Planning a Frugal Wedding Reception

I need help trying to do an affordable wedding reception. Please help.

By Sheena from Shreveport

March 14, 20110 found this helpful

First off you don't need a lot of decorations, balloons are inexpensive and make a good showing, Silk flowers aren't real expensive, along with tulle to make large fluffy bows. Tulle is really cheap as far as fabric goes. You don't need a dance, that is probably one of more expensive parts of a reception. Food, if you have the wedding at a time of day where the guests won't expect a meal, you can get by with cake, coffee, tea, and punch. Ask cousins to serve these items. If you feel you need to serve a meal, sloppy joes, salads, and chips would be easy and inexpensive. Some people have even been having pot lucks for the reception.

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March 15, 20110 found this helpful

My daughter is getting married in May, and she is holding her reception in a local large aquarium -- they supply the decorations and table linens for a great price.

I second the potluck idea, or even a "cake and punch" reception. No need to spend a fortune on one day -- it's the marriage that matters, not the wedding!

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March 15, 20110 found this helpful

You don't say when the wedding is or where it is, so your food and decorations would depend on that. My daughter got married 6 years ago. We are here at the beach so she decided not to go "beachy" but to use some of the decorations. Her colors were periwinkle and white. For the reception, we set the tables with periwinkle, white, or purple cloths. The centerpieces were glass bowls with sand, a few seashells and purple candles. For the food, we chose simple - meatballs, piggies in blankets,shrimp trays, veggie trays, and fruit trays. Don't go for a large variety of items, just make sure you have large quantities. Since the wedding was in August and it was hot, we had a lemonade punch and a tea punch.

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March 15, 20110 found this helpful

I agree with everyone else; an early punch and cake reception is quite common here. You can make it elegant by having a cookie table and/or a table with fruit and a chocolate fountain. Don't forget to add nuts and mints. If you choose, finger sandwiches may be added along with some champagne for the bridal toast. I've even heard of a brunch reception after a late morning wedding. If you get creative enough, no one will guess that it was to save money. Congratulations!

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March 15, 20110 found this helpful

Receptions have over the years indeed got out of hand. When I was growing up and then got married we had cake, punch, coffee, mints and nuts no matter what time of day you had the ceremony. Everyone eat before coming or after the ceremony was over. Everyone concentrated on the couple, the ceremony and then had a little social time after. What happened to that concept?

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March 15, 20110 found this helpful

I would consider getting a membership to a warehouse store for your purchases. You can buy decor, flowers, cake, snacks, food, invitations, alcoholic beverages. A great thing is that you can return unused things, so if you buy more drinks or food than you need you can get your money back. Costco has even started selling wedding gowns recently. Something we did for our wedding was using real plants rather than cut flowers for decor. You can put ribbons, wrap the planters in pretty paper, etc. They are great keepsakes too. You will also be helping the environment.

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March 15, 20110 found this helpful

My daughter was married in a park where all the guests brought a picnic basket and blanket and wore casual clothes. We made hors d'oevres and supplied the cake and some drinks. Her wedding dress was a Japanese kimono costing $300. Everyone said it was the best, most relaxed wedding they had ever been to. All up, the wedding cost us about $ worry about flowers as Nature was all around us. A bus was hired to get the guests to the park.

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March 15, 20110 found this helpful

I just tried the website from what I posted and I'm sorry to say that it did not work. Just look up Dayle's Growlies for groups, large quantity recipes, and you should be able to find it!

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March 16, 20110 found this helpful

Firefly and everybody else

The link you posted will work if you remove the period dot at the end of the link.

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March 17, 20110 found this helpful

You can have a beautiful reception without spending all your savings. Here are some easy ideas.

- Have a pasta bar instead of a sit down dinner, it's filling but much less expensive and perfect for vegetarians too!

- if you'd like alcohol at your wedding only serve beer and wine, that will help keep the bar bill down. Also, do not announce a last call on drinks, this just causes people to rush to the bar to order another drink they probably don't need.

- Hire a student band from a local college

- Create centerpieces from vases filled with water and candles. It's easy to do yourself and inexpensive

- Consider buying used wedding items such as linens, vases and candles. is great site to find items like that.

- Search for a community center in your area for your reception, many of them will allow you to bring in your own food and alcohol which saves a lot of money.

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