Is there any way that I do a wedding reception for under $1,500.00, including hall, DJ, decorations and maybe fit in a caterer in that list? Please respond. I'm trying to do for the summer. Thanks
For our reception, we made it a potluck; we asked each family coming to bring a cooked dish, tray of appetizers/finger foods, salad, or snacks. We supplied the beverages and my mother made a gift of making and decorating the cake (those Wilton classes paid off!). Instead of a DJ we just had some young friends/teenagers make up some playlists (dancing, eating background, etc.) and just had them stay in control. They were happy to have something to do. For decorations, we just bought a few larger decos and went minimal on everything else. If you have one available, check Dollar Tree with an open eye and Pinterest for inspiration. You're on your own for the hall but don't forget VFW, Lions and Shriners locations; they often rent very inexpensively. If the weather is warm enough, but not too hot, what about outdoors in someone's back yard or a park.
Is there any way that I can do a wedding reception for under $1,500.00, including hall, DJ, decorations and maybe fit in a caterer in that list? Please respond. I'm trying to do for the summer. Thanks
Just last week I posted a feedback about a wedding reception I did and kept within a $250 budget. If it is still in here, read it and the menu I had. Plenty for 100 or more with plates piled high and believe it or not food left over. The thing you pay for with professional catering is their overhead and profit. Recruit friends and family and do it yourself. You can use the leftover money on the Honeymoon. (04/24/2005)
By Sharon, Ky
Here's the previous post that Sharon was referring to:
"I catered a wedding for an acquaintance and set my price at $250.00. Here's what I served: 200 Ham Biscuits, 96 mini croissants with Tuna salad and chicken salad, 2 Large fruit trays with extra refill, 2 Large Vegetable trays with refill ranch dip, dill dip, fruit dip and pineapple fruit dip, chocolate fondue, and a few added things like Mexican dip and tortillas, 2 crock pots of BBQ meatballs, and a large batch of sausage balls. Enough to fill an 8 foot table twice. Had to comparison shop for best prices and do all my cooking, cutting and make from scratch rather than buy ready made, but I stayed within my budget. She was so pleased she paid me an extra $250. MY POINT: Receptions don't HAVE to cost a fortune if you watch your Ps and Qs." (04/24/2005)
My daughter had her reception at the American Legion. If someone in the family is a vet or a member, you can rent that or Amvets at a discount. It cost us $25 to rent the space with kitchen privileges two years ago. She had a luau theme and all the family and friends helped decorate and cook. The food was purchased from a wholesale club. Most any food will work with a casual theme. Like Sharon, we used crock pots to keep the food warm. The decorations were from the various dollar stores and the local discount card store. The paper plates and plastic utensils were bought there also. We found a lady who made wedding cakes on the side and it was beautiful for about 1/4 of what it would cost from a professional. We paid a small deposit for the columns and things that went into the cake but got it back when we returned them. Good luck. (04/24/2005)
Try using the church fellowship hall. They usually don't charge anything if you get married there. Or have the ceremony outside in the park if the weather is pleasant. Have your aunts, cousins make the salads, etc. Have taped music instead of paying a DJ, keep it simple and you will have money left over for the honeymoon. (04/24/2005)
Plan your reception in the afternoon-after lunch and before dinner-and serve cake, nuts, punch, and maybe a veggie platter. For the cake, make cupcakes and arrange them on a tiered server. For the tiered server, check out goodwill for different height vases and platters. Glue the platters to the vases with a good strong glue and plop your lovely cupcakes a top. After all, a cake can cost $20 or $200 and nobody will care as long as it's yummy! Instead of a DJ, play CDs of songs picked by the lucky couple. (04/25/2005)
You know, I agree with the feedback about just a cake and punch. I wouldn't worry about any other foods. The old tradition was that the cake was shared as a "gift" to the wedding guests. I think too much emphasis is placed on food nowadays and it really has become an extra burden on the already stressed-out parents of the bride. I guess I'm one of few who based my asking price low enough to allow the family money to be used on other expenses. Why not start a new trend from an old tradition and keep it simple? (04/25/2005)
Have a pot luck picnic. Check out facilities at a nice local park - sometimes you can reserve them for nothing or close to it. Have your ceremony and allow enough time between the ceremony for your guests to change into comfortable clothes. Have a "boom box" (ask your favorite teenager for a loan) and play favorite CD's - ask guests to bring favorites. Ask everyone to bring "picnic foods" - you'll end up with a lot of really good food, and it won't cost a lot. Unfortunately this won't work if you're looking for something formal, but for a casual relaxed reception, it'd work great! (04/26/2005)
My wedding is Nov. 19th of this year (just a couple of weeks from now). Just wanted to post some of the things that we are doing. We went to a local State Park and rented a building with a kitchen in it. It is only $60 for the whole day and we can arrive the day before to set up. It has rooms to get dressed and 2 sets of bathrooms for guests. The state park provides the tables & chairs. We were so surprised when we went inside, wood floors, plantation shutters, french doors in multiple places that can be opened up with a view of the grounds, etc. The park is beautiful and on a river so guests can walk around and explore and don't have to feel stuck in a room all day. The price was so great that we decided to get married outside the building under a beautiful oak tree. Check out your State Parks!
