Inexpensive Wedding Reception Ideas


Is it okay to just have a ceremony, then punch and cake, with maybe veggie trays, fruit, and a champagne toast afterwards? I am considering this instead of a full on reception. There would be no dancing, sit down meal, etc. I want to just have something simple and inexpensive. Cake, punch, veggie trays, and fruit, with music playing?

By Ashley


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By Jill 4 738 09/17/2010

Acceptable? To who? It is your wedding! I think it is a lovely idea, you still give everyone the opportunity to see you and to see one another. If they want to dine together, they can go out afterward. I think the idea of saving money like that is great, and demonstrates that your priorities are where they should be.

I get so tired of people sinking more time, thought, and money into their wedding than they do the marriage!

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By Sassyscrappin 4 6 09/18/2010

It is absolutely fine to do this! That is what a reception is actually for. A few munchies, and people congratulating and visiting with the new bride and groom! I have a great way to display veggies, or cupcakes, or candies that is on the cheap side as well. I am attaching a picture below. This turned out gorgeous! I used E6000 glue to put it together. Make sure it dries for 24 hours before moving it. :/ Trust me!

We took a 22" round mirror purchased from IKEA ($15), then purchased 1 smaller mirror (18") from HL, then two clear glass rounds (12", 10") from HL as well. They were on sale so they were like $3 each. We purchased the "piers" (candle holders) from dollar tree for a dollar a piece. (The taller ones) we needed 3, then the very short candle holders crystal type for 2 for $1 at dollar tree (4 of these) for the bottom half. HTH

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By Teri Van Hecke 7 110 09/18/2010

Well, it's unanimous! Have your ceremony, cake & punch, and a wonderful life!

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By Stacy 12 09/18/2010

Absolutely it's ok to have light refreshments for guests after a wedding, especially if it is held in the afternoon, say around 2 or 3:PM. Add some flowers, maybe a bag of sparkly confetti from a party store to sprinkle on the table. Much less stress. Good luck and Mazel Tov!

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By Anna Kastrup 3 09/18/2010

Sure! When I got married everyone went back to my parents' house for the reception. It wasn't a large house and we had about 50 people show up. All the food came from the local deli and the local liquor store. We even made the cake. Nobody complained and we had a great time.

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By Phyllis Smith 2 47 09/18/2010

Absolutely! I agree with everything that was said prior to this and I want to tell you that's what my husband and I planned over 27 years ago. It was great, fun and we paid for it ourselves!

Best wishes to you.

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By susan winship 4 405 09/18/2010

If there is any one day that is yours to decide whatever you want, it's your wedding day. Your idea sounds perfect to me. Enjoy yourselves and know that you have avoided an enormous amount of cost and mental stress.

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By Eileen M. 56 240 09/20/2010

Absolutely! Do what YOU want to do and can afford to do. Remember that the wedding is one day, and the beginning of a new phase of your life. Don't mortgage the future for one day.

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Archive: Inexpensive Reception Ideas

I was hoping you guys could brainstorm some inexpensive reception ideas. We had a small wedding planned and the service will be quite small, but the guest list keeps growing for the reception. The church's rec room will not be big enough anymore (it's not a big rec room). Anyone have any frugal ways to go about finding a cheap reception location, food, etc.? Thanks.


RE: Inexpensive Reception Ideas

Check with the local volunteer fire department. Many have social halls or community halls for rent to the public. Sometimes they have Ladies Auxiliaries who will cater events cheaply. All proceeds go to maintain the fire department and its equipment. (08/17/2004)

By Scott J.

RE: Inexpensive Reception Ideas

Ask some close friends or family who have access to community clubhouses; apartment, condo, or retirement complexes usually have them. Typically they are very cost efficient. (08/20/2004)

By Kelly M.

RE: Inexpensive Reception Ideas

If the wedding is in a state or month that has nice weather, consider renting a big open tent and having it outside in a backyard. If that isn't feasible, rent a covered shelter at a park. My girlfriend had a great wedding in a backyard with a tent. She ordered fried chicken, potatoes and coleslaw from a chicken place and bought a big sheet cake from a grocery store. That was 24 years ago and I still remember her party. (08/20/2004)

By toni k.

