Even do it yourself receptions can
be elegant and still very affordable.
receptions don't have to cost a fortune.
are on tight budgets these days, limiting the parents' ability
to contribute financially. Much of the burden of wedding expenses
lands on young couples who are just starting out in life and on
limited budgets themselves.
When planning choosing an affordable wedding reception location think outside the box. Depending on how many people are invited, you may need a sizable place to have the reception. Weather
permitting, your wedding reception could be held in someone's
back yard or at a local park.
own wedding ceremony and reception were held at a local park in
a specially reserved area (including gazebo) that cost only about $60 for the entire day.
My mother and I recently hosted a wedding
reception for my sister in our mobile home park's club house.
A $150 deposit was required, but the deposit was returned after
we cleaned up and left the club house the way we found it. We
had full access to a fully equipped kitchen, sitting area, tables,
chairs, and restrooms for an entire day. Everything we needed
was right there and didn't cost us a dime.
and neighborhoods have community centers that, with the right
decorations, are perfect for gala receptions. One bride covered
ugly walls with rolls of plastic table cloth drapery that matched
the wedding colors and made the hall look amazing!
Decorations that can be used after the reception is over more than pay for themselves.
For my sister's reception we created beautiful centerpieces for
the tables by buying some glass Pyrex cereal bowls ($1 each at
a local outlet mall) and placing green glass marbles from the
craft store in the bottom of each.
then filled the bowls half way with water and placed a white rose-shaped
floating candle in each. These attractive centerpieces were very
easy to assemble in just a minute or two.
In addition to lending
their candlelight to the room made a wonderful inexpensive gift
for the bride and grooma complete set of matching cereal
also doesn't have to require too much effort or added expense.
My own wedding reception was a pot luck luncheon.
My mother provided the sandwich rolls, sliced meat and cheeses,
and condiments, and close friends and family members were asked
to bring side dishes and salads. My husband's aunt made the most
beautiful multi-tiered wedding cake for us. Our expense was minimal
and no one went away hungry!
dollar stores carry catering trays and the heating stands with
sterno. Think about what was served at the weddings you attended
and pick quick make
ahead freezer foods. On the day of the reception, take the
food out to thaw and bring it to the hall. Set up the sternos
and heat up your home cooked selections. Make sure you leave enough
time to get the food thawed and heated before guests start to
arrive. A few trays set up with hot food can have your buffet
wedding reception looking like a catered affair!
sister's reception was more of a sit-down affair, but still did
not cost us a fortune. She chose a fall
wedding theme. Knowing the reception would take place in October,
we thought that it was taking place close enough to the holidays
to have a Thanksgiving-style
dinner. Most of our relatives don't have the opportunity to
see one another during the holidays anyway, and we knew this would
be a great opportunity to get everyone together and spend some
time visiting and eating a wonderful meal.
husband barbecued a turkey,
my mom baked a ham,
and we again asked close friends and family members to bring their
favorite holiday salads and side dishes. The dinner was a huge
success. A family friend made the wedding cake and let us borrow
her punch bowl. The wedding cake included the cake top that had
adorned our own parents' wedding cake more than 30 years ago.
This was a surprise for my sister, as was the crystal cake plate
that had been a wedding gift to our parents from a great grandmother.
Wedding Reception to Remember
All of our family's wedding receptions have been huge successes,
and while requiring a lot of effort on the part of many friends
and family members, have never cost any one of us more than $100
or so. When planning your next wedding reception, don't focus
on the lavishness of the event, focus on creating a memorable
day that will live on in your family's memories for years to come.
If you'd like some ideas to get you started, I found some neat
web sites you might want to take a look at. The Wedding
Crafts Page is a compilation of links to do-it-yourself wedding
crafts, including decorations, centerpieces, flowers, albums and
keepsakes, and much more. WedNet
has some great ideas for wedding favors, and here's a great article
food costs, including some great ideas for different food themes.
About the Author...
Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and
mom who is the author of What's for Dinner?, an e-cookbook containing
more than 250 quick easy dinner ideas. For recipes, tips to organize
your home, home decorating, crafts, holiday hints and more, visit
Creative Homemaking at http://www.creativehomemaking.com.