Because we saved money with the location we were able to get beautiful rose boutiques for the bridesmaid and myself along with 2 huge rose arrangements that will sit on columns outside for the ceremony. For reception tables we are taking mason jars (a box of 12 for $6.00), filling them with crystal looking rocks, and putting a candle in the center (all of these are from Walmart). We are buying fake flower petals and sprinkling them down the center of the tables (kind of of like a runner). We also got hurricane vases and tall candles from Walmart and will put these on the food tables (the vases were only $2.50 a piece).
We bought tulle & different colored ribbon to use in various places (also from Walmart). We are borrowing ferns and ivy from friends. We purchased all of our food from Sam's and got a great deal. They have frozen quiches (60 for $10.00) & pigs in a blanket (50 for $8.00). You can also order veggie trays, which we did, for less than $10 and mini sandwiches on crescents rolls for less than a $1 a piece. We will purchase cubed cheese and grapes right before the big day and assemble ourselves.
We are making punch and serving bottled water (again all ingredients from Walmart). Ceremony, reception, dresses, tuxes, rings, flowers, cakes, marriage license etc. is costing $1,500 (I splurged on my dress). Hope this helps!
P.S. Our wedding cake is made with a cream colored icing with a chocolate lace design on the top trinkling down the sides and a brown satin ribbon border along the bottom. This saved us money because it was not so traditional. (11/06/2005)
Receptions held on non peak days are cheaper than those held on Saturday nights. An option of having a Sunday brunch, an afternoon tea, or a Cake and Champagne reception are all beautiful and inexpensive. However if you require a sit down dinner, weekdays evenings with a beer and wine bar only are usually cheaper than Saturday night banquet hall reception rates. Hope this helps.
By Maria - Wedding Planner in NYC
Hi, I am in Cartersville, GA. About 30 minutes north of Atlanta. My wedding is May of 2008. I was having the same problems all of you are having. So I started googling everything. Trying different key words, this, that, and everything. After all of my studying, and research, I found that trying to have a wedding at a resort or a hotel was not such a good idea. Sure it sounds cheap at first when they tell you the site fee rental. But then when you get more in depth, you realize that you have to use their caterer, their florist, their everything! After you add all that up, a cheap sounding 2k wedding, can increase to 10k and fast. And after all that, you find out that you only have 5 or 6 hours to use the site.
Well, I started looking for other places, like, gardens, considering we are having an outside wedding. I found this awesome place, called the Marietta Educational Garden in the next city over from me. It's 2k for the site (and that's all day), with a $700 REFUNDABLE deposit. That's all I have to pay them. Now I can find budget everything else, because they don't make me use vendors of theirs. I found a cheap but eloquent caterer, I will be doing most decorations, and making my own boutonnieres. I figure, why pay $15 a piece when I can make them for $1 myself? My friend has a bartending license, and will be serving for us, and I will be able to buy all my alcohol cheap. My dad's friend is a DJ, so that's free, and my fiance's brother-in-law is in photography. (04/23/2007)
Try looking into retreats and areas where they provide summer camps. Out of season sometimes they allow weddings and they usually always have there own kitchen, if you had someone that could do the cooking on site. (05/31/2007)
Hi, I see that a lot of people are in my predicament. My wedding will be in Boca Raton FL which by the way is one of the most expensive places to live in the U.S. I am actually planning my entire Wedding for less than $1600 and I honestly expect it to be great. I expect to have maybe about 60 guests as of now. I want to share some of my ways of cutting corners.
First, I searched for a venue where I could have my own food and do everything myself. I found a great historical building that is rentable for $325, I rented it through the city, and was shocked by how perfect it is when I saw it. It is beautiful.
I plan to have some of my family cook my food that I will likely buy from Costco, for at the very most $280 (what I budgeted), but probably less. Also at party city they have a package with 3 large serving Chafers including the warmers for $25.00, they are not quite as nice as the solid stainless, but much cheaper than renting them.
For my cakes I am saving a lot of money, because if you say you want an actual "Wedding cake", you are easily paying at least 300 dollars. I am picking out some beautiful and elegantly decorated smaller round cakes from Publix Grocery store that are $19.00 each. I plan to get at least 4 of them and put them on different sized pedestals (like cake stands) and intertwine garland between the pedestals. Which is a similar set up for some wedding cakes anyway. It will likely cost less than $100.
I am saving a lot of money on my wedding dress. I have found a few wedding dresses on a site called discountdressup.com. The dress I want will be $103. To be sure that I will like the style on me, I will go to a bridal shop and try on one that is the same style. Of course, if I order it and it doesn't fit right I can either alter it, or exchange for a different size.
