mix, frosting, and tins. Cupcake tree stand can be purchased at a party store or e-bay (around 10 dollars).
Finally, remember that you will only have one special day and you deserve to splurge a little here and there. (11/19/2005)
By Jayla M.
My husband and I just had our wedding reception, five months after our wedding because of timing and family issues. We got our reception hall for free because my father-in-law works there as part time maintenance person. He just promised to clean everything before he left. Our friend works for a DJ service, so he provided our music as our wedding gift. We used the reception site's caterer and got an "employee discount" of 50%. We bought flowers, decorative rocks and 10 hour tea candles at Michael's Crafts when they were 50% off. I bought vintage vases for $2 each and paper napkins in our color at GFS.
We provided our own appetizers from GFS. Frozen appetizers at $15 a box. Salad (with cheese, croutons, tomatoes, onions, bacon bits, and dressing), soup, veggie trays, cheese ball (I made myself) and crackers, meatballs (from my mom), and potato salad. We bought Sara Lee cheesecakes at GFS and served with choice of chocolate sauce, caramel or strawberry sauce. We put a fortune cookie (also GFS) at each place setting and used the dishes and candle holders the hall provided. I bought disposable cameras for $2.80. I put out half to start. When I saw those were used up, I put out a couple more and still had three to return, unused. The total cost was around $800. (11/20/2005)
Buffet style is less expensive then sit down and still elegant. Get a friend to take pictures, make bouquets from floral shops or supermarkets by buying a bouquet and putting a pretty ribbon around them, no limo, do your own hair, use candles to decorate whenever possible, print your own invitations with a computer program you can buy at most stores, have people buy their own drinks, and as the other woman wrote, borrow, borrow, borrow.(05/04/2006)
I went to garage sales and bought all the clear vases I could, filled them with shredded shiny gift wrap and added silk flowers for table decorations. I made my own cake topper which was very fun and easy, using Styrofoam, lace, doves, and lace covered Styrofoam bells. I also made all the boutonnieres and corsages and even the bridesmaids bouquets (my mom made crochet fans and I added silk flowers), my sis-in-law made a cards box.
We limited our parts of the drinks to one per drinker by having my brother pass out drink tickets, after that they had to buy their own. I wanted to make my own cake, but hubby said I would be too busy and he was right there. Shop the dollar stores and see what bargains you can find there for decorating. Good luck, best wishes, and congratulations. (05/05/2006)
My suggestion is if you have the time, do it yourself. Flowers 2 words,- Sam's Club, look at samsclub.com. Want roses? app $60 for 100 stems, lilies and orchids are app $50 for 50. Also check overstock.com type in bulk flowers end pick to your hearts delight.
I live in Tallahassee which has gorgeous city public parks, and the only fee we have to pay is a $30 connection fee if we want power for any park we choose. This includes using the gazebos. We're doing a November wedding here which means beautiful weather not too hot, not too cold, and rain is rare, so we're planning an outside early evening affair. All I need to supply is seating and tables for our guests. We're doing our own set up. We're using the same place for both the service and the reception, and renting a local senior center for a rain location. ($80 early registration fee)
Also, never doubt the wonder that is eBay. We're doing a favor bag that includes lucky bamboo and a hand blown glass ornament with our monogram painted on it since we're going into November. The place cards are actually small palmetto fans that have cards on them, just in case of it being warm (blissweddingsmarket.com). On the tables we're supplying an inexpensive variety of small wooden dollar tree games to provide ice breaking among table groups.
For our decorations we're doing branches painted silver with the ornaments hung on them mixed with holly (free from my tree), dried lavender (eBay), and Eucalyptus (overstock) in clear Dollar Tree pillar vases. The ornaments will be $163 for 300, ribbon to tie them will be app $30 for 300 yards. I'm also setting up beeswax pillar candles the I made, on the tables surrounding the vases. We're hanging inexpensive white paper lanterns and parasols from the trees above and weaving Christmas lights in them so they glow.
Granted we're blessed to have a brother who's a baker, so the are cakes taken care of and one of my best friends is a concert pianist who has recruited some friends to provide a band as his gift to me. One of my fiancee's cousins is a notary public, so she's doing the service. (you can have a trusted friend become ordained online). We're taking advantage of the discount offered off the marriage license for premarriage counseling. We're making our invitations by printing them on a sheet of ivory vellum and putting that in a trifold of card stock in our colors. ($15 for 40 invites) We're asking RSVP by e-mail or phone to cut down on postage.
My dress is very basic and I'm making my own veil ($20 includes comb, lace, netting. etc.). My something borrowed is my mothers wedding petticoat, my something blue is the sash on my dress, my something old are the pearls my grandparents gave me when I graduated.
My grandmother and future sister-in-law are doing the pictures. My grandfather is videotaping it. We're having the rehearsal dinner at the same place and will probably do a buffet meal of some sort.
Well here's my issue, I need ideas for inexpensive dinner meals. We're at $1500 right now. I want to keep it under $2000. Any ideas?
One of the ideas in our wedding planner is to call your community college that has a culinary arts program and see if any of their students would be interested in doing your wedding reception at cost as a class project. We did this and we had an exquisite reception dinner complete with hos d' oeuvres, shrimp, and caviar for just $500!
By Wedding Planner
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