RE: Inexpensive Reception Ideas

You can always try renting another churches rec room that is close by. I had to do this for my wedding for the same reason as you. Explain your dilemma to the other church you are looking to rent, and they will probably help you out in whatever way they can. Mine gave me a discount off what they usually charge for non-members and allowed me to use a ton of the decorations they had in storage. P.S. I am more than willing to give advice to anyone who might need it. Just ask, I want to help. (01/30/2005)

By kittikat1119

RE: Inexpensive Reception Ideas

Ask your DJ if they could recommend one. We found ours that way, the DJ knew someone that owned a hall but did not advertise. They rented it to us for $300.00 for the whole weekend to allow us to set up and clean up. (02/05/2005)

By Sarah_bellum

inexpensive ideas

To kittikat1119, I need to get some ideas for a reception hall. I just graduated from college and my funds are limited. My fiance and I are financing this wedding pretty much ourselves. I am having the wedding and the reception in the same place, but I don't know how to time everything.

I would have to rent the place for at least two days in order to prepare it ahead of time. Another thing is it would be expensive to rent a place for that length of time. Also, where is a cheap place to rent tables and chairs? And what should I use for utensils, and plating. Plastic seems too cheap and ugly. (06/16/2005)

RE: Inexpensive Reception Ideas

My boyfriend and I want to get married in about a year, but we don't know where to begin. We are very private people, so we only want something for no more than 20 people. We don't believe in putting ourselves in debt for one day. We don't necessarily want to have the ceremony in a church. I still want to walk down the aisle and have a ceremony, but it has to be something small, intimate, inexpensive, yet elegant. Does anyone have suggestions on some good places for a ceremony and reception for such a small amount of people? The key thing is that we still want something nice. By the way, we live in NYC. (06/15/2006)

By tempest

RE: Inexpensive Reception Ideas

I am having a wedding for 200 people with a budget of $7,000 dollars. My reception site is at a state park in NY for $120 per day. The caterer took a better part of the money, but they cook on site BBQ style which is great for my mid evil theme. Add a horse and carriage for $250 and muslin table cloths (.99 cents per yard) on the picnic tables (which were included in the price of the pavilion). There are indoor pavilions available too. And ivory plates from the dollar tree, which I inexpensively stamped a castle on in bronze paint. For favors I had an Irish claddaugh and our initials on wine glasses (double duty). Still working on center pieces, any ideas? (10/09/2006)

By Jennifer

RE: Inexpensive Reception Ideas

If anyone in your family is a member of The American Legion, you can rent their hall very reasonably. Ours is actually free and the one across town charges $25.00 to family members. (01/02/2007)

By Lil

RE: Inexpensive Reception Ideas

My fiance and I would like to marry next year (around the spring season) and our funds are limited as well. I don't want to put us in debt before we even get a chance to start lives together, but like most women, I want my wedding! :o) How can I plan this special day without paying a fortune? I have known of people to plan and carry out very elegant and special weddings without spending several thousands.

Problem is we both have extremely large families. I have been told as a wedding budget secret, to only invite immediate family, 21 yr olds and up to the reception by invite only, cash bar. Sounds kinda cheap, but she succeeded in her inexpensive, elegant wedding and reception. What do you think? (03/13/2008)

By Price

Archive: Inexpensive Reception Ideas

I am trying to put on a second wedding reception. My husband is a sailor who is shipping out for the US Navy. Anyone have any ideas?


RE: Inexpensive Reception Ideas

If he's in the Navy now or if anyone related to you guys was in the military they can use any Veteran's Hall for very cheap. As for food you could ask everyone to bring something and set up sort of a potluck dinner and do it buffet style. (01/04/2009)

RE: Inexpensive Reception Ideas

Check out weddings in TN. They are cheaper and very nice! We found a very nice cabin to be married in at a very good price. Good luck with your search! (01/09/2009)

Archive: Inexpensive Wedding Reception Ideas

We are getting married on 06/12/09 and having the reception on 06/13/09. I need ideas for a very inexpensive reception, under $2000. My colors are chocolate and teal. It's an outside reception by a pool. Thanks very much.


Archive: Inexpensive Wedding Reception Ideas

I am getting married on September 19th and we don't have a lot of money, not to mention that my fiance got laid off from work.


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