A couple of the things I am doing to really make the place look nice, is that I am renting a 5 gallon fountain for some champagne punch for $55. I also have a great idea for centerpieces on my tables; Floating candles in clear glass bowls with some clear/colored stones on the bottom of the bowl, and glitter/sparkles in the bowl, and around it on the table to reflect the candle light. I may throw some floating flowers (fake) in their too. I am planning on making my own bouquet too.
I guess it does help to be a bit crafty and enjoy decorating. Even if you are not real into that department, I am sure that some of your friends who are would be more than happy to help! :)
Well, there are some of my ways of saving. I will definitely take pictures of my wedding when I am done, and post them! :) (02/02/2008)
We're having a potluck and just asking people to bring something specific like cheese and crackers or potato dish. We're asking them to bring enough for 10 people. We're only having 100 people and we're going bowling for our reception and having the meal right at the bowling alley. It's costing us $600, including open bar. (02/15/2008)
I'm keeping mine under $3000 to $4000. I found this lady that made my gown and 3 others for under $800. The hall is The Eagle (like a VFW), which they are only charging me $500 for everything (clean-up included). The party favors and table cloths I bought from a web site called orientaltrading.com (awesome site). For pictures, give everyone disposable cameras and have them take pictures throughout the even. The band is friends of ours that are playing for us for our wedding gift. I also got a saxophone player to do my wedding march off of Craig's list. The food is a buffet style. My wedding is June 28th 2008. Good luck with yours. (05/19/2008)
By Tina In Hudson.FL
A great place to get married around the Atlanta area is the botanical gardens. You can get their top of the line for around $5500. (05/23/2008)
I live in Orange County California, and I am getting married on the 17th of June of 2008 (so next week). Because we could not afford a big wedding, we decided to go to the court house. I was not happy, but I will live with it.
I decided I did not want to spend a lot of money on a dress that I was only going to wear once. And being a plus size, it always costs more. So I went to Catherine's Plus Size store (they have a website), and got my dress for 43.00. I also decided to kill two birds with one stone. Since I am the one that usually hosts holiday get-togethers, and 4th of July is right around the corner, I decided to have my reception on this day also.
I found a place by my house that will rent tables for 5.00 and chairs for .65 each. I am going to have a mini wedding cake. You can go to any bakery (for cheaper, your grocery store bakery) and have them use a double round 8" cake, and then cut down another 8" round to fit on the top. And go to a florist and buy some daises or something to put on top of your cake to make it look classy.
For the meal it's going to be almost buffet style, after all what do people usually do on the 4th of July? Yes, barbecue. Instead of flowers I am going to use balloons. I found a liquor warehouse bevmo.com, that I can purchase the alcohol cheap. Oh and did I mention I am doing this at home? For entertainment, I plan on breaking out the karaoke machine that cost a fortune and my daughter never uses. So at this point I estimate it is going to cost between 600.00-800.00 for everything.
I had to remember what I can afford and that it is not about impressing people, it's about sharing our day with people. Besides, just because I am getting married doesn't mean rents not due, and bills don't have to be paid. Good Luck! (06/09/2008)
By Love to Save
I have been looking at venues that are all-inclusive here in Southern Cali, but they are still around 7 thousand dollars and that is minus a photographer and drinks. I think we are going to do it in the backyard and these are just a few ideas for making it elegant, but cutting costs down:
Use an ipod and forget about paying a DJ, and ask someone in your family to announce your first dance, etc.
Go to the dollar store and buy cheap centerpieces, use floating candles and sprinkle them with flower petals. You can buy really cheap flowers at the dollar store and just cut off the petals.
Wait until after Christmas to buy all the lights discounted so you can light up your backyard really pretty, or wherever you choose to have it.
Shop around for party rental places because some are really expensive; don't just settle on the first one you see.
Buy Plastic plates and utensils and save a ton of money by not having to rent all of that stuff. Look around places like Staples or Costco for nice plates.
Buy your wedding dress online and save 100's of dollars.
There are a lot of ways to cut corners and you will have to do a lot of the work yourself, but enlist your friends and family to help you decorate and make it fun. Most people will be willing to help you.
One more thing, look through magazines or go online and see how other reception halls are decorated because that is stuff you can do yourself. All you have to do is buy a little bit of fabric and be creative. Good luck and congrats to all. (08/03/2008)
My fiance and I are getting married April the fourth of this year. We found a photographer for 1500.00 who stays from start to finish and does videography, with 2 wedding DVD and 2 reception DVD, and a projection screen with lighting effects.
My fiance works for a catering company so we got the hook up on a venue for 1700.00 for 125 guests and the only thing left is to pay for food and transportation, because I found my favors at Micheal's. I'm ordering the labels with our name and things for 12 bucks out of a catalog so we are probably spending 4,000 on our wedding maybe 5,000. (02/01/